Water cutting – what does it consist of?

Water cutting – what does it consist of?
Darrius Drew
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Water cutting is a modern technology, the principle of which is quite simple – it uses a jet of water at very high pressure to cut through materials. 

This process is carried out cold, making it safer for raw materials than thermal cutting methods. In addition, this method is extremely precise.

What is the principle of waterjet cutting technology?

The process of cold cutting using a jet of water with tremendous pressure has a wide range of applications, due to its extreme precision and lack of thermal damage to the materials being cut. The temperature reached during water cutting is less than 100°C. The technology is based on a small diameter water jet, which is passed through a nozzle under tremendous pressure. This creates a jet of water with a not inconsiderable speed of three times the speed of sound. 

What materials can be cut with water-based technology?

The precision and high power of the water cutting method allows it to be used in the processing of all raw materials except diamonds. Only for cutting metal more power is required, in addition, the addition of an abrasive to the water jet is often required. The ability to achieve a very narrow jet with a diameter of even less than 0.1 mm makes it possible to cut such delicate materials as paper, fabrics or even leather with precision.

Waterjet cutting technology is used to process materials that are difficult or even impossible to cut by other methods – for example, ceramics and glass.

The process of waterjet cutting is fully automated, which eliminates the risk of errors arising from the human factor. The resulting cut is even, and the edges of the materials do not fray. This allows efficient processing of various raw materials using a single apparatus. In addition, cold cutting with fully automated robots allows materials to be processed with precision and eliminates the risk of microcracks or edge damage associated with high temperatures.

Advantages of waterjet cutting technology

A definite advantage of the aforementioned technology is that it can be used to cut a wide variety of materials. Having the right apparatus, it is possible to process various raw materials in one plant. In addition, the precision of cutting is extremely high, so you can cut small parts without worrying about defects. The edges of materials processed with this technology do not suffer damage or thermal damage. 

Another big advantage is that waterjet cutting technology is one of the safest. It can be used in areas at risk of explosions or fires. This not only improves safety at the workplace, but also separates potentially hazardous materials without the risk of accidents.

Limitations of the water cutting method

Water cutting technology has many advantages that outweigh its few limitations. One of them is that diamonds cannot be processed with water due to their extreme hardness. However, looking at the wide application of this technology, this limitation is not a big drawback. The apparatus used for water cutting generates noise at a high level, which can be a nuisance, and according to health and safety rules, hearing protection should be used when processing materials using this technology. The large consumption of utilities such as electricity and water also generates increased costs and is a constraint for many people. In addition, the cutting speed using this method is not among the fastest.

main photo: unsplash.com/Artiom Vallat

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