The cutting process used to be more complicated, involving the use of a sharp blade and heat. However, new technologies have made it possible for different materials to be cut with extreme accuracy and without any distortion.
One such technology that has taken the industrial world by storm is waterjet cutting.
The waterjet cutting machines are becoming increasingly popular in a wide variety of industries. And what’s not to like about them? They’re versatile, powerful and safe, making them ideal for a huge range of applications.
If you’re also just starting to learn about waterjet cutting, this guide will provide you with the answers you need. The waterjet cutting uses will be explained in detail, and you’ll learn about the different industries where this technology is used.
Waterjet Cutter: What It Is And How Does It Work?
Waterjet cutting was pioneered in the 1930s as a method for measuring and cutting reams of paper, but it has come a long way since then. Nowadays, waterjet cutting is used in various industries and even found its way into the art world.
But what exactly is a waterjet cutter, and how does it work?
A waterjet cutter is a machine that uses a high-pressure stream of water to cut through materials. The water is typically mixed with an abrasive substance like garnet which helps to speed up the cutting process by 1,000 times.
To create the high-pressure water stream, waterjet cutters use a pump that can generate pressures up to 94,000 psi (6,480 bar). The water is then passed through a small hole in a cutting nozzle. As the water exits the nozzle, it accelerates to supersonic speeds and removes materials from the workpiece.
Waterjet cutting machines can be used to cut anything from soft materials like foam and rubber, to harder materials like metal and stone. In fact, there are very few materials that a waterjet cutter can’t handle such as diamond and tempered glasses.
7 Different Industries That Use Waterjet Cutting Today
Waterjet cutting is not limited to one industry. It’s used in a variety of industries for all sorts of applications thanks to its ability to cut a wide range of materials precisely and cheaply.
To help you get a better idea about where waterjet cutters are used and in what ways, we’ve compiled a list of the most common uses for waterjet cutters by industry.
Aerospace & Aviation
The aerospace and aviation industry makes extensive use of waterjet cutters to create composite materials for aircraft and components for jet engines, turbine blades and more.
Waterjet cutting is a very precise way to cut complex shapes out of materials like titanium, aluminium and composites. This process can be used to cut up to eleven inches thick.
Waterjet cutting eliminates heat-affected zones, which means it’s ideal for cutting heat-sensitive materials. This is crucial in the aerospace industry since even minor mistakes or structural flaws could have terrible consequences.
The automotive industry is one of the most common places to see waterjet cutting machines in use. Pure waterjet cutters are ideal for cutting interior components, including carpets and insulation; an abrasive waterjet cutter is better for exterior components like metal body panels.
The main reason why waterjet cutting is a preferred technology in the automotive industry is that it allows you to produce smooth and burr-free surfaces. It also eliminates heat and hazardous fumes or vapours and does not create a significant amount of material waste.
The electronics industry uses waterjet cutting for a variety of applications, such as creating printed circuit boards and cutting silicon wafers.
Waterjet cutters are ideal for this industry because they can produce very precise cuts without damaging sensitive electronic components.
In addition, waterjet cutting is a clean process that doesn’t produce any heat – a benefit in the electronics industry, where components are sensitive to heat.
Waterjet cutting technology is used extensively in the food manufacturing industry. It provides precision cut-outs and minimal kerfs, which makes it more efficient and cost-effective. Plus, it’s a sanitary process.
Waterjet cutters are used to cut food items into uniform shapes and sizes for packaging. This process is especially popular in the meat industry where it’s used to cut steak, chicken, and other meats into uniform portions.
Architectural & Artwork
Waterjet technology allows you to cut intricate and detailed cuts in stone, metal, glass and other materials. You can cut the thicknesses from 1 mm to 300mm in a much faster and more efficient way than before.
This makes it a popular choice for architectural applications such as creating decorative metal panels, stained glass windows, and more. It’s also commonly used to create artwork, such as sculptures out of a variety of materials.
Waterjet technology offers tremendous benefits in the medical industry, where it can be used to create everything from implants to prosthetics.
The waterjet cutting process is ideal for use in the medical industry because of its precision and cleanliness. It’s used to cut thin sheets of material for use in diagnostic devices and medical devices.
Finally, abrasive waterjet cutting is used in the defence industry to create a variety of parts and components for military equipment. These include cutting heavy plate steel with thicknesses up to 250 mm, as well as Kevlar composites that are used in personnel and vehicle armour.
Abrasive waterjet cutting is ideal for the defence industry because it can cut through the toughest materials, including metals, composites and ceramics. Its accuracy and ability to create complex shapes without changing the shape or molecular structure of the material are further benefits.
That’s all for now! We hope you found this article on waterjet cutting uses helpful. As you can see, there is a wide range of industries and applications that can benefit from waterjet cutting technology that we only briefly touched on.
If you’re interested in learning more about waterjet cutting technology or if you need a waterjet cutter for your business, please contact us today with our industry-leading experts at SAME Waterjet. We will work with you to develop a solution that meets your specific needs and requirements.