Rapid Waterjet Design’s state-of-the-art precision water jet cutting systems are ideal for cutting a wide variety of materials, without adversely impacting their structural integrity. Waste material is also minimized through this high precision cutting process.
Materials ideal for water jet cutting include:
- Aluminum - Aluminum is a relatively soft metal and is easily machined using a waterjet. Generally speaking, it machines at about twice the speed as mild steel. Aluminum is difficult to machine on a laser in thicknesses over 1/4".
- Copper - Machining copper can be challenging, but abrasive water jet systems make cutting copper easy. Copper is impossible to cut on a laser due to reflection. It is also difficult to machine conventionally, because it tends to gum up conventional cutting tools. Abrasive waterjets are the clear choice for copper.
- Hardened Tool Steel - Particularly once it's hardened, tool steel is difficult to conventionally machine, but is easy to machine on an abrasive water jet system. Laser and wire EDM will affect the heat treatment of the material or cause thermal distortion, but the abrasive waterjet process will not affect the heat treat or cause distortion in any way.
- Stainless Steel - Stainless steel machines easily with the OMAX® waterjet without heat or distortion. All grades of stainless steel machine easily on the OMAX, even those such as 304 that are difficult to machine with other processes. No Heat Affected Zone (HAZ). Specifically In the food industry, there cannot be any HAZ areas in stainless steel.
- Steel - One advantage of the OMAX waterjet is that you can cut steel after it has been hardened with minimal slow-down of cutting (see Hardened Tool Steel). The lack of heat affected zone from the abrasive waterjet means that you don't change the heat treatment of the steel as you cut it. The OMAX waterjet also produces a smooth cut on the edge without burn marks, cracking, excess burr, or other problems typically associated with heat-based cutting. RWD can currently cut up to 9” thick steel.
- Glass - Glass is a unique substance that traditionally has been difficult to machine. Although it has a great deal of structural strength, even small scratches on the surface can lead to breaking and shearing. In fact, the traditional method of "cutting" glass involves making a small scratch on the surface with a diamond file and then applying pressure until it breaks along the scratch. Abrasive waterjet approaches this problem by treating glass as a brittle substance. The material is pierced at low pressure, and automatically switches to high-pressure mode to continue the tool path. The speed of the tool path is also adjusted to avoid problems that are associated with brittle materials.
- Wood - Because wood is very soft compared to metals, the abrasive waterjet machines it very quickly.
- Composites - Composites are similar to fiberglass and consist of layers of material. Abrasive waterjets can machine composites without leaving a burr or shredding the layers of material while maintaining a better edge quality.
- Granite and Marble
- Circuit Boards
- Plastic - The ability to cut Acrylic, Acetal, Nylon, Teflon, Polycarbonate, PVC or UHMW at thickness from .015 to 6” give the abrasive waterjet a preferred choice for cutting various plastics.