What is a Waterjet?
A Waterjet is a type of cutting tool that is commonly used for the following types of materials:
Waterjet cutter technology is based on the naturally erosive effects of water. A stream of water is extremely concentrated and shot out of a nozzle at 30,000-90,000 psi.
Waterjet cutters work on the same principle as high pressure washers that essentially "cut” the dirt off of the surfaces on which they are used. Cutters have the stream of water greatly intensified and are able to cut through materials both safely and accurately. The versatility of the materials that can be cut makes this type of cutter a preferred tool for manufacturers all over the world. Waterjet cutters can be used for both small scale and mass production, further increasing their value to manufacturers.
The Safety and Environmental Benefits of Waterjet Cutters
Waterjet cutters are one of the safest ways to cut industrial materials. Most cutting tools achieve cuts with harmful gases and extreme heat, presenting dangers to people working close to the machine and requiring special care in terms of handling and ventilation. Waterjet cutters are safer in the sense that people working in the vicinity of the cutting area have less chance of being injured. Steam is usually the only gas present with waterjet cutting.
Some materials can also change in structure and composition when they are heated past tolerance levels. The material being cut by a waterjet cutter will retain all of its original compositional properties after the cut is finished because the cut is achieved without the use of extreme heat.
These types of cutters are considered "green” and environmentally friendly. By using water as the main cutting agent, no hazardous waste byproducts or harmful gases are produced. In the case of mass production, this can mean considerable savings in hazardous waste removal costs. The water used for the cutting process can be recycled after being filtered if the system is a closed loop system. In the case that the system does not recycle the water being used, it is generally clean enough to be disposed of down a regular drain. Waterjet cutters are so efficient in their use of water that they generally require less than a gallon of water per minute for cutting.
In some instances, an abrasive such as garnet is added to the water to increase the cutting ability of the waterjet. These abrasives can be collected, recycled and reused along with the water.
Exceptional Power and Accuracy
The ability to focus a stream of water to the point where it cuts through metal can be hard to envision. The fact is that this method of cutting is both fast and incredibly accurate. It is also one of the most affordable ways to custom or mass produce cuts.
Precision cuts can be made to the accuracy of the width of a human hair. The use of computer programs to control the Waterjet cutters allows mass production of intricate shapes with virtually no variations between the first cut and the final cut. The edges are sharp and result in minimal material waste.