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Water Jet Cutting Myths

Efficient, cost-effective, repeatable, reliant and accurate – there is much to love about water jet cutting.

However, other forms of cutting do exist, these including machine cutting (using force) and also laser cutting.

At TMC Waterjet we don’t for one minute imagine there is a conspiracy from those using other technologies to play down the importance of water jet technology, but we are always somewhat baffled by a few of the concerns people have raised (typically on social media!)

In this post, we look to answer some of the myths which have been seen out there in the twitterspehere.

Water Jet Cutting is Noisy

This myth is somewhat subjective. Water jet cutting is not silent, nor would we claim it to be so.

wanter jet cutting in action

What then matters is whether the degree of noise is a problem.

It is worth noting that there is no set noise level, the noise produced will depend on a number of factors – the water pressure, the distance to the cut part, the material and depth of the part to be cut and more still.
The set-up and level of technology will also impact the noise produced – leading water jet cutters with fully optimised working practices are better able to reduce noise than a more amateurish set-up could manage.

However, any noise produced by professional water jet cutters still falls easily into the manageable category. Operators may at times use ear protection, but this is not to imply that the noise is dangerously loud, ear protection is common across multiple industries.

The ear protection is simply part of a duty of care that any industry follows, it turns what might be a loud, but not damaging noise, into one that is much quieter, enabling the operator to do their job in a calm setting.

When we see the ear protection mentioned as a negative, the framing seems to be to suggest that the noise level is dangerous. This is categorically false.

Water Jet Cutting Lacks Accuracy

This is a wholly false claim when we are talking about professional water jet cutters.

Modern machines can cut complex three-dimensional parts with complete accuracy, following computer-generated plans.

For errors to occur, either the plans must lack accuracy (hardly the fault of the cutting technology) or the cutting head must be suboptimal.

Low-quality cutting is therefore possible if the machine is set-up badly, or outdated technology in poor repair is used. However, this is no more useful than saying an old, poorly maintained car might not run well.

Cut parts from leading suppliers are highly accurate, this is perhaps best shown by the industries who have embraced water jet cutting. It is a technology that cuts parts for computer equipment as well as parts with critical safety implications, such as crucial parts for planes and cars.

Laser cutting advocates might point out that a laser can have a finer cutting head – this is true, but lasers also produce heat that damages the cut part. Water jets have a cutting head diameter that is fractionally larger, but there is no damage made to the cut part. Structural integrity is maintained.

Water Jet Cutting is Limited

We did have to chuckle when we saw this one.

If you want diamond cutting, then water jet cutting will struggle. And that’s about it – water jet cutting can cut through virtually any substance to a depth of at least 25cm.

If water jet cutting is limited then only in a way that limits every other form of cutting technology. Laser, by way of contrast, can typically only cut to one-tenth the depth.

Water Jet Cutting is Slow

This concern seems to arise from a fundamental failure to understand the progress made within water jet cutting.

A machine from the 1970s would struggle to quickly cut metal, it might even fail to do so. That said, a computer from the 1970s would struggle to play Tetris so it’s a given that tech advances and quickly improves.

Modern water jet cutting can cut complex parts quickly, it can also cut in one process, this through an ability to cut in multiple dimensions.

Often, water jet cutting is the quickest means of cutting any part so certainly not slow by way of any fair comparison. It might seem fairly slow if you stood there watching it cut a huge chunk of metal, but so would any option.

Water jet cutting might not be Amazon, we might not offer same day delivery, but speed will not negatively impact delivery times compared to any technology.

Work with the UK’s leading Water Jet Cutters

At TMC, we are a water jet cutter who serve the whole of the UK and increasingly Europe too, with clients across the content trusting us to work on their projects.

Despite our success, we remain a company that focusses on every client and work on projects of all sizes. If you think water jet cutting might be of use for your project, please do get in touch for an obligation-free chat.

Call us on 01625 610 441 or use our Contact Form.