Water jet cutting plays a special role in the various cutting processes such as flame cutting, laser cutting or plasma cutting, as there is no heat input into the material to be cut.
A distinction is made between water jet cutting with pure water and abrasive cutting, where the addition of a powdered material allows the cutting of hard materials such as steel, stone, glass, etc.
While conventional cutting processes are based on thermal energy, in waterjet cutting it is the high pressure that provides the cutting power. In this process, microscopic particles close to the surface are separated, whereby the workpiece is not stretched or changed in its structure by a thermal input.
Typically, waterjet cutting uses pressures between 1000 and 4000 bar and outflow velocities of about 900 m/s. The pressure is generated by a special high-pressure pump and then fed to the cutting head via a corresponding piping system. A special, very fine nozzle with sapphire, ruby or diamond insert generates a sharply focused jet with high kinetic energy, which then provides the cutting power. In abrasive cutting, an abrasive is added to the water jet in a mixing chamber and introduced into the water jet by s of a focusing tube.
Pure water cutting is suitable for soft and tough materials such as plastic films, paper, fibrous materials, food, rubber and the like. Higher cutting speeds can be achieved than with abrasive cutting. This is especially suitable for hard materials such as metal, stone, plastics, glass, etc. There is almost no material that cannot be cut with waterjet. Cutting thicknesses of up to 230mm are possible.