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CNC Waterjet Cutting

CNC waterjet cutting produces shapes in sheet metals by using a high pressure, concentrated, stream of water that contains abrasives. It is very similar to the natural water erosion of materials in nature, just enhanced thousands of times. 2D shapes can be easily produced using a variety of material ranging from plastics to alloys. This unique process gives clear cuts, leaves no burring and reduces time spent on the cleaning up of edges and cut lines.

No heat is generated from the water jet so material never warps or gets heat damage, also no harmful or toxic fumes are produced when cutting plastics, as occurs with other methods of cutting. This is one main reason why the use of these machines has skyrocketed in the last two decades. A CNC waterjet cutting system can cut material from.001 of an inch all the way up to a few inches.

This method of cutting has wide spread popularity and is used in many different fields ranging from mining to the aerospace industry where it is effectively applied to the shaping, carving and cutting of numerous materials. The waterjet technology was originally discovered in the 50’s and used for the cutting of lumber for a short period of time. What we now of today, as CNC waterjet cutting, was not developed until the 70’s when someone discovered that the addition of abrasives to the jet increased the quality of the cut.

The CNC waterjet cutting nozzle is connected to a high-pressure pump that forces the water out of the nozzle end which cuts the material by spraying it with the waterjet and a mixture of garnet or aluminum oxide abrasives. Complex computer programs exist that can be uploaded to a CNC waterjet cutting machine and allow it to cut 3-D shapes. The fact that the nozzle system can be easily modified has allowed CNC waterjet cutting to become such an important part of many different industries working with varying materials.

Waterjet systems can range from between 40,000 and 100,000 pounds per square inch of cutting pressure. Recent advancement in this technology has developed into a 5-axis cutting system. This allows for the cutting head to make cuts from 55, 60 and even 90 degree angles. These machines are manufactures in countries all over the world. As more technological break troughs are discovered there is no doubt that the efficiency, work load and precision of waterjet cutting will become, if not already, a standard industry leader.