Titanium and Abrasive Waterjet: The Perfect Match

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Titanium and Abrasive Waterjet: The Perfect Match

Nose-to-tail aircraft interiors and exteriors, spacecraft, satellites, and defense systems rely on titanium as the metal of choice to meet high performance expectations. Titanium offers high strength-to-weight ratio, excellent corrosion resistance and the ability to withstand extreme temperature for the high stakes manufacture of existing and new aerospace products. 

The properties that make titanium ideal for flight are precisely why abrasive waterjet is the ideal tool for cutting titanium. 

Stay cool 

Other cutting methods generate heat. Abrasive waterjet does not. Titanium has low thermal conductivity and excessive heat can lead to material deformation, compromise mechanical properties, and deflate corrosion resistance. Abrasive waterjet’s cold cutting process avoids these issues and preserves titanium’s integrity. 

Make it flexible and easy

Without heat as a variable, abrasive waterjet escalates its value by offering flexibility when cutting titanium. Unlike other cutting tools, it can handle a variety of material thicknesses from thin sheets to dense blocks, making it ideal for both finished components and near net parts. In addition, abrasive waterjets like OMAX’s OptiMAX open the door to a whole new level of cutting complex, tight-tolerance parts with less dependence on highly skilled operators.

Because of its high material compatibility, abrasive waterjet cutting allows shops to diversify product offerings. Shops cutting titanium for an aerospace customer can put that same abrasive waterjet equipment to work on a variety of other materials - from other metals such as aluminum and nickel alloys to composites, laminates, and plastics - that open up multiple other industry segments. 

Eliminate the hassles of tooling  

Cold cutting and flexibility create a near perfect relationship between abrasive waterjet and titanium that other cutting methods cannot achieve. Titanium’s high hardness can create devasting wear on conventional cutting tools. With waterjet, the abrasive does the cutting. No physical contact occurs between the metal and the waterjet, making wear and tear of costly tools a non-issue. Along the same line, complex setups and tool changes are eliminated. Another bonus for operators, is that abrasive waterjet emits minimal amounts of dust and cast-off while cutting. 

The aerospace industry depends on titanium and the benefits it provides. The ability to preserve those beneficial properties, even with complex parts, inextricably makes titanium and abrasive waterjet cutting the perfect match. For job shops, the abrasive waterjet-titanium connection comes with benefits for applications beyond those in aerospace. 

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