Waterjet cutting compared to other technologies

Waterjet cutting technology can provide a solution to a range of industries and for all industrial raw materials, including metals, sponge, rubber, plastic, stone and synthetic materials (for further information read here). Alongside the numerous advantages of this solution, waterjet cutting provides several specific advantages compared to other cutting technologies, among them plasma, laser and EDM. These advantages are based on the prominent features of waterjet cutting, which are:

  • Cold cutting does not expose the raw materials to high temperatures.
  • Tolerance accuracy of ± 0.2 mm.
  • Fast and clean technology.
  • No toxic gas emissions, dangerous fumes, air pollution and smoke.
  • Maximum use of material owing to close nesting.
  • Hardly requires secondary finishing.
  • Can cut reflective materials and non-conductive materials.

Waterjet cutting compared to laser cutting

What is laser cutting? Laser cutting is based on the use of a high temperature laser beam in order to melt, burn and vaporize the raw material. The laser can be used alone or in combination with gas (carbon dioxide).

Advantages of waterjet cutting compared to laser cutting:

  • Suitable for virtually all raw materials, and compared to laser is not only intended for certain materials such as metals, stainless steel or aluminum.
  • Suitable for cutting reflective materials that cannot be cut using laser.
  • Cold cutting that does not heat the raw material and maintains its original properties.
  • Safe and environmentally friendly cutting that is not accompanied by the emission of toxic vapors and without the danger of fire.
  • Can cut non-uniform raw materials compared to laser that can only cut uniform materials.
  • Effective in cutting raw materials that do not have an even inner surface area, owing to cutting at water pressure of 6,500 bar (PSI 60,000).
  • Cutting with tolerance accuracy of ± 0.2 mm, above the maximum accuracy of laser cutting.
  • Ability to cut materials of different thicknesses, from 0.5 mm to 150 mm and above (compared to laser cutting that can cut a thickness of 10 mm at the most).

Waterjet cutting does not require supplementary finishing or finishing using other technologies. The cut edges are burned and cut such that they do not need additional processing.

Waterjet cutting  uses the same technology for all raw materials (compared to laser cutting in which the machine must be specifically setup differently depending on the raw material).

Waterjet cutting compared to plasma

What is plasma cutting? Plasma cutting is a process in which a flow of compressed air or an accelerated jet of gas, combined with an electrical current, is streamed on the surface of the raw material to be cut. The electrical current creates heat and a spark that melt and cut the material.

Advantages of waterjet cutting compared to plasma cutting:

  • Waterjet cutting cuts virtually every material compared to only a limited range of raw materials that can be cut with plasma, a technology intended mainly for metals.
  • Achieve accuracy without melted raw material scrap along the cut strip, which is characteristic of plasma cutting.
  • Waterjet cutting usually does not require secondary finishing (which may be needed in plasma cutting due to distortions and changes in the cutting area as a result of the use of a hot cutting technology).
  • Cut materials of different thicknesses, from 0.5 mm to 150 mm and above. This compared to plasma cutting with reduced accuracy at thicknesses of 50-75 mm (depending on the raw material).
  • The cutting process is similar with all raw materials, compared to plasma cutting which requires a different setup for different raw materials. .

Waterjet cutting compared to EDM cutting

What is EDM cutting? Electrical Discharge Machining cutting is based on electro-erosion cutting. This technology is only suitable for cutting conductive materials and is based on cutting using an electric current. In EDM the cutting is carried out by heating the designated area and its melting, which then causes its vaporization.

Advantages of waterjet cutting compared to EDM cutting:

  • Parts that can be manufactured with EDM at non-extreme tolerances can also be manufactured by waterjet cutting at a high speed and an excellent price.
  • Waterjet cutting is suitable for non-conductive materials such as glass, wood, plastic and ceramic. In other words, materials that cannot be cut at all using EDM.
  • Waterjet cutting is suitable for cutting non-uniform materials while EDM is a technology with reduced accuracy in working with this type of raw materials.
  • Waterjet cutting does not require an “entry hole” compared to EDM cutting.
  • The work surface for waterjet cutting is significantly larger than the EDM cutting work surface.
  • The ability to cut materials of different thicknesses, from 0.5 mm to 300 mm and above. This compared to EDM cutting that can cut raw material up to a maximum of about half this thickness.
  • In waterjet cutting the cutting technology is identical for all industrial raw materials, without a different setup needed for specific raw materials (compared to the setup required for EDM).