Waterjet cutting is a fabrication process that utilizes high-pressure streams of water (i.e., water jets) to cut materials into the desired shape and size. It can be categorized into two primary methods: pure waterjet cutting and abrasive waterjet cutting. Pure waterjet cutting uses water jets with no added media. It is typically employed for cutting softer, non-metallic materials, such as plastic, rubber, and foam. Abrasive waterjet cutting use waterjets with added abrasive particles. It is suitable for cutting harder materials, such as metals, glass, and stone.
While both waterjet cutting methods offer distinct advantages that make them suitable for particular applications, waterjet cutting, in general, can be used for a wide range of manufacturing projects, especially when integrated with computer numerical control (CNC) technology. Below, we highlight the advantages of CNC waterjet cutting.
Advantages of CNC Waterjet Cutting
There are many advantages to using CNC waterjet cutting over other cutting processes. For example:
- It offers broad material suitability. CNC waterjet cutters can cut through virtually any material used in general fabrication operations.
- It carries no risk of human error. Since CNC waterjet cutters are preprogrammed, there is minimal risk of a cutting operation proceeding incorrectly unless there is a programming error or machine malfunction.
- It produces precise and accurate cuts. Compared to manual cutting operations, CNC waterjet cutting offers greater cutting precision and accuracy. It can consistently produce net-shape or near-net-shape parts from piece to piece and batch to batch. As a result, it decreases the need for any secondary procession operations to bring the parts to spec.
- It accommodates complex shapes. CNC waterjet cutters can create highly complex three-dimensional shapes that would be impossible to produce using manual cutting machines.
- It leaves no heat-affected zone (HAZ). As a cold cutting process, waterjet cutting does not generate significant amounts of heat, which reduces the risk of heat-related issues like thermal distortion or hardened edges. This quality is advantageous for components with exacting requirements.
- It requires minimal fixturing. Waterjet cutters require minimal workpiece fixturing, which shortens setup time and reduces equipment costs for cutting operations.
- It creates little to no waste. The waterjet cutting process generates little to no hazardous waste and accommodates water recycling through the use of closed-loop systems. Together, these qualities reduce waste generation and disposal costs. Additionally, since the process can achieve smaller cutting kerfs and higher cutting precision, individual parts can be placed closer together, allowing manufacturers to maximize the material utilization to waste generation ratio.
- It is safe for machine operators. Waterjet cutting does not produce any dust or hazardous gases that can negatively affect operator health.
Waterjet Cutting Solutions at Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping
Looking for a waterjet cutting service provider for your next manufacturing project? Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping is the ideal partner. We’ve provided metal fabrication services for over 50 years. This extensive experience, combined with our state-of-the-art equipment, gives us the knowledge, skills, and tools we need to deliver high-quality metal components that fully meet your specifications and standards. Whether you require assistance with waterjet cutting or another manufacturing process, we’ve got you covered!
For a waterjet cutting partner committed to quality, on-time delivery, and personalized customer service, contact us today.