Eight Things Water Jets Should and Shouldn’t Be Used For

January 26, 2021 4:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When you’re getting ready to machine a project, you’ll need to do some research into the best ways to achieve your goals. Naturally, working with a reputable fabrication shop will give you a sounding board—but if you can narrow down your machining processes before you go to the shop, so much the better.

One popular machining tool is a water jet cutter. They can be useful and economical for a lot of purposes. High-powered streams of water can cut through materials like metal, glass and stone—but it’s not suitable for every project. Read on to learn more about the limitations of water jets in Umatilla County, OR.

Use water jets for these purposes

  • Metals: Water jets can cut through a number of different metals, including aluminum, brass, carbon steel, stainless steel, titanium, copper and tool steel. Water jets are able to provide a clean, smooth cut without excess burrs, burn marks or cracking. Because no heat is involved, you won’t need to worry about the metal structure changing.
  • Bulletproof glass: When even a bullet can’t permeate the glass, it can be harder to find the right machining process. Water jets are able to cleanly cut right through bulletproof glass to be custom fit for any project.
  • 3D parts: If you have a part that needs to be cut in all three dimensions, water jets can help. Many machining processes can only cut on one axis at a time, which takes too much time and increases the possibility of error. Water jets can cut on multiple axes all at once, without the need for an actual human to adjust the part.
  • Food: It sounds strange, but some culinary wizards are using water jets to cut food. Because water jets don’t generate heat, they’re able to cut food without affecting its flavor or structure.
  • Stone: Finally, water jets are adept at cutting stone, which makes them great for both practical and artistic purposes.

Don’t use water jets for these projects

  • Diamonds: Diamonds are not a water jet’s best friend—they’re too hard for water to cut.
  • Tempered glass: Tempered glass is designed to break in certain patterns upon impact, which means it’s unsuitable for water jet cutting.
  • Some ceramic: Although it’s possible to cut through metal and stone, some ceramic and tile are too hard and brittle for water jets to cut. If your project involves these materials, there’s probably a better way to machine the final product.

Although water jets are incredibly versatile, there are still some limitations and things water jets shouldn’t be used for in Umatilla County, OR. If you’re not sure whether your project qualifies, it’s best to talk to an expert. The team at NW Metal Fabricators Inc. would be happy to talk to you about how to get the results you want with the machining processes we offer.

Whether you’re planning to use water jets or other machining and fabrication services, NW Metal Fabricators Inc. can help. Reach out to us today to get started.

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