Archive: Jan 2024

What Is Waterjet Cutting?

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Waterjet cutting is a manufacturing process where highly pressurized water is fired through a ruby or diamond nozzle into a mixing chamber. The pressure makes a vacuum and pulls garnet sand into the stream, which is then shot at the object being cut. The sand particles wear down, or cut, the material. Waterjet cutting is used globally for a range of applications, allowing machinists everywhere to cut many different materials with precision.

At South Shore Manufacturing, we offer waterjet cutting services for the production of parts from prototype to high volume. Since 1985, we have specialized in precision machining and have the experience and knowledge to handle your most technical and challenging jobs. Continue reading to learn more about waterjet cutting and how it works.

What Is a Waterjet Cutter?

A water jet cutter is an industrial machine that fires a high-pressure stream of water to erode a narrow line within a piece of material. Depending on the material’s density and compound, a granular abrasive is added to the waterjet to increase the cutting power. Listed below are some of the main components of a standard waterjet cutter.

  • Waterjet Nozzle: The cutting nozzle uses a mixing chamber and a tube to allow for the abrasive to carefully mix in with the high-pressure water so that efficient cutting can take place.
  • Water Pump: The pump provides an extremely measured control of pressure to provide water for the cutting process.
  • Catcher Tank: The catcher tank eliminates the pressure from the abrasive jet after it has passed through the material being cut.
  • Controller: This allows you to control the position and motion of the nozzle to ensure precision cuts.
  • Table: The table is a sturdy, ruggedized platform made of mild steel that is built to last and can often be replaced if needed.

How Does Waterjet Cutting Work?

As previously mentioned, water jet cutting is a manufacturing process where highly pressurized water and garnet sand is fired at a material to create precision edges. This is known as an accelerated erosion process. By firing a stream of and highly pressured water, the water jet cutter erodes the material into a desired shape.

Machinists use an ultra-high pressure pump to pressurize water to levels generally above 40,000 psi, producing enough energy to cut the material. The water is then focused through a small stone to create a highly pressurized stream of water.

What Are the Benefits of Waterjet Cutting?

Water jet cutting provides manufacturers with versatility and flexibility that is unmatched. The variety of benefits linked to water jet cutting is what sets this technology apart from competitors like laser and saw cutting.

Edge Quality

Water jet cutting delivers unmatched edge quality due to factors like water speed, pressure, nozzle size, and abrasive flow rate. This often eliminates the need for secondary finishing, saving time, cost, and enhancing production efficiency.

Efficient & Cost Effective

Water jet cutting stands out as a cost-effective option because it’s a cold cutting process. Unlike hot cutting techniques that risk warping parts, waterjet’s cold cutting minimizes material waste. The process also enhances workshop efficiency by requiring minimal edge treatment or secondary finishing, allowing you to move on to the next project while others refine their edges.

Accurate Internal Cut-outs

With cutting accuracy ranging from ±0.1 to ±0.2mm, waterjet cutting excels in internal cutouts. The water jet cutting process effortlessly produces artwork, custom patterns, unique designs, and logos, offering businesses the capacity to enhance customer service.

No Heat Affected Zones

Manufacturers grappled with heat distortion and hardened edges before the advent of water jet cutting. Previous cutting methods, generating high heat, posed substantial issues for workshops. Heat zones within materials caused structural changes, resulting in problems like warping, inaccurate cuts, or weak points. Water jet cutting, with its cold cutting process, now offers a solution, eliminating these issues for workshops.

Choose South Shore Manufacturing For Precision Waterjet Cutting Services

If you’re looking for a manufacturing partner with precision water jet cutting capabilities, choose South Shore Manufacturing. For more information on our available water jet cutting services, contact us today and feel free to request a quote if you already know what you’re looking for.