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what is a water jet cutter

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What is a water jet cutter?
29th January 2021

A water jet cutter, also known as a water jet cutting machine, uses an ultra-high-pressure stream of water to cut different materials without thermal stress. These incredibly powerful and precise machines can be used (sometimes with abrasives) to cut ceramics, metal, stone, concrete, composites, wood, plastics and paper — with excellent edge quality. The jets do not create a HEZ (Heat Affected Zone), meaning this method is incredibly versatile and ideal for cutting foods and heat-sensitive materials.

 

How does it work?

Water jet cutters can slice through solid materials with ease because the stream is coherent and channelled through a narrow-jewelled nozzle at very high pressure. As is the case with modern laser cutting machines, everything is controlled in the software, meaning there is less ‘trial and error’ required for operators when switching to a water jet cutter — as many of the same principles apply. Sand can be added to deliver an abrasive effect, which is essential for the waterjet to cut certain types of hard materials like metal and stone.

 

Why are water jet cutters becoming more popular?

  • A clean cut with no distortion or heat affected zones (HEZ).
  • Ideal for cutting through materials which react unfavourably to heat.
  • Reflective materials can be cut too, which is not always possible with a laser cutter.
  • Capable of cutting thick materials like marble and granite.
  • A more accurate and affordable method than other cutting processes.
  • No need to change tools for each project — simply adjust the feed rate.

 

Can you cut intricate designs?

Cutting accuracy varies depending on the machine, so it’s crucial to look carefully at each model’s specification. For example, our AquaCut is a high-precision machine with a positioning accuracy of ± 0,025 mm (according to DIN 28 206). With such precision, it’s possible to cut very intricate designs that demand high tolerances. The AquaCut is also one of the most versatile machines available. It can be supplied with a 5-axis waterjet rotator or combined with plasma, pipe and profile cutting or tapping.

With guaranteed high cutting quality, you’re less likely to require any kind of laborious finishing process. This level of precision and quality accelerates the complete cutting process, which in turn improves overall efficiency. You also don’t have to worry about hazardous waste because there are no damaging fumes or gases. With the right water jet cutter, you can improve your environmentally friendly processes and keep your workers safe!

 

Speak to CTR Lasers

Whether you’re looking to cut through metals, stone, marble, armoured glass, ceramics, plastics, wood or other materials consisting of more than one layer, we can help you identify the right water jet cutting machine for your needs. You can learn more about our AquaCut water jet cutters here, but please do not hesitate to send us a message or call our friendly team today if you need any further assistance.

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