Waterjet cutting is a cold cutting process which means there are no thermal effects on the material being cut. Simply put, heat is not used to cut the material. Waterjet cutting has been around since the mid-1800’s and originally it was used for hydraulic mining. Today the most common type of waterjet cutting is abrasive waterjet cutting (AWJ). This process was pioneered by Dr. Mohamed Hashish in the early 80’s. This new system of abrasive waterjet cutting opened a whole new realm of possibilities because it can cut almost any material and thicknesses of up to 20” in some cases. The process works by mixing a high-pressure stream of water with an abrasive that is mixed into the water stream.
Aerospace companies prefer that many of its structural components are cut using the waterjet process over the laser cutting process. The primary reason is that there is no heat affected zone (HAZ) resulting from the cutting operation. A heat affected zone (HAZ) can change the intrinsic properties of the material being cut. For example, cutting titanium with a hot process such as laser cutting will result in an Alpha Case layer. Alpha Case is a thick oxide film with a thin underlying oxygen enriched metallic layer. The case is hard and brittle and will result in stress fractures that can travel outside of the heat affected zone (HAZ). Therefore, many aerospace manufacturers prefer to use the waterjet cutting process. When waterjet cutting titanium materials, there will be no heat affected zone (HAZ).
Intelligent Cutting Solutions (ICS) is a waterjet cutter located in Central Connecticut. ICS provides waterjet cutting services in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. ICS uses state of the art Flow Waterjet machines. Dr. Mohamed Hashish works at Flow Waterjet and is responsible for the design of their latest equipment.To learn more about the benefits of waterjet cutting please visit https://icscuts.com/why-waterjet.