When Is the Best Time to Use Waterjet Cutting and Laser Cutting?

Metal fabricators in the modern era face many specific challenges, including the need to retain flexibility while controlling costs on new projects. It’s a good thing that we have a wide array of available equipment to use. However, it can be tricky to keep oneself updated on every single system innovation and how it can help meet current and potential operational needs.

laser cutting machine

As the world of computing technology continues on its path of further advancement, that will bring along an array of solutions to a single problem within a project; the challenge presented here is how to completely fathom those solutions, their relevance, and their distinct advantages to remaining competitive.

Do you know the most appropriate time to use waterjet cutting and when to put aside laser cutting? Carry on reading the rest of this content to know more about the seeming differences between these two most preferred material cutting/slicing methods. 

Waterjet Cutting Does Not Produce Heat

No heat is applied to the material when the water jet cutter does its job (slicing/cutting through). This makes the cutting time take longer to finish than traditional systems we know.

No amount of heat is produced anywhere in the process with a waterjet system. Since it is not known to cause deformity, melting, or warping of the material, this process of metal cutting quickly became the metal of choice for the aerospace industry

This method can be done entirely using waterjet without removing the defective material. Finally, this is most beneficial in terms of reducing both human labor and the creation of a good product

With water jet cutting, you don’t need to deal with grinding or sanding in the corners. You don’t need to worry about clean up any drips. It reduces costs, which helps reduce the prototype cost of water jet cutters and allows high-volume production manufacturing.

Laser Cutting Creates Lesser Amount of Waste

Laser cutting creates fewer cleanliness problems. It may produce, though, a small amount of waste in the form of dust. However, they can be quickly cleared up by virtue of a filtering process. Also, they can be vacuumed up instead. 

In the case of a waterjet process, it will likely necessitate much greater cleaning work due to the involvement of used abrasives. With a high level of toxicity, abrasive wastes can be a major project cost factor to fabricating companies. 

industrial plasma

Waterjet Cutting Isn’t as Accurate as a Laser System

To remain competitive in today’s industry, there is an absolute need for a high standard of precision. There are two primary methods to fabricate high-precision parts: laser and waterjet machining. 

Waterjet machining is powerful enough to cut through a large variety of materials, without any of them being too hot. If you need to cut through plastic, metal, glass, stone, or wood with waterjets, it can deliver precise cuts. 

In contrast, metalworking lasers are capable of working on around 1/4-in. thick for thick metal and low deposition rates for pieces that are thin. Additional advantages of laser cutting? This would include them being affordable or easy on the budget, uses less time and materials, and does not require further help. 

Water jet cutting comes with a greater margin of error when compared to laser cutting. Thin sections must be treated with extreme caution due to the force used. Yet, they are considered in the fabricating industry as complementary techniques.