Benefits of Waterjet Cutting for Industrial Sectors
The concept of waterjet cutting has been around since the 1950’s when it was first conceptualized by Dr. Norman Franz. Since the inception of this cutting method, not only has it been used to help forestry engineers cut lumber from large trees but has helped in the metal industry.
A waterjet works to cut or clean materials by using a high-pressure stream of water. The cutter itself can be connected to a water pump that ejects high-pressure water from a nozzle thus cutting the material with high-speed water. There may also be additives, such as abrasives, used to help with the cutting process.
There are many different benefits to using waterjet cutting for stainless steel or aluminum sheets.
1. The Ability of Waterjets to cut through almost anything. Waterjets are extremely powerful and have the ability to cut through almost any thickness of aluminum and stainless steel.
2. Using waterjets doesn’t mean heat is required. Waterjet cutting is the preferred method for those materials that are sensitive to higher temperatures that are often created when using alternative methods. The no heat-affected zone (HAZ) minimizes the effects of heat, which allows for metal to be cut without damaging the surface.
3. There is a significantly high level of precision Waterjets are very precise cutting tools, as they are capable of attaining an accuracy of 0.005″ (0.13 mm), and repeatability of 0.001″ (0.03 mm). Next to having an extremely high level of precision, the waterjets also produce a burr-free finish. The waterjets eliminate the need for a secondary surface finishing process and allows for expenses to be spared.
4. Waterjets allows for projects to be completed in a quick and efficient manner. The initial set-up time is small. Waterjets have the fastest cutting time out of all the different ways for cutting materials. Re-cutting isn’t necessary because waterjets have such precision with cutting materials.
5. Using waterjet cutting allows for the materials to be cut in an environmentally sound manner. The waterjet cutting process is considered to be one of the more environmentally friendly of all the methods. Waterjet cutting does not produce hazardous byproducts. Waterjets also prevent unnecessary waste that occurs during traditional cutting methods.
6. There are a number of environmental benefits to using waterjets to cut stainless steel and aluminum. Waterjets use very little water. For each minute the waterjet is in use, approximately one half to one gallon of water will be used dependent upon the size of the cutting head orifice. The water that is use can be recycled by using a closed-looped system. The waste water can be disposed of through a drain upon being recycled.
7. A safer work environment is created. Airborne dust, smoke, fumes, and contaminants are avoided through the use of waterjet cutting. The elimination of exposure to these allows for improvements in the work environment and reduces problems that may arise from machinist exposure.