Aside from metal, what other materials can a waterjet cut? When you need to cut metal, shape it to something else, or fabricate it to a certain fashion so it can become suitable for your project, you know that there is a manifold of ways that you can do to accomplish that task. Some of the traditional ways to cut metal are simple, while others can be described as crude like the use of a hack saw.
There are also cutting techniques that are technical in nature such as the use of plasma and laser cutting tools. Regardless of the method of choice you want to apply to your project, there are a couple of downsides, too, and it’s inevitable not to have any of them. Waterjet cutting machines were introduced about 10 years ago. This is the reason why this cutting-edge technology still remains up to this day as not the method of choice among the vast majority of small scale metal fabrication companies.
While the major players in the industry have been utilizing the technology in their operations and works, the smaller firms which comprise the vast majority of them have much caught up to do in terms of learning about this technology and how it can help in advancing their business interest. Here are some of the types of metal that you can work with using waterjet cutting machines:
There is a handful of different kinds of stainless steel, and you can handle them all with waterjet cutting technology. When handling metals, what you need to veer it away from is to keep it from overheating (acquired friction from cutting). If this happens, the heat affected zone will put the integrity of that area into compromise. Eventually, this can pave the way for failure.
The absence of HAZ in the waterjet cutting process makes it the preferred method of choice for companies involved in the food processing business. The same is true with the aerospace industry as well as the handling equipment sector. Reflective surfaces or polished objects are not known to have any kind of adverse impact to a waterjet cutting process the way that it does affect a laser cutting method.
Hardened Tool Steel
A waterjet cutter can seamlessly cut through tool steel even if it is in a fully hardened state sans causing any alteration in the material properties. There is an increasing number of die and metal fabrication shops that are now seeing the valuable help that this technology can bring, at 10 times the speed of traditional cutting methods.
Aluminum may well qualify as the most favored metal to be used in waterjet cutters. Reason being that this machine can seamlessly cut through it cleanly and quickly, minus any kind of thermal distortion. There are also increasing numbers of specialty shops that are integrating the use of waterjet method to their array of used laser cutting methods so that they can effortlessly and accurately cut aluminum regardless of how thick they are.
Different Types of Alloys
Even the superalloys like the Hastelloy and Inconel are no exemption for waterjet cutters. You can utilize these machines to cut through them without having to worry about distortion or heat.
You can cut all grades of copper, cleanly and quickly with a waterjet cutter sans any thermal distortion. The reflectivity issue that is normally encountered in most laser cutters is taken out of the picture with the use of waterjet cutter. Aside from this, waterjet cutting machines also eliminates the issue of “gumming”, which is considered as a normal occurrence when using instead a conventional mechanical cutting system.
Glass cutting has never been so promising with the use of waterjet cutting tools. It can perfectly handle even the ultra-thin panels being used for smartphones as well as the bulletproof, thick and multi-layered glass panels used in buildings and vehicles down to the panels that are intended for stained glass windows. When it comes to glass cutting, the only exemption there is for waterjet systems are the tempered glass panels. This type of glass is manufactured in such a way that they will shatter into a handful of tiny pieces if they are broken or cut.