Given its versatility and benefits, many customers prefer waterjet over other cutting alternatives such as laser or plasma. This method has been embraced by professionals across a wide range of industries as it can cut all types of metals at thicknesses up to 12 inches: hardened tool steel, aluminum, titanium, and a host of exotic metals that prove difficult to cut with other tools or processes. But that's not all. Composites, plastics, glass, stone, and more, just about anything can be cut with a waterjet.
The waterjet produces a smooth edge with no burn marks, cracking, or excess burrs which limits additional machining processes. Since waterjet is a cold cutting method, there are no heat-affected zones and allows us to easily machine foam, rubber, and acrylic as well as all the previously listed materials. Most abrasive waterjet cutting is done in material that is 3 to 4 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. Read below to learn more about the versatility of this cutting method.
What is Waterjet Cutting?
Abrasive Waterjet Cutting is essentially an accelerated erosion process. Ultra-high pressure water created by a pump is fired through a ruby or diamond orifice into a "mixing chamber" which creates a vacuum and draws garnet into the water stream. This gives waterjet cutting flexibility that no other cutting process can offer. Irregular shapes can be cut from almost any material with exceptional precision and edge quality. Curves, straight cuts, internal holes and lettering once cut by hand can now be cut in a fraction of the time.
Quick Setup and Fast Turnaround
Our abrasive waterjet machining center uses your existing CAD files to create our tooling programs. Working from your drawings means you can say goodbye to elaborate CNC programs and waiting for dies or fixtures. No tool changes are required as we simply adjust the feed rate to the appropriate speed to match the material type and thickness.
No Heat Affected Zones
Any cutting process which generates heat has the secondary effect of changing the molecular structure of the metal in the affected zone. Waterjet is a cold cutting process which eliminates problems caused by heat distortion and hardened edges. The absence of HAZ means we can cut without warping or hardening materials, generating poisonous fumes, as well as cut parts that have already been heat treated.
High Accuracy and Smooth Cuts
Waterjet cuts are accurate within ±.005" for most applications and can create distortion-free parts of many complex shapes, which is a difficult achievement in stamping or die cutting. Edge quality is one of the most important reasons why designers specify waterjet for a smooth uniform finish. In many cases, waterjet eliminates the need for secondary finishing, thus creating significant time savings and improving efficiency.
Waterjet cutting is classed as a green technology as it only uses natural resources such as water and garnet (sand). Waterjet requires no cooling or lubricating oils and does not generate noxious fumes during the cutting process unlike thermal processes such as laser or plasma. We recycle all spent abrasive and waste material to keep the environmental impact relatively low.
Kerf refers to the amount of material that is removed during cutting. The width of the waterjet cutting stream is .03" and produces a smaller amount of kerf compared to traditional cutting tools. Aerospace and military aviation are two key industries that require high precision waterjet cutting with minimal kerf to cut expensive materials such as titanium, aluminum, nickel alloys, and Kevlar.
Range of Materials
The diversity of materials that can be cut with the waterjet makes it one of the most attractive capabilities of this technology. Waterjet cutting processes can cut different materials based on strength, durability, corrosion resistance, and conductivity. Specialized techniques such as low pressure piercing can help cut natural materials such as stone, glass, and ceramics.
What can you create with a Laser?
Our laser machines provide a wide range of engraving and cutting possibilities. More versatile than routers engravers or milling machines, CO2 lasers can quickly and easily cut and engrave a wide array of materials, including wood, acrylic, leather, rubber, glass, anodized aluminum, and much more. Our two 75W Epilog Lasers offer a 36" x 24" work area, and our newest laser, the 75W Epilog Fusion can accommodate up to 40" x 28".
The laser can cut material, some up to .25" thick, but is mostly used for engraving on wood, acrylic, paper, cork, anodized aluminum, glass, leather, neoprene, and rubber. Our leather work can be seen in Thor, Avengers, After Earth, Ender's Game, Captain America Winter Soldier, Superman, Black Panther, Birds of Prey and several other movies.
Did you know we can help design and create unique labels for your business? The labels can be used for a multitude of applications featuring a crisp, clean burn, ultra-fine laser lettering, logos, and vector cut outs. Ask us for a color chart to start your next project!
Bending and Setting the Curve
Don’t you hate the runaround – having to go one place for something, and another for something else? Welcome to the “end of the runaround” in metal and steel bending. Advanced Waterjet performs all types of metal and steel bending. Our new 80-ton Amada Press Brake is capable of bending thicknesses up to .25" thick and 8' long.
Our press brakes can handle the simplest of jobs all the way up to large production runs requiring multiple steps. There are many critical parts in the brake machine, including unique brake dies and tooling that we have invested in to help you bend any design to meet your project requirements.