Water-Jet Cutting

When the part calls for fine, intricate cuts with no room for error, water-jet cutting is just the tool for the job. It’s often the go to for industries that demand lower tolerances and high precision for optimal performance, especially aerospace. As we design the production process for your custom converter, the following will outline when water jet cutting might play a role.

What is water-jet cutting?

Water-jet cutting delivers a narrow, pressurized stream of water to cut the shape from the material. An abrasive material is sometimes added to the water solution, especially when working with thick, heat-resistant foams or harder materials.

Why water-jet cutting, and when is it the best option?

In a nutshell, water-jet cutting is the best method when the job requires clean, precise edges or the master material is thick and dense.
  • Water-jet cutting uses computer assisted design (CAD) software to guide the water jet. For that reason, water-jet cutting is highly repeatable in production, letting us achieve consistent results.
  • When it comes time for rapid prototyping, water-jet cutting is one of the top cutting methods. Because it’s computer assisted manufacturing, if you have CAD design files at the ready, you can send them over and ABLE can produce a prototype in 48 hours.
  • Water-jet cutting can slice through just about any material, especially those that are difficult to cut, such as thicker foams, as well as heat-resistant materials, like silicone.
  • The precision of water-jet cutting makes it ideal for carving intricate designs, cutouts and small parts from sheet material.

Water-jet vs. laser cutting

Unlike laser cutting, water-jet cutting is a cold process. It does not produce or transfer any heat to the material. Unlike laser cutting, water-jet cuts leave behind no heat-affected zone or other physical changes in the material that can affect performance. This is why water-jet cutting is the go-to in aerospace applications where products must meet rigorous quality standards.

Is water-jet cutting right for your material?