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What Materials Can a Waterjet Cut?

 

Endless opportunities.
Tremendous flexibility.

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metal

Waterjet machines cut all types of metals: hardened tool steel, aluminum, titanium, and a host of exotic metals that prove difficult to cut with other tools or processes. Cutting with a waterjet produces a smooth edge with no burn marks, cracking or excess burrs. In addition, since waterjet is a cold cutting method, there are no heat-affected zones.

Naturals

Glass, stone, or wood, waterjets have the capability to fabricate with nearly any material under the sun. With specialized techniques such as low-pressure pierce, water-only cutting, and vacuum assistance a whole host of natural materials can be machined perfectly.

composites

Abrasive waterjet has major advantages when Cutting carbon fiber. No need to change tooling. No special considerations or restrictions due to heat buildup. No melting. No hazardous fumes requiring costly air handling equipment. Any fiber-reinforced material, including Kevlar reinforced personnel armor, can be quickly and cleanly cut without the drawbacks that come with conventional machining.

Plastics & Rubber

The material distortions associated with machining plastic on conventional CNC machines no longer comes into play when using the cold cutting method of a waterjet. The ability to easily machine foam, rubber, and acrylic as well as all the previously listed materials gives waterjets an edge as a multi-use value-add tool. The versatility of a waterjet is what makes it so essential to any machine shop.

Related Questions

  • How thick can an abrasive waterjet cut?

    The high-level answer is that abrasive waterjets can cut through 12 inches of most materials. Many users report cutting material even thicker than that. Most abrasive waterjet cutting, however, is done in material that is 3 inches thick or less. Cutting thicker than that usually reduces the tolerance that can be maintained and increases the amount of time to cut a part.

  • Yes. Dual pressure piercing allows for piercing of glass with minimal risk of cracking. OMAX waterjet machines come standard with dual pressure capabilities. OMAX Machines also have a special "brittle mode" that works in conjunction with low-pressure piercing to slowly raise the pump pressure during the pierce to avoid a sudden shock to the material by a rapid change in pressure. Using these techniques reduces the risk of cracking, making glass cutting into a very profitable venture.

  • Yes, abrasive waterjets with OMAX premium software can perform etching in material.

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