Waterjet cutting with pure water or abrasive
With waterjet cutting, soft materials are normally cut with pure water, while harder materials are processed with a mixture of water and abrasive.
Waterjet cutting with pure water
This method is primarily used for soft materials such as plastics, textiles, paper, sealing materials, metal foils, plywood, food, etc. Normal tap water is pressurised and forced through a small precious stone orifice, so that a highly powerful cutting jet is produced. This jet exits the orifice at a speed of up to three times that of sound and can be used to cut materials at high cutting speeds (determined by the properties of the material).
Abrasive cutting methods are used for hard materials such as metal, glass, minerals, concrete, glass composites, ceramics, aluminium or silicone oxide. In other words, abrasive is added where pure water is unable to cut the material properly. In the abrasive cutting process, abrasive (consisting of fine particles) is added to the waterjet. In the cutting head, water, air and abrasive are mixed together and forced through the focussing tube at high speed. The resulting high-energy jet is capable of micro-eroding, i.e. drilling and cutting, materials of great thicknesses and of the most diverse consistencies, such as metals, ceramics, rock and even bullet-proof glass.