In metal fabrication, there are three main processes used for cutting plate metal. These options available to industrial clients are laser or torch cutting, bladed implement cutting, and pressurized water jet cutting. Of the three, water jet cutting has two advantages. The first is the capacity to cut intricate shapes the same as with a laser, and the second is no heat generation in the process. As a result, there is no heat affected zone (HAZ) and no damage inflicted upon the intrinsic properties of the substrate. Water jet cutting is also utilized to create metal sheets according to specific thicknesses for custom applications. Additionally, water jets can make precise cuts in a wide range of metals, as well as in softer materials such as wood, plastic or rubber.
Metals cut with a water jet can be moved immediately to the next stage in production, with no cooling time required. There is also no danger of defects occurring as a result of a sudden change in temperature. This is very important in any multi-stage processing operation in which the substrate is subjected to different fabrication methods. The use of water jets also eliminates the need for secondary processes between stages, such as heat treating, heat stress relief, or secondary machining.
Water jets fire a stream of very high pressure fluid at 60,000 PSI. Abrasive materials are added through an inlet in the spray nozzle. Here, these aluminum oxide or garnet powders are mixed in with the water as it leaves the nozzle, adding to the force applied to the surface of the substrate and performing the cutting action. Abrasive water jets are often used when the substrate is metal plate.
As with lasers or fine diamond cutters, precision Water Jet Cutting Kent WA industrial clients specify as part of their production order can follow a template down to the millimeter. Any design can be reproduced with total accuracy, particularly from a digital image or CAD file. This is useful not only for cutting precision dies but also for carving signs, logos and decorative fonts in metal plate or any soft material.
Specialty Metals has provided water jet cutting services for clients in the Kent, Seattle and Auburn metro areas for 36 years now. They also provide a wide range of metal fabrication work of all types. Visit website linked to the search page for “Water Jet Cutting Kent WA” today.
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