What is waterjet cutting?
Another term commonly referred to waterjet cutting is abrasive jet cutting. This cutting process uses high pressure water and an abrasive material like sand commonly referred to as "garnet" to cut through steel plate and a variety of different materials. The waterjet is controlled by a computer called a "CNC control" that reads a G-code program written by a programmer.
What are the capabilities of a waterjet?
The waterjet is capable of cutting a very broad range of materials such as rubber, wood, foam, plastic, UHMW, plexiglass, copper, brass, aluminum, regular grade steels, tool steels, stainless steels and even super alloys. Our waterjets are equipped with 60,000 psi pumps that are able to cut steel plate anywhere from .003" to 8" thick.
Waterjet cutting offers many advantages over other manufacturing technologies such as:
No heat affected zone - other processes like EDM, laser, and plasma cutting add tremendous heat to the workpiece that can alter or weaken the structure of a steel part. Since waterjets cut with virtually no heat it has the ability to cut pre-heat treated materials without affecting the hardness of the material.
Tighter tolerances - on materials less than 1/2" we can hold +/- .005" tolerance or less. With every inch the thickness of a part increases the tolerance goes up .010". The repeatability of a waterjet is around .002".
Reduced scrap material - because of a waterjets narrow kerf line which is typically around .040", reduced scrap between parts is another advantage which offers the ability to get greater quantities of parts from a sheet of metal.