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  • What can a Waterjet be Used For?

    From mass producing parts out of sheet metal to carving intricate 3D designs in marble, the waterjet has endless applications, making it the most versatile cutting system in the manufacturing industry today.

    The introduction of 5-axis cutting heads triggered massive growth in waterjet cutting. No longer confined to cutting out flat objects, waterjets are now able to produce continuous bevels, revolve around the work piece, and cut at angles from 0-90 degrees.

    The functions of a waterjet all depend on customer needs. New waterjets are able to be custom-built to desired specs, creating a tailored experience for the buyer. Existing waterjets can be outfitted with a variety of different accessories that enable them to perform a wide variety of tasks. Whatever the manufacturing job at hand, a waterjet can be developed to cater to that specific demand.


  • What Are the Advantages of Using a Waterjet?

    One of the major benefits of using a waterjet cutting system over a laser or plasma cutter is that there is no heat generated during use. This completely eliminates the creation of any heat-affected zones (HAZ) that could possibly burn or warp the material being cut. The use of water as a cutting tool also prevents the formation of potentially toxic fumes, and any dust or kerf that is created is safely deposited into the tank of the waterjet instead of the atmosphere or the lungs of the operator.

    Waterjets operate using an accelerated erosion process that quickly wears away the work piece. This process leaves behind a naturally smooth edge, with little to no burr or chipping of the material. Thus, the need for finishing, which can be both costly and time-consuming, is eliminated.

    Laser cutters struggle to cut reflective materials and plasma cutters can only cut through conductive metals. Both have issues cutting through materials thicker than 6”, which severely limits their applications. Waterjets have no problem cutting through reflective or non-conductive materials, and given enough time can cut through massive sheets of metal up to 12” thick.

    The accuracy of a cut plays a huge part in the final quality of any fabricated part. Waterjets can reach tolerances as tight as +/- 0.003” and a repeatability of +/- 0.001” per axis. This level of accuracy ensures precise cuts while maintaining consistency over the course of a job.


  • How Fast can a Waterjet Cut?

    The composition of the work piece will determine how fast a waterjet will cut. Materials that can be cut with a water-only system can usually be cut quicker than thick materials that require an abrasive. Depending on type of cut desired, the waterjet can be sped up or slowed down. A slower cut will result in a cleaner edge and more consistent kerf (see figure 1), whereas a faster cut can be used if edge quality is not a concern, like that of a separation cut.

    Jog speed of the cutting head can have an effect on total cut time. Quick positioning between cuts equates to increased production and a lower cost-per-part.

    Several cutting heads can be used in unison to increase production. These heads can be controlled independently of one another which can allow them to cut multiple and unique work pieces at once.

    Using strategies like common line cutting and stacking material can be used in order to reduce cut time and increase efficiency of the machine.

    Lastly, you can automate many aspects of waterjet cutting by using loading systems like shuttle tables that allow for the loading and unloading of cutting material while the waterjet is still in operation. Automating loading effectively increases production while decreasing lead times and labor rates.


  • Where Can I Learn More?

    Still need more information or have a question that isn't posted here? Give us a call at 1-519.570.6593 or drop us an email at info@waterjet.ca , and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

    You can also find detailed specs and product information at www.waterjet.ca 


Have a waterjet question that isn't listed above?  Please email it to us and we'll gladly get it posted.