The use of waterjet cutting as an alternative material cutting technique can be traced from as early as the 1950s. Cutting through the waterjet system was pioneered by Dr. Norman Franz. He was documented as the first man ever to use this technology as a better way of cutting down large trees for lumber.
From that day onward, it has undergone a series of improvements and innovations. On many occasions, it has proven its worth countless number of times as a highly effective material cutting method. It can handle virtually any flat material, and this includes aluminum and stainless steel.
Water jet cutting is making use of a high-pressure stream of water to cut and slice through hard objects, including metals. The waterjet cutter connects itself to a high-pressure water pump.
The waterjet machine will eject water through the nozzle under extremely high pressure. This causes it to become strong enough to cut and slice through solid objects that even the strength of metals is no match to its cutting power. On some occasions, additives can be mixed with water to further intensify its cutting/slicing strength.
If you have a project that requires you to work on aluminum and stainless steel, you may need to take advantage of waterjet cutting. Here are some of the good reasons why:
The Power of Waterjets
Who would have thought that something as delicate and gentle as water can be harnessed into becoming an effective and highly powerful cutting tool? Waterjets, with the combination of the right amount of pressure in water and superior quality nozzle, can penetrate an 8-inches steel plate. It can also bore through a 10-inch plate of aluminum.
Does Not Generate Heat
Waterjet cutting is the method of choice for fabrication projects that involves working on materials that have a strong sensitivity to high temperatures. Such heat is inevitably produced when another material cutting method is used instead.
The absence of a heat-affected zone (HAZ) in a waterjet system of cutting takes away the adverse impact of heat from the equation. This results in seamless cutting or slicing through of stainless steel and aluminum minus the risk of possible damage or alteration to the surface integrity of the material being cut.
High Level of Precision
This innovative material cutting method is a precise cutting tool. It can deliver cutting accuracy to about 0.005 or 0.13mm with repeatability of 0.001” or 0.03 mm. Besides its high level of precision in cutting/slicing through aluminum and steel, it is also highly favored by industries due to its burr-free finish. Hence, it takes away any need for secondary surface finishing. Needless to say, it helps you save money.
The Waterjet system of cutting is fast and efficient. There are many underlying reasons behind this:
- Short setup time for the waterjet cutter.
- Compared to other traditional cutting systems, the waterjet method is way faster.
- Due to the high precision of the waterjet system, there is no need for secondary finishing, not even re-cutting.
The waterjet method of cutting is one of the greenest material cutting/slicing techniques we have today. For one, this method is not known to produce toxic emissions or hazardous waste materials during the cutting process. Secondly, it does not produce unnecessary waste. This is a common occurrence if you will employ instead the use of traditional cutting techniques.
The waterjet-based cutting system uses only a very minimal amount of water. Most of the time it only consumes around ½ to 1 gallon of water per minute. The amount of water that will be used will be highly dependent on the cutting head orifice being used.