When it comes to cutting materials, nothing beats a waterjet. The sophisticated design of a waterjet makes it the ideal machine for precise cutting and shaping, especially when you need to cut through difficult-to-cut metal alloys.
But since the invention of the water jet cutting machine, there has been a common misconception about how strong a water jet cutting pressure is and what capabilities it holds.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how strong a waterjet cutting machine is and also take a look at what materials can be cut with waterjet technology. So, let’s get started!
How Strong is a Waterjet?
The technology of waterjet cutting uses high-pressure water to cut through materials with ease. The water is ejected through a small nozzle at extremely high speeds, making it able to easily cut through even the toughest materials.
But how strong a waterjet really is?
To answer this question, we need to consider the waterjet’s flow rate and pressure.
A waterjet typically has a flow rate of 0.18 to 1.1 gallons per minute, and a high-velocity stream of ultra high-pressure water which can also range from 30,000–90,000 psi.
This means that waterjets have the ability to generate tremendous amounts of force and can cut through the material by spraying it with a speed of approximately 2,500 feet per second (760 meters per second).
The waterjet can cut through materials that are up to 10-12 inches thick, and it cuts at high speed as well. It cuts materials at a rate of 6 inches per minute with precision. A waterjet is also superior to laser cutting when it comes to cutting thicker materials.
The waterjet was used to cut through soft materials like rubber but with the introduction of an abrasive waterjet, the problem of cutting hard materials such as metal or rock through water was solved.
The abrasive waterjet is 1000 times stronger than a pure waterjet. Its strength comes from the inclusion of abrasive material such as garnet which helps to quickly cut through tough materials. An abrasive waterjet can cut through .030” thick plastic and 10” thick stainless. It uses a high-pressure jet of water that can range from (200-400 MPA)
To have an idea about how strong waterjets really are, take a look at these PSI comparisons:
- Pressure Washer: 2000 PSI
- Propane Tank: 100-200 PSI
- Fire Hose: 1200 PSI
- Garden Hose: 200-600 PSI
- Waterjet: 30000-90000 PSI
What Can a Waterjet Cut?
If you’re looking to buy a waterjet cutter, you may want to know what it can cut. Waterjet cutters can handle a variety of materials – from metal to stone to glass. But there are many other materials that can be cut with a waterjet, and we will discuss these in this section.
Let’s have a look at them one by one!
Waterjet machines are capable of cutting a variety of tough materials such as steel, aluminum, titanium, and unusual metals that are difficult to cut with other tools or techniques.
The thickness and type of the metal being utilized often determine the water pressure of the waterjet. The water pressure needed to cut metals, however, is anticipated to be between 20,000 and 55,000 PSI.
2. Plastic and Rubber
A waterjet’s adaptability is what makes it stand over any cutting method. It is a multi-use tool that can cut plastic, and rubber at a relatively high speed.
All types of plastic which include acrylic, polycarbonate, and foam can be cut with a waterjet. You may easily cut through 10″ thick plastic materials by using a waterjet. To get a more precise and accurate result, try cutting them with roughly 50,000 PSI.
3. Composite Materials
Cutting composite materials with an abrasive waterjet offers you some key benefits which include increased productivity, no thermal damage, and minimal kerf which allows more detail.
Composite materials such as kevlar, aero fiber, and carbon fiber can be cut thoroughly and swiftly without any drawbacks.
4. Natural Substances
In addition to cutting wood and metal, waterjets can also cut natural substances such as stone, marble, slate, and granite. This provides you with a faster and greater level of detail than other traditional cutting methods.
Waterjets are able to cut substances like glass and wood with relatively low pressure. Due to their high level of precision and precise finishing, these characteristics make waterjets an effective tool for producing objects for architectural purposes.
5. Super Alloys
Special superalloys such as Hastelloy, Incoloy, and Waspaloy present unique difficulties for conventional cutting techniques since they are frequently too hard or difficult to cut cleanly. But even the most challenging superalloys can be quickly and accurately cut by waterjets without creating too much heat or deformation.
While the waterjet is famous for cutting composite and metals, it is also used in cutting food in some food industries. In the food sector, waterjet cutting refers to the use of a pressurized water jet to cut food materials.
A waterjet provides a precise and ideal shape for food of all kinds be it meat, fish, poultry, or pastry. Through water jets in the food industry, you can have an ideal sanitary system, minimal kerfs, and accurate cutouts for your products.
Water jet cutting pressure is an important consideration when looking to buy a waterjet. The higher the pressure, the more versatile the jet will be. However, it’s also important to think about how strong a waterjet is and what results it can deliver.
If you have any questions about waterjets or need help finding the right one for your business, don’t hesitate to contact SAME Waterjet. We would be happy to help and we hope this guide has helped you!