Water jet cutting hit the headlines recently as Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA) released a comprehensive global report on the technology. The report showed that the world market for plastic engineering is growing fast and is predicted to reach USD$1.15bn by the year 2020, driven mostly by a resurgence of manufacturing activity along with growing demand from end-users and advances in technology.
Four key advantages of water jet cutting are:
Cost Effective Solution
Water jet cutting will offer cost effective smaller production runs due to the limited labour time required on machine set up and the machine cutting speeds.
An End to Heat-Affected Zones
A Heat-Affected Zone (HAZ) occurs during plasma or laser cutting, where the heat involved can chemically alter the composition of the material being cut. As well as being undesirable from an aesthetic perspective, such alterations can also cause toxic substances to be released from certain materials. Water jet cutting creates almost no heat, meaning that HAZs are not a problem when working with materials such as stainless steel, acrylics and laminates and secondary machining can safely take place.
Removal of Mechanical Stress
The piece being cut is not subject to potentially-damaging side-pressures as, when undergoing a water jet cutting process, the liquid is forced downward, pinning down the piece. Clamping can be kept to a minimum to ensure no mechanical stress is placed on the piece being cut and thermal pressures are non-existent.
As well as reducing wastage of materials, water jet cutting is made further energy-efficient by utilising a closed system, meaning that a small amount of water can be repeatedly used. Final waste liquid requires only a single filtration before it can be safely drained away.Partwell Group use a state-of-the-art Twin-Head Water Jet Cutting Machine to process a wide range of sheet materials. Producing up to 60,000 psi of pressure, the machine cuts accurately and decisively from standard CAD files, producing precision components used across industry from kitchens and schools to hospitals and factories.