Water jet cutting and laser jet cutting are two of the most well known and widely used material cutting methods. With respect to the material in question and the result, you desire to have, one of them is going to be highly appropriate for a given application. Paramount to optimizing the benefits these two material cutting methods can bring lies on how profound we understand their fundamental differences, most especially in terms of the processes involved and the materials they are known to work well with.
Water Jet Cutting Machine
Unlike laser cutters, waterjet cutter machines utilize pressurized water to cut through any given material. In order to further intensify its cutting power, abrasive materials like aluminum oxide and garnets can be added to the pressurized water.
The working idea behind waterjet cutter was inspired by the erosion of soil in nature, just that it is done with so much more intensity and at a higher concentration and speeds. Imagine, an extremely powerful, high-pressure water pump forcing water through rigid hoses. This will result in a strong jet of water. For water jet, It is typical for them to produce an impressive output of 4 to 7 kilowatts of power. The water jet is unlike laser cutters. The source or point of origin of the laser is coming inside the machine itself, the pump and the work area are not together but separate.
Applications and Materials
Water jets are capable of cutting through almost every imaginable material there is, including a combination of 2 or more materials. Even though this method can cut through a wide spectrum of materials, delamination is one of its possible downsides. It can also handle your needs for 3D material cutting. Additionally, the cutting of materials that gives you limited access to the target area is possible but presents great challenge or difficulty.
Water jet technology allows you to carry out structuring, cutting ablation. It lets you handle several materials including ceramics, stone, and even thick metals. Materials with a thickness level of 0.4 to inches can benefit from the use of the water jet method.
Laser cutting machines solely relies on a gas laser for energy, typically CO2. The CO2 gas is going to be transmitted via a beam, under the guidance of a mirror before it is finally directed at the material.
The source of the CO2 laser is situated inside the machine itself. As for the beam, this can come in the range of 1500 2600 watts of power. If you want to consider the use of laser cutters, applications, materials, safety, and precision are a few of the important factors that you’ll need to take into account.
Applications and Materials
Laser cutters can handle the cutting of a variety of materials. This would include glass, plastic, wood, and all kinds of metals, except for reflective metals. In case that the material is a combination of metals, and have different melting points, it will bring along a certain level of challenge to cut through it.
Sandwich structures that come with cavities may never be completely cut with a CO2 laser. The same is also true for materials that have limited access. As for 3D material cutting, it also presents difficulty in managing due to the rigid beam guidance.