Over the years waterjet cutting has proven to be one of the most efficient cutting tools on the market. However, there are still a few myths out there about the process, and we decided to set the record straight. In this post, we will tackle the 5 most common myths about waterjet cutting and shed some light on how ICS utilizes this technology to provide industry professionals the services they need.
#1. Waterjet cutting can only handle flat projects
MYTH: In the early stages of the technology's development, it was used solely on flat sheets. However, throughout the years this has changed with the advancements of the waterjet technology, and the improvements in CAD integration. Today waterjets can precisely cut complex 3d shapes and some machines even have 5-axis cutting capabilities.
#2. Waterjet cutting is too expensive
MYTH: Many new customers assume that our waterjet cutting services come with a heftier price tag than other processes such as laser, while this may be true some of the time, it’s certainly not always. The pricing of each project varies depending on complexity, materials, and thickness. So, some projects may work out to be less expensive when utilizing laser cutting and others may be more inexpensive when completed by a waterjet cutting machine.
Secondly, while an option such as laser cutting may be cheaper at first glance, the heating of the material during the process usually ruins any tempering or heat treatments previously done. This makes it critical to spend more time and money on having secondary heat treatments done to restore the material's strength. Waterjet cutting, on the other hand, is a cold cutting process, meaning it maintains its original strength throughout the cutting process. Waterjet cutting also eliminates the need for finishing services, such as heavy deburring or slag removal, after the cuts are complete.
Lastly, waterjet cutting reduces kerf. This means that by implementing this cutting process you can save money on waste disposal, and allows you to maximize material utilization.
#3. The process isn’t detailed enough for finished products
MYTH: Waterjet cutting is actually extremely precise. waterjet machines deliver an extremely narrow stream of water, making it the perfect process for intricate designs with tight tolerances. These machines also produce high-quality edges, this helps reduce the need to complete finishing processes such as polishing or grinding.
#4. All cuts made by a waterjet look the same
MYTH: Not all cuts are created equal! If you’ve seen a rough cut as a result of waterjet cutting it is likely that the cut was done on a thicker, harder material; very quickly. Two factors determine the quality of the edge after waterjet cutting occurs. The first is the material and its thickness; harder, thicker materials will have a rougher edge than a thin, lightweight material. The second factor is the speed the machine is programmed to operate at. The faster the waterjet machine cuts the rougher the edge quality is. A piece that is cut at the fastest speed (80% finish) will often have striations but a piece that is cut at the slowest speed (20% finish) will be very high quality and have a smooth finish.
#5. Waterjet cutting is only for the aerospace industry
MYTH: Waterjet cutting is exceptionally versatile and can be utilized in almost every industry. While a lot of our work does come from the aerospace & aviation industry, we also serve the medical, defense, automotive, and architectural industries. In the architecture industry, this process is preferred because of the machine's capability to cut thicker material in irregular shapes. In the Automotive Industry, the process has an advantage because it can cut both interior and exterior components. Every industry has different advantages for utilizing this process.
While waterjet Cutting may not have been around the longest, it certainly is a great contender for your next project. Whether you have a large-scale project or something small and intricate, waterjet cutting can provide you with the high-quality cuts you are looking for. To learn more about our services and the process head over to our website.