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What Is Water-Jet Cutting & What Are Its Benefits?
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What Is Water-Jet Cutting & What Are Its Benefits?

Commercial machining and industrial fabrication are fields of constant innovation. Talented craftsmen are working day in and day out to find better and more efficient ways of doing what they do while still maintaining high-quality standards.

Or at least they are at BSM North America!

One piece of tech that has made a splash in the industry as of late is water-jet cutting. Let’s dive into everything special about this innovation, its applications, and its benefits.

What Is Water-Jet Cutting?

It's all in the name! Water-jet cutting is when a high-powered stream of water is used to make incisions in industrial machining. This isn't your average-joe toy water gun we're talking about, either.

APMEN explains, "The water travels three times faster than sound as it leaves the nozzle" of the machine.

This strength makes it suitable for a variety of applications, which we'll touch on in a minute. Aggregates added to the water can change the stream's functionality and enable it to cut tougher materials.

How Is Water-Jet Cutting Used in Manufacturing?

This is a versatile method because, as we said, additional products can be added to the water stream, and water-jet cutting can cut pretty much work with anything you can think of.

Pure water-jet cutting, which, as its name implies, uses water without additives, is generally used for softer materials – think foam or rubber. This is because, without additives, the delicate and precise work required to manipulate these materials becomes possible.

But additives have their role to play, too. In fact, it's the most popular method of water-jet cutting simply because it can handle hard materials. Common additions to the water include garnet, ceramic, aluminum, and titanium.

What Are the Benefits of Water-Jet Cutting?

This cutting method is well-loved for its versatility. Because of the option to add or subtract aggregates to the water stream, there is little it can't handle, making it an indispensable tool in any steering column creator's arsenal.

It's also a method compatible with 5-axis CNC machining, further increasing its scope.

Talk About Precision

On top of all that, it's also incredibly precise, making it a great choice for projects that have microscopic margins of error.

Materials that are sensitive to heat also tend to play nicely with this cutting method.

Removes the Need to Change Tools

Water jet cutters don't use cutting tools, and the nozzle does not need to be changed to accommodate various thicknesses in advanced manufacturing processes.

Each application uses the same nozzle, which is simply adjusted to the parameters of the cutting stream, like cutting speeds and feed rates.

Compatible With Various Materials

As long as the correct process abrasives and parameters are selected, water jet cutters are compatible with various material options, making it an effective and straightforward way to increase productivity.

Highly Sustainable

Sustainability is critical, especially in finding sustainable manufacturing options, and the water jet-cutting process offers excellent advantages.

There is no dross waste, no slag formation, and no need for heated parts, while at the same time, it doesn't omit greenhouse gases or toxic fumes, and finished products don't need post-processing, decreasing the environmental impact.

Water Jet Cutting vs. Laser Cutting

Water jet is an excellent choice for customized solutions, but what about laser cutting? There are some differences between the two, with laser cutters using a beam that heats the material to cut and water jets using pressurized water.

Water jets work well with thicker substances and come at a higher cost because they require a water pump and various components compared to laser cutting. Both products work well for industrial fabrication, and choosing between them simply comes down to your needs.

BSM North America: Off-Road Steering Columns & More

With over 30 years in the business, BSM North America is an OEM manufacturer that offers precision and high-quality custom-made products. Our team is here to answer all our questions, so stop by our shop today and learn just what our innovative and knowledgeable staff can do for your next steering column project!

Contact us online or give our Burnsville office a call today at 952-890-8146.

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