How accurate is waterjet cutting?

Image of waterjet nozzle cutting metalImage of waterjet nozzle cutting metal

If you have ever wondered what Waterjet cutting actually is, what it involves and the range of machines that are available, then as always, Selmach are on hand to answer your questions and provide help and advice.

A common question which we’ve heard a lot to date revolves around the accuracy of the process, and to answer that question in detail, we need to know the basics about how waterjet cutters work.

Waterjet cutting is exactly that; the cold cutting process uses a specialised device or tool to cut with a high velocity, ultra high pressure jet of water, which is often combined with an abrasive mineral substance depending on the materials you might be working with. As far as what materials can be cut with waterjets, well generally if you can think of it, the waterjet method can cut it; metals, stone, plastic, composites and wood are all fair game and easily cut, few materials are actually unsuitable. Making waterjet cutting highly adaptable, but is the process accurate?

In a word; yes, impressively accurate in fact. Waterjet cutting is high precision work with very tight tolerances that other forms of cutting might struggle to match. The waterjet method can cut materials of up to 10inches in thickness and, due to the cold cutting nature of water; if you are working with heat sensitive materials, it is an ideal choice.

Waterjet cutting allows for uniform, burr free edges, and complicated designs. Another big bonus is that, generally whatever the product or material you are working with, the same tool can be used for nearly all jobs, removing the need to change tools regularly.

Waterjet cutting is a process which requires minimal interaction once the initial programming has been done and most machines are compatible with PC’s and CAD files. However the noise levels from the process can be high, meaning that ear defenders and PPE in general are a big deal. The system also produces quite high levels of cutting waste, compared to laser and plasma cutting.

Generally, waterjet cutting is an impressively accurate method for cutting a wide variety of materials and components and once set up, can quickly produce small or large batches for even the most complicated projects across a range of industries.

With programming software on a PC or onboard the machine’s own system, specialist design knowledge and experience is important to import the files you need, add stop and start locations, travel speeds and directions etc. But certainly as far as accuracy goes, waterject sits at the pinnacle.

For more information on our range of waterjet cutters and for any other enquiries get in touch today.


Published 24th July 2018