Water Jet Cutting is known for its versatility having established itself as the leading cutting technology.
However, just how versatile is it? What sort of cutting applications can it be used for?
Here we take a look.
Cutting through metals
This is one of the more obvious applications for water jet cutting.
Water jets can cut through metals, including alloys and metals coated in other materials (plastic for example) with ease.
In fact, water jets can even cut through stacked metals and metal to a depth of 25 centimetres.
And, as when cutting other materials, the fact that it is a cold cutting technology means there is no risk of damage to the cut part.
Glass is a material with an almost unmatched number of uses; one common factor is that water jets can do the cutting to shape.
Water jets are increasingly used to cut stained glass windows, their accuracy and ease of programming helping to turn the wonderful designs into beautiful reality.
But, water jets are also used to cut bullet proof glass!
In these two different uses for glass, water jet cutting’s versatility is perfectly encapsulated – it can cut a material as thick and as compacted as bullet proof glass, yet it can also cut something as delicate and exacting as stained glass.
Oh, inbetween these two, water jets are more commonly used to cut glass splashbacks, showerscreens and much more besides.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Not just a reference to a great film, water jets are commonly used to cut parts for all three of these.
At TMC we have cut parts for an F1 team and been involved in the restoration of a classic train.
And water jet cutting is commonly used by Boeing and other leading aviation manufacturers – after all, the jets can cut more accurately than other technologies, and without risk of damaging the cut part.
With all three, water jets are used to cut both body parts and engine components.
Next time you drive, take the train, or fly off on business or holiday, you will be using machines that rely heavily on water jet cutting; machines which are now made more cheaply and efficiently because key parts can be cut quickly and with 100% accuracy.
Did you know water jets are often used to cut and prepare food?
It makes sense when you think about it – the water jet is of course completely sterile, while the fact no heat is produced means the food is not harmed in any way.
Meat processing is a common use, especially frozen food, but water jet cutting is also used for vegetables and even in the production of cakes and biscuits.
Cakes and biscuits, we’re hungry now.
Circuit boards are a part commonly cut by water jets, indeed so competitive is the technology market on price that any company that doesn’t utilise water jet cutting is likely to find its products to be uncompetitive.
With the UK looking to re-establish a strong manufacturing base, with electronics to the fore, water jet cutting is only likely to grow in importance domestically.
Again, showing water jets’ versatility; while they can cut electronic circuit boards, they can also cut all textiles.
This can be clothing, potentially stacked in multiple layers to enable faster processing.
But textiles also means sports clothing and bags, plus feminine products, other health products and nappies. You perhaps hadn’t realised that when buying a bumper pack of nappies you were getting a product that had been cut to shape by a water jet (admittedly you probably didn’t give much thought to the nappy making process!)
And much more besides…
From paper, to foam packaging, to fibreglass and even to munitions; there is almost nothing a water jet cannot cut.
If you are considering water jet cutting for any job, or just need some free advice as to whether it is the technology for you, please get in touch with us on 01625 610 441 for some free advice.
At TMC we are a leading UK water jet cutter, leading the way in innovation (we were first subcontractor to introduce three dimensional, XD and dynamic XD cutting for example). Please have a look round the site and do give us a call.