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Waterjet Cutting

WHAT IS A WATERJET?

A waterjet utilizes a high pressure stream of water to erode a narrow line in the stock material. Because the abrasive is added at the nozzle, it is simple to switch between water only and abrasive waterjet cutting. This flexibility greatly enhances the versatility of a waterjet machine, as it can easily switch from cutting ½" (1.27cm) foam gaskets to 4" (10.16cm) titanium brackets.

The waterjet cutting machine system consists of three basic components:

 

1 - The Table

The table is an X-Y nozzle mechanism with garnet hopper attached and catcher tank below.

 

2 - The Pump

The high pressure pump provides pressurized water for the cutting process.

 

3 - The Controller

The controller uses software for system operation, motion control, and nozzle positioning.

What materials can a waterjet cut?

It's easier to answer what materials can't be cut with a waterjet. An abrasive waterjet can cut virtually anything, but we don't recommend cutting tempered. Waterjet can cut aluminum, brass, bronze, carbon fiber composite, ceramic, copper, fiberglass, glass, granite, Kevlar, marble, stainless steel, titanium, tungsten and a lot more. 

OMAX 55100

Maximum Table Cutting Size: 55” x 100”
Maximum Thickness: 8”
Accuracy: +/- 0.005” (varies based on material)

OMAX 80160

Maximum Table Cutting Size: 80” x 160”

Maximum Thickness: 8”

Accuracy: +/- 0.005” (varies based on material)

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What are the main advantages of abrasive waterjet cutting versus other machine cutting methods?

  • Abrasive waterjets can cut virtually any material, including glass and reflective materials, and a wide range of material thicknesses. 

  • Abrasive waterjet machining is a cold cutting process and creates no heat-affected zones (HAZ), therefore it doesn't change the material properties or leave heat-hardened edges.

  • Set-up for cutting jobs on abrasive waterjets is quick and easy.

  • Multiples of the same part can be cut at one time from different types of material simply by stacking the various sheets of material on the waterjet.

  • No harmful vapors are emitted with abrasive waterjet cutting.

  • A waterjet's cutting tool never gets dull.

Cut Qualities

Quality affects how quickly the abrasive jet head moves as it cuts a part. The slower it moves, the higher the cut quality. At the highest quality (a Quality of 5), the abrasive jet head moves its slowest. Qualities 1 through 5 use abrasive and water to pierce the material. Because the abrasive jet head is moving quickly, however, the surface finish obtained with a Quality of 1 is rougher than that obtained with a Quality of 5 (which is a smooth finish).

In most cases, setting the Quality is a compromise between getting the best surface finish in the least amount of time. 

Kutz Fabricating has two precision OMAX abrasive water jets, giving us the ability to cut a wide range of thicknesses and materials, including metal, wood, plastic, foam, glass and ceramics. We can provide cutting services for single prototype parts and high-volume orders. If your material can get wet, we can probably cut it.
Waterjet cutting is considered the best CNC cutting method because it does not generate heat that will distort the material like HD plasma or laser cutting. The high-pressure waterjet leaves a smooth, satin-like finish. There are no heat affected areas or structural changes in materials. Abrasive jets can also machine hardened metals and materials with low melting points. Sawing, gear cutting, punching, slitting, spline cutting are just a few of the wide range of conventional processes that can be performed.

 

Water jet cutting can be done from CAD drawings, DXF files and sketches.
 

 

Material In Stock Today

  • A-36 (Carbon Steel)

    • 10ga / 12ga / 14ga / 16ga / 18ga / 20ga

    • 0.25" / 0.375" / 0.5" / 0.75" / 1.0" / 1.5" / 2" / 3" / 4"​

  • A-240 304/L​

    • 10ga / 12ga 

    • 0.25" / 0.375" / 0.5" / 1.0" / 1.5" / 2" 

  • A-240 316

    • 10ga / 12ga 

    • 0.25" / 0.375" / 0.5" / 1.0" 

  • Inconel 600 / Hastelloy C-276 (Call for Stock)​

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Common Questions and Answers

How Long does it take if I order Waterjet Cutting?

-Typical lead times are 1-2 week after receipt of order.  We can offer RUSH options if you need a faster delivery.

 

Do I have to provide a drawing file?

- We can cut based on almost any input.  We can cut based off of sketches, verbal instructions or sample pieces.  We use both 2D and 3D CAD/Modeling software if you would like our team to prepare a drawing for your approval.

Can Kutz provide the material?

-Yes, we stock typical sheet and plate thicknesses of carbon steel and stainless steel.  If you are not sure what material you need we can help you by making recommendations.

Can you cut Pipe and Tube?

-Yes, we have developed special techniques that allow us to cut through pipe and tubing.  

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