Water jet cutting is an example of what’s referred to as “cold cutting” processes, because it does not require the material being cut to be subjected to extra heat. In fact, because it only uses high-pressure water and abrasives in the cutting process, water jet cutting in San Francisco, CA generates almost no heat at all, even when taking friction into account.
It’s no surprise, then, that this is one of the most rapidly growing methods of machining in the United States and on a global scale. But does its increasing popularity also reflect it being a better method of machining certain materials than other, more familiar forms of machining, such as using plasma and lasers?
Plasma cutting and laser cutting certainly have benefits of their own, but there are a wide variety of reasons why cold cutting methods such as water jet cutting have the edge. Here are just a few examples of some of those advantages.
The cutting process is significantly faster
Because cold cutting uses high-pressure water jets, it is actually able to occur faster than plasma cutting in the vast majority of situations. This process also results in less overall production time, because there is not any need to brace or clamp the materials while you’re setting them up. You’ll also cut down on the amount of time the project takes because you won’t have to wait for the materials you’re cutting to cool down before you proceed to the next phase of production.
It’s much more precise
Cold cutting offers more precision than other types of cutting processes, especially plasma cutting. You’re dealing with a much smaller area in which the pressurized water flows versus where the plasma cuts, which gives you more control over the cuts and greater accuracy and precision of those cuts. This allows you to make more detailed cuts for interesting geometric designs or other types of intricate shapes.
You don’t have to worry about a heat-affected zone
A heat-affected zone (HAZ) is an area in which the material being cut is affected by the plasma cutter’s heat. The higher the heat, the more likely there will be some sort of negative effect on the material. HAZ surfaces can be burned, melted or otherwise damaged. This is not an issue at all with cold cutting practices such as water jet cutting, because there isn’t any additional heat used in the process.
You have more material versatility
Because there isn’t any extra heat used in the process, you’re able to cut a much wider variety of materials than you would with plasma cutters. Plasma cutting is only an option for materials that are capable of handling extreme heat, while cold cutting can be used for many different types of materials that would otherwise be ruined in the heat.
For more information about the differences between cold cutting and plasma cutting and which is the best choice for your application, contact Mach 1 Waterjet, Inc. about water jet cutting in San Francisco, CA.