WATER JET CUTTING SERVICE
WATER JET CUTTING
When it comes to creating complex and intricate parts from a variety of different materials and thicknesses, no other process can match water jet cutting.
From producing critical parts for manufacturers to custom exterior and interior signage, organizations from all industries turn to water jet cutting for fine detail, clean edges, and less waste. Wolverine Machine is equipped to handle all of your water jet cutting needs, from small runs of just a few parts to high-volume mass production. We have two of the largest water jet cutting tables in the Midwest and some of the most skilled operators and technicians in the industry.
SEE THE WATER JET IN ACTION
Benefits of Water Jet Cutting
We’re an ISO/TS 16949 Certified, one stop shop for not only water jet cutting, but many other secondary operations including CNC milling and turning, multiple spindle bar machine products, secondary drilling, turning, and assembly. Unlike many other machine shops, we can deliver finished products saving you time and money.
Our skilled and knowledgeable staff will help you plan your project from beginning to end whether it’s a one-time run like a prototype or sign, or thousands of mission-critical parts to be delivered on an on-going basis.
What is Water Jet Cutting?
Water jet cutting is the process of cutting material using a jet of water at high pressure and velocity. The water, often mixed with an abrasive, is forced through a nozzle on one of the machine’s cutting heads and penetrates through the material positioned on the machine’s large cutting table. The shape of the piece, the speed at which it is processed, and the number of parts produced, are all computer controlled giving the operator precise control over the cutting process. The process starts with the customer’s design specifications. A technician programs the specifications into the water jet cutting machine’s software. The software not only allows the technician to control variables such as pressure and speed, it also determines where parts will be cut from the material to minimize waste. This process, called nesting, positions parts as closely as possible to maximize the number of parts that can be cut from a single piece of material.
Once the water jet cutting machine is ready to process the part, material is loaded onto its cutting platform. There, a high-pressure pump supplies water to one or more of the water jet’s cutting heads and the pre-programmed cutting path is executed. If needed, an abrasive, such as garnet, is introduced to the water before it is ejected from the cutting head’s nozzles. Abrasives help the water cut through harder materials such as metal or stone. The water or water/abrasive mixture is discharged from the nozzles at ultra-high pressure (30,000 – 90,000 psi) and speed (2200 mph) which penetrates the material below. The powerful stream of water continues to slice through the material as the cutting heads move to create the preprogrammed shapes.
Why Water Jet Cutting?
Intricate shapes and fine details are where water jet cutting excels. With a few adjustments, the width of the cut can easily be made wider or narrower depending on the part’s specifications. Abrasive cuts (for materials requiring the use of an abrasive) can be as wide as 0.05” and as narrow as 0.02.” Non-abrasive cuts (for materials that do not require the use of an abrasive) are typically 0.007” in width. The ability to make such narrow cuts enables water jet cutting machines to cut extremely fine details for a wide variety of applications.
The breadth and thickness of materials that can be cut using the water jet cutting process give it a distinct advantage over other processes such as laser cutting and traditional machining. Rubber, foam, plastics, composites, tile, marble, granite, safety and armored glass, and metals (including brass, copper, bronze, brass and stainless steel) can all easily be cut to exact specifications. And because water jet cutting machines use water to mimic a natural erosion process as opposed to heat, like lasers or plasma cutters, materials maintain their original intrinsic properties and exhibit no “heat-affected zones.”
Water jet cutting is becoming the preferred process for organizations requiring precision cutting of complex parts and components. Manufacturers from all industries including aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, defense, green energy, retail, and many others turn to water jet cutting over laser cutters, plasma cutters, and other processes for its unmatched flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency.