Waterjet Cutting Against Laser Jet Cutting: When Is the Best Time to Use Each?

There are a lot of things that one can debate about when it comes to waterjet cutting and laser jet cutting. The truth here is, both options are offering varying degrees of benefits and advantages to the user.

waterjet cutting technology

Taking this into account, you should try to determine first which among these two options, water jet cutting or laser jet cutting, is the better method to use for the type of work you have at hand. Otherwise, you are bound to end up with a mediocre to a below-average result.

In the worst-case scenario, you may have to pay more money than you are supposed to. To prevent this from happening, we strongly recommend that you try to learn as much as you can about both cutting methods. Doing so will save you from hassle and frustration due to unmet expectations.

To help you understand the slight differences these methods have with each other, we are going to share with you some distinct points they have.

No Heat is Involved During the Waterjet Cutting Process

Waterjet cutting is a qualified cold cutting process. This simply means that no amount of heat will put into the material while the machine is trying to cut through it. Therefore, it takes away the occurrence of a heat-affected zone.

The complete absence of heat, while the waterjet machine is in use, is crucial to the aerospace industry. It is this attribute of it that makes it ideal for it. Water jet cutting will not, in any way, induce any kind of chemical or structural alterations to the material that is being cut. It also eliminates the possibility of warping due to heat.

Laser Cutting Minimizes Waste Production

Taking on a laser cutting approach for your various projects means you have less post-work clean up drive to attend to. In a laser cutting approach, the production of dust is inevitable, which can be quickly cleared away by a filtering process or you can make use of a good vacuum machine.

As for the waterjet technology, this requires a bit more of a cleanup effort because you sometimes mix up its water with some abrasive materials in case you want to further intensify cutting power, and shorten up, even more, its cutting time.

Thus, there is this ineluctable production of abrasive waste materials which you need to dispose of properly due to the possibility of toxicity. This may cause your overall project costs to spike up. 

Regular waterjet machines cut through “softer” materials whereas the abrasive types are utilized mostly in processing “harder” objects. The actual process of cutting with waterjet technology is carried out underwater.

By this, there is minimal production of splash and noise. Faster feed rates help these cutting machines to keep the jet from cutting through all the way.

As for the machine’s water pressure, this typically comes in 20,000 to 55,00 psi or pounds per square inch. The water will be forced to go through a diameter orifice or a hole in a jewel with a 0.010” to 0.15” dimensions.