Waterjet Cutting Machines: Industrial Applications

First conceptualised in the 1930s, waterjet cutting machines have since turned into one of the most popular strategies used for cutting a wide set of materials for industrial applications. These include, but are not limited to:

Aerospace

Waterjet cutting machines have been used in the aerospace industry since the 1970s, from designing interior components such as seats to fabricating new components. In fact, Boieng was one of the first carriers to incorporate abrasive waterjet cutting machines into their operations.

This is because waterjet cutting follows a specialised system that does not lead to the development of heat-affected zones. As a cool-cutting process, it does not pose the same risks (and challenges) that lasers and related heat-producing tools cause when cutting through high thermal conductivity materials. As such, the machines help prevent microscopic cracks and other forms of structural weakness in aeroplane components and their applications. In addition, the industry’s zero-error margin requirements can be met satisfactorily by waterjet cutting machines.

Glass

Glass cutting is an ideal application for Waterjet. Without any tooling or set up changes you can go from cutting the most delicate led light glass, through to the strongest 100mm (4″) thick laminated bullet resistant glass.

When selecting a Waterjet cutting machine for glass be it is important to select a pump and software package that can offer both Dynamic Pierce and Low Pressure Pierce to save your material from damage.

Stone

Waterjet Cutting of all natural and manmade stones with stone cutting machine is simple, fast and highly effective. The very small stream size (approximately 0.040″) enables intricate patterns to be cut out, while the extremely high pressure (up to 60,000 psi) ensures thick materials (up to 6″ thick) can be easily cut.

Traditionally cut by wire saw or diamond tipped blades, stone producers fast realizing that the easiest and most cost effect way to cut both natural and ultra-hard manmade stone like Dekton, is with a high pressure waterjet.

Automotive

As in the case of the aerospace industry, automotive parts production and manufacturing  should also heed safety regulations that emphasise the need for mistakes-free processes. Waterjets do not generate harmful fumes, nor cut mechanical stresses on material surfaces. They also mitigate roughened and burred edges, which minimises the need for secondary finishing.

In addition, waterjet cutting yields less material waste, which is economical for automotive industry operators.

Food

The Food Production Daily magazine cited waterjet cutting as “one of the fastest growing major machine tool processes in the world due to its versatility and ease of operation”, and for good reasons. Pure waterjets have been granted USDA approval, in fact, owing to their capacity to reducing bacterial contamination and ensuring hygienic measures in food cutting. Even waterjets with diamond orifices are primed for higher efficiency, as they ensure that no food particles will be pressed or washed out during the process. Perfect portion controls are more possible with this cutting, as well.

Waterjet machining also means less time will be consumed during cutting, as there will be no blades that need to be sharpened every now and then. The versatility of the equipment also makes it ideal for cutting any food material, from pizza to frozen food.

Machine Shops

For machine shops, waterjet machines lead to more efficient profiling and tooling, as no heat-affected zones leave no marks on the materials. In turn, this eliminates the need for heat treating and other stress-relieving operations.

Using abrasive waterjet cutting machines,you can limit cleanups and secondary operations; you can directly cut parts to desired sizes. Material waste is practically eliminated, and bottom line productivity is improved.

Signage and Decorative Applications

Even creatives can turn to waterjet cutting machines for smarter executions of their designs. Whether you’re translating logos and graphics from CAD files or from other sources, waterjets can cut beautiful profiles with high precision. They can also cut through any material in any contour, including marble, ornamental iron, tile, and brass or polished stainless steel.

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