Waterjet cutting is at the heart of what we do here at Aquacut and is often the first process for creating complex finishes. This blog post will explain what waterjet cutting truly is, how Aquacut use this service to deliver the best service they can and what sets us apart from our competitors.
What is waterjet cutting and how does it work?
Waterjet cutting is a high-pressure stream of water with added substance designed to cut through a wide range of materials.
The waterjet cutting machines work by using a high-pressure stream of water focused by a ‘focusing’ tube which takes the high-pressure water and reduces the stream to a specific size, the machine then adds sand into the water stream in what is called the ‘cutting head’. The sand mixed with the high-pressure water creates an abrasive action which allows the water to cut through the desired material.
Without adding sand, you can cut through most ‘soft’ materials such as styrofoam, rubber, plastics and much more. When the sand is added to the waterjet cutter, you can cut anything hard such as metals, tiles, stone, and glass due to the abrasive sand action.
To give an easy description of the sand abrasive at work, it can be described as using standard paper to file down a hard surface; it will not work. But if you use sandpaper, which creates an abrasive, the firm surface can be worn down easily.
How do Aquacut use waterjet cutting?
We use our waterjet cutting machines to the highest possible standard by giving our customers no limitation on their desires for cutting and such. This is possible as we have multiple CNC (computer numeric control) waterjet cutting machines which, due to be computer controlled, can cut materials in any given shape, size, or depth.
The CNC systems are optimised to work alongside our CAD (computer aided design) design teams templating ability. The CAD team design blueprint templates, also known as ‘cut paths’, which are sent to the machines to cut. The CNC machines can cut most cut paths designed by the CAD team.
The CNC machines run on an XYZ axis plane. The X & Y axis run the 2D plane, moving left and right, leaving the Z axis to determine the height. The use of the XYZ plain and CNC software’s allow for our machines to cut any shapes which are designed by our CAD designers, as the machine can follow templates to the millimetre.
What sets Aquacut apart in the waterjet cutting field of work?
Within our cutting division, around 70% of our cutting is focused on porcelain (tiles), with 20% being stone and the remaining 10% being glass, metals, and plastics. With our focus and main body of work being around tiles, we use waterjet cutting differently to our competitors.
Most waterjet facilities complete what is called profile cutting; using a large sheet of material to cut repeated shapes e.g., one thousand circles from a sheet. Here at Aquacut, we cut our materials differently as a lot of our work is with tiles. For example, cutting tiles into halves or strips whilst keeping the factory edges.
Cutting tiles with a waterjet machine can be a tricky task as they break easily and are brittle. Our cutting division have extensive experience and expertise in cutting tiles and use many tricks and techniques to ensure tile cutting is available and minimal breakages and/or issues occur.
High quality waterjet tile cutting is an area in which Aquacut excel in massively. The ability to produce high quality tile cutting, with accuracy to the MM and smooth cut edges, highlights the skill level our cutting division possess.
Here at Aquacut, we hold the attitude that a cut is either right, or wrong. We strive to ensure every cut is kept to our standards deemed as ‘right’ to make every job the best it can be.
Overall, waterjet cutting is a unique process which has many benefits. Here at Aquacut we use the service to the best of our abilities by following high standards and strict procedures when cutting materials for our customers. These standards, paired with our decades of experience has allowed us to establish ourselves with our work installed in premises around the world.