The traditional method of cutting materials has been with a drill piece which spins and generates heat when cutting causing the material to heat up with it however with Water Jet Cutting things are different.
Water jet cutting is where a high-pressure jet of water is directed from a nozzle to cut through the material. Water jets are used to cut through softer material such as rubber and foam. However, an abrasive material can be added to the water such as garnet and aluminium oxide to cut through stainless steel or brass without tarnishing it.
Water jet cutting is often used in various industries such as mining, aerospace for cutting, shaping and reaming.
The benefits of water jet cutting: Creative designs cut without discolouration to cut edge. Larger designs can be cut in sections. Burr-free cut edges. Gasket and insulation materials profiled without tooling costs. Thick foam and rubber cut with parallel sides. Environmentally friendly and clean production. Prototypes to batch production quantities easily accommodated. Pre-printed materials cut to minute intricacy, Flexible materials supported on a sacrificial base to ensure accurate cutting. Aluminium, stainless steel, brass cut with no tarnishing. Complex and intricate designs accommodated. Accommodates highly reflective and polished surfaces. Ceramic Floor Tiles, Wall Tiles, Granite, Marble, Slate and Limestone designs also created. Laminates and Composites cut with no delamination. No heat affected zones. Accuracies down to 0.005″ (0.13 mm) and repeatable down to 0.001″ (0.025 mm). Fewer airborne dust particles, smoke, fumes, and contaminants, reducing operator exposure to hazardous materials.
We have six CNC controlled state of the art water jet cutting machines for our production needs and for that of contract work. One of our machines is abrasive assisted and is capable of cutting plastics, steel, aluminium, glass and marble.
History of Waterjet cutting.
Water jet cutting originates back in the mid-1800s for mining, and it was not until the 1930s that narrow jets of water started to appear for industrial cutting.
In 1956, Carl Johnson of Durox International in Luxembourg developed a method for cutting plastic shapes using a thin stream high-pressure water jet, but those were soft materials like paper. In 1958, Billie Schwacha of North American Aviation developed a system using ultra high-pressure liquid to cut hard materials.
The early 1970s, Improvements to the durability of the water jet nozzle led by Ray Chadwick, Michael Kurko, and Joseph Corrivaeu of the Bendix Corporation, they came up with the idea of using corundum crystal to form a water jet orifice. Norman Franz expanded on this and created a water jet nozzle with an orifice as small as 0.05 mm that operated at pressures up to 70,000 psi.
Flow Industries in Kent, Washington set the groundwork for commercial viability of water jets with John Olsen’s development of the high-pressure fluid intensifier in 1973, a design that was further refined in 1976. Flow Industries then combined the high-pressure pump research with their water jet nozzle research and brought water jet cutting into the manufacturing world.