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Lasers Sound Cool; Water Jets Are Practical

We know the deal.

Lasers have a cool image, whoever does the PR for lasers does a great job.

Lasers are in films, whether that’s as weapons or a force that might just save an asteroid headed to earth. Lasers are in music, including any stadium gig you ever go to and, we have to admit, they look impressive.

Lasers are also shows in their own right, they can be spectacular light shows to rival anything fireworks have to offer.

Water jets meanwhile have none of this profile.

When did you last see a water jet in a film? Have you ever seen water jets used at a concert, would you want to? We’re guessing you’ve never spent an evening watching a spectacular water jet show.

Water jets have none of the sexiness of lasers, however they are better at one thing. Cutting.

If you are looking for a stunning show for an 18th birthday, or if you’ve been tasked with stage direction for Coldplay’s world tour you’re going to want to call in a laser expert.

If you want something cutting, contact us.

For some reason, lasers are associated with powerful cutting. In reality, they lack the umph of a high-pressure water jet cutting nozzle.

The Numbers Are In

The stats don’t lie.

A laser can cut through up to 2.5 centimetres of materials such as plastics and metals. Water jets can cut through 10 times that depth, that’s 25 centimetres of almost any material.

A laser cut also introduces heat to the cut edge, which can mark the product being cut (these marks can often be polished out) but, more importantly, also weaken the edge.

A water jet doesn’t mark or cause any structural damage, the water jet works by simply eroding to create a cut, it is the same process as erosion of a cliff edge, only sped up so the cut takes minutes, not millennia.

A final key difference is a water jet’s ability to cut complex three-dimensional parts in one fluid motion. Modern water jet cutters use XD cutting technology, this is essentially a cutting nozzle that can tilt through multiple axes and so any complex 3-d cut can be done in one process.

This cuts cost  as there is no need for secondary cutting, cuts the time taken for the same reason and also reduces the risk of imperfections.

None of this is to be critical of lasers. For simple cutting jobs, a simple cut through a  thin material, lasers are suitable and provide competition for water jets. For anything else, it has to be water jets.

If you’re looking to put on a spectacular light show or are producing the next Ed Sheeran video, google laser suppliers.

If you have a part that needs cutting, please get in touch with us at TMC to discuss your job – we are a leading UK water jet cutter with huge experience in our industry.