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. Oftentimes, the cutter is connected to a high-pressure water pump with water being ejected from a nozzle, which then cuts directly through the material. In order to help the cutting process, abrasives may be added.
There are many different benefits to using waterjet cutting for stainless steel or aluminum sheets.
1. The Waterjets Capacity. Waterjets are extremely powerful and have the ability to cut through almost any thickness of aluminum and stainless steel.
2. Waterjets do not require heat Waterjet cutting is the preferred method for those materials that are sensitive to higher temperatures that are often created when using alternative methods. Most methods of cutting materials will damage or alter the surface but the no heat-affected zone (HAZ) prevents this from occurring when using a waterjet.
3. Waterjet cutting is considered to be one of the most effective methods in relation to precision when cutting. The precision of waterjets is high enough to state that the accuracy is 0.005″ and when repeated stands at 0.001″. Waterjets provides a burr-free finish. The secondary surface finishing process can be spared in most cases and helps save money.
4.Waterjets are an extremely fast and efficient process for cutting projects There isn’t much labor needed to use the waterjet. The entire cutting process is significantly faster than other cutting methods. The waterjets are so precise that re-cutting is avoided.
5. The cutting process is environmentally sound Waterjets are classified as green technology. Waterjet cutting does not produce hazardous byproducts. The use of waterjets prevents wasteful cutting from occurring, since the large pieces of reusable scrap material can be cut off.
When using waterjets to cut aluminum or stainless steel, there are a plethora of environmental advantages. Not a lot of water is necessary to use the waterjet. Depending on the cutting head size, anywhere from one half gallon to one gallon of water will be utilized every minute. The water that is use can be recycled by using a closed-looped system. Waste water is often clean enough to filter and dispose of through a drain.
7. A safer work environment is created. Airborne dust, smoke, fumes, and contaminants are avoided through the use of waterjet cutting. Machinist exposure is reduced as well as any problems from bystander exposure through the use of waterjet cutting, which improves the work environment.