Waterjet cutting offers several benefits that make this a popular process for manufacturing many types of parts and components. Learn more about how this process works, including its various applications and advantages.

Waterjet Cutting Services Explained

Waterjet cutting is a type of manufacturing process that cuts through different types of materials using a high-pressure water stream. The water travels at a supersonic speed to precisely pierce the material, allowing for the formation of custom designs and shapes. Manufacturers often use this versatile service to create precision parts for machine components. Waterjet cutting is particularly ideal for applications using plastics and other sensitive materials that might otherwise sustain damage if heated.

The waterjet cutting process uses the high-pressure water stream to erode lines in the material. Abrasive material is added at the nozzle, so it is easy to switch between water-only cutting and abrasive waterjet cutting. As a result of this versatility, it’s possible to alternate between cutting softer, thinner items like 0.5” foam gaskets and harder, thicker items like 4” titanium brackets. 

Types of Waterjet Cutting Services

You may use one of three types of waterjet cutting services, depending on the application.

Pure Waterjet Cutting

Pure waterjet cutting equipment pressurizes water to 55,000 psi and works better on soft types of materials—like rubber, foam, and plastic—that are more vulnerable to damage from high temperatures, as this process doesn’t generate heat. 

Abrasive Waterjet Cutting

Some applications may also use abrasive waterjet cutting, which uses a combination of water and various abrasives to cut harder materials like stone, metal, and ceramic. Specific abrasives added include aluminum oxide or garnet. These abrasive materials are capable of penetrating as deep as 8″ into materials, making this process great for precision cutting and producing sharp edges.

Dynamic Waterjet Cutting

Dynamic waterjet cutting uses both pure and abrasive waterjet cutting to increase efficiency and reduce the number of passes needed to get the desired results. If speed and precision are critical requirements of an application, it’s often best to use dynamic waterjet cutting to reduce expenses and allow for faster results.

Advantages of Waterjet Cutting Services

Waterjet cutting offers numerous benefits that make it the right process for many applications where high-temperature laser or plasma cutting would damage the workpiece and dieless knife cutting leaves edges on your material that are undesirable for high-precision applications. These advantages include the following:

  • Compatibility with thicker materials: Unlike other cutting methods, waterjet cutting allows you to cut through many of the thickest and hardest materials used in industry. 
  • No heat: Another key benefit is the ability to cut without creating a heat-affected zone (HAZ) or generating thermal stress at any point while cutting.
  • Smooth edges: Waterjet cutting services offer superior precision that enables fabricators to create smoother edges, eliminating the need for secondary finishing processes.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Compared to other types of precision cutting services, waterjet cutting is more cost-effective. The reason for this is that waterjet cutting can pierce a wider variety of materials. In turn, it reduces the need for additional equipment and tooling modifications while minimizing waste.
  • Fast turnaround: The efficiency of waterjet cutting leads to faster turnarounds, leading to shorter lead times and faster production.
  • Complex shapes: Waterjet cutting’s precision and flexibility make it easy to cut complex shapes and designs, meaning you can get creative with this process.

Choosing MJ May Material Specialists for Your Waterjet Cutting Services

If you need dependable waterjet cutting services for your parts or components, MJ May Material Specialists Inc. is here for you. We have the experience and equipment needed to provide services that meet your unique specifications. We offer a combination of standard waterjet-cut products, but we can also custom-make products based on our customers’ drawings and required dimensions. 

To get started on a waterjet cutting project with us, request a quote today.