What is Waterjet Cutting?
Waterjet cutting is a computer controlled cutting process by which plain water is pressurized to 55,000 psi and forced through a Diamond Jewel (usually .010” – .015” in diameter) and a .040” Cutting Nozzle. The result is a water stream that is moving at 1700 MPH and can cut through 13” of Stainless Steel. Waterjet cutting has a broad range of applications in industry.
What is Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting works by exciting a gaseous medium, commonly carbon dioxide, causing it to amplify light reflected back and forth multiple times within the laser chamber. The light emerges from an aperture and is focused by a lens onto a specific point. The resulting beam is about 1/5 of a millimeter wide.
What can AST cut with a Waterjet?
Virtually any material from Aluminum to Zinc can be cut with a Waterjet. This includes all types of metal, composites, wood, plastic, glass, rubber, stone, and all types of rubbler / VCT, stone flooring.
Can Precision Waterjet cut bulletproof and explosion proof materials?
Yes. AST’s Waterjet cutting tables are perfect for difficult to cut materials like carbon-fiber composites, kevlar, and other exotic materials.
Why use Waterjet Cutting?
The benefits of abrasive waterjet cutting extend beyond cost and precision. Some of the advantages you can expect from Waterjet cutting:
- Waterjet cutting costs less than other cutting / machining methods. By using a Waterjet to cut your materials, you can save money and keep from tying up your own resources.
- The quality of the cut achieved by a Waterjet virtually eliminates additional finishing. In most cases, the material will require no additional finishing. In other cases, secondary processes like CNC Machining, are greatly reduced.
- Waterjet cutting is faster than other methods, especially for materials that would otherwise require additional finishing.
- The Computer Controlled Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) process produces identical parts every time, and changes can be made quickly and easily with a few mouse clicks.
- The Raw Material remains in tact and can be nested with very little scrap.
- In many cases, material can be stacked to further decrease production costs.
Can I specify an edge finish?
Yes, there a five levels of finishes that are recognized in the industry. Quality 1 is the roughest and least expensive finish and Quality 5 is the premium surface that is the most expensive. AST Waterjet will quote most jobs using the Quality 4 surface edge.
What is abrasive?
It is usually a non-toxic natural substance called Garnet that is crushed to a fine powder. It is mixed into the high pressure stream and does the erosive work of cutting the material. Spent garnet is safely disposed of in a landfill.
Is garnet used in all Waterjet cutting?
No, softer materials such as rubber, foam and VCT flooring can be cut with high pressure water only.
What tolerance can a Waterjet hold?
This depends on the thickness of the material. Usually / – .005” for thinner materials and / – .010” for thicker materials with a repeatability of 0.001 inch over the entire work envelope.
Does the Waterjet use heat to cut material?
No heat is used in Waterjet cutting. This allows the parts to remain stable and maintain their strength.
What is taper?
Taper is the difference between the top profile of the cut and the bottom profile. This is controlled by the speed of the cutting. Higher accuracy requires slower cutting and vice versa.
When should I consider using a Laser Cutting Machine verses the Waterjet?
Laser Cutting works best with thinner materials that are not reflective. AST’s Laser will cut Aluminum that is ¼” and thinner; Stainless Steel that is 3/8” and thinner and Low Carbon Steel that is ¾” and thinner.
What costs less Laser Cutting or Waterjet Cutting?
It depends on what type of material you are cutting and how thick it is.
How long has AST Waterjet been in business?
AST Waterjet was started in 1993 and has been in continuous operation ever since.
Where is AST Waterjet located?
AST Waterjet is located at 1000 Avenue N, Grand Prairie, Texas, 75050. Our building is East of 360, South off Fountain Parkway at the corner of 111th Street and Avenue N. A map is available on our contact page.
Can AST Waterjet receive and process CAD files?
Yes. AST Waterjet uses an advanced CAD/CAM system to receive and interpret your digital datasets in most standard file formats. Click on the ?? button to send your files quickly and easily using our website.
What is the maximum material thickness that AST Waterjet can cut?
Our abrasive waterjet tables have cut materials up to 13″ thick. Our laser cutting machines has cut materials up to 1″ thick.
How large is the AST Waterjet facility?
AST Waterjet has approximately 12,000 square-feet at our facility in Grand Prairie, Texas.
How accurate is laser and waterjet cutting?
Our laser cutting machines can hold tolerances of / -.003″ with repeatability within /-.001″. Our abrasive waterjet machines can hold tolerances within / -.005″ with repeatability of / – .001”.
What is the sheet size capacity at AST Waterjet?
Our abrasive waterjet machines can handle material up to 144″ x 156″ and up to 13″ thick. Our laser cutting machines can handle material up to 60″ x 120″ and up to 1″ thick.
Is the staff at AST Waterjet available for consultation and design and assembly on my project?
Absolutely. Our courteous and knowledgeable staff is available to help you with all of your material cutting requirements. Please call us at (800) 532-0383 to schedule an appointment at your convenience.