Get to Know Water Jet Cutting

June 7, 2019 9:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The water jet cutting process has become increasingly common in recent years, for a wide variety of reasons, to the point where many industrial businesses are transferring their cutting options over to water jet cutting services in Umatilla County, OR whenever possible. But what exactly does the process entail, and what makes it so enticing for companies that need industrial cutting work performed?

Here’s an overview of some of the things you should know about water jet cutting and the processes associated with it.

What is water jet cutting?

A water jet cutter is a type of tool used to slice metal or pretty much any other material using an extremely high-velocity and high-pressure jet of water mixed with an abrasive media. The process mimics natural water erosion, but is sped up and concentrated so it is nearly instantaneous. You’ll find the process used in manufacturing and fabrication of many different types of parts for machinery and various other applications and devices across a wide range of industries.

The water jet cutting process has existed since the 1950s, when early water jet cutters were developed to cut through lumber. The technology really started to take off in the 1970s, when some big advancements were made that are closer to the types of water jet cutters that exist in today’s industry. Today, you’ll find many types of water jet cutters on the market that are ideal for all different types of applications.

How does the process work?

The cutter used in the water jet cutting process gets connected to a pump capable of delivering water at very high pressures. Your local water main will not give you nearly enough water pressure to complete the process, so you need to generate that pressure yourself. When the water is ejected through the nozzle, it then cuts through the material, blasting it with a combination of high-speed water and other additives, such as grit, sand, garnet, aluminum oxide or various other types of abrasive materials that assist in the cutting process.

You can easily adjust the level of pressure, the speed of the water and the type of media used to assist in the cutting, which means you can also cut a very broad range of materials. You can cut something as thick and dense and tough as titanium, or something as soft and simple as pieces of fish. Ultimately, you’ll find very few materials you can’t cut effectively with the water jet cutting process.

The biggest benefit associated with the process is the ability to cut through materials without compromising their inherent structure. There’s no heat-affected zone with the cutting process, as there is with other types of cutting and sawing that build up a lot of friction, so there aren’t those extra side effects to worry about. The process is also more environmentally friendly than many other types of cutting, because it uses water.

For more information about water jet cutting and our water jet cutting services in Umatilla County, OR, contact the team at NW Metal Fabricators Inc. today.

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