If you want to cut the material, there are many ways to achieve it, using sawing, gas cutting, etc. They can achieve the cutting of various materials. But none of these cutting methods are perfect, so water jet cutting and laser cutting were invented later, which are also widely used cutting methods today, and it turns out that these two methods are also the most effective cutting solutions in the industry.
But people have not stopped looking for better cutting methods, such as the processing of some precision metal parts, or the cutting of some new materials, they need to find new cutting methods, and then developed a unique water jet laser cutting technology.
The Difference Between Waterjet And Laser Cutting
- Waterjet cutting: Using water like a knife, the water is pressurized to an ultra-high pressure in the container, and then a high-pressure water flow is injected through a very small nozzle, so as to realize the cutting of the material. In order to increase the cutting ability, some pomegranate sand, and Abrasives such as diamond are added to water, which is a widely used cutting method.
- Laser cutting: A high-power laser beam is produced by the machine, and then irradiated to the material to be cut. The high temperature generated by the laser will melt or vaporize the irradiated material, thereby realizing the cutting of the material.
2. Cutting Material
- Waterjet cutting: There are almost no restrictions on the materials that can be cut. Waterjet cutting will not allow the material to generate heat, thus avoiding the melting, warping, bending, burning and other phenomena of the material to be cut; common materials for waterjet cutting Types include plastic, rubber, stone, tile, stainless steel, and other metals.
- Laser cutting: Lasers are capable of cutting a wider range of metals, including stainless and carbon steel, as well as aluminum and many alloys. Some lasers can cut through non-conductive materials such as wood, glass, or plastic, but the heat generated by the laser will Some metal products have an impact.
3. Cutting Thickness
- Waterjet cutting: There is no limit to the thickness of the material to be cut by waterjet.
- Laser cutting: In a general mechanical workshop, most lasers can cut metal about 2 cm, but the thickness of the cutting material also varies according to the metal. The melting point and thermal conductivity of the metal will affect the thickness of the laser cutting; The advantage is that it can cut thinner materials at much higher speeds than waterjets.
4. Cutting Precision And Quality
- Waterjet cutting: The width of the waterjet’s incision is about 0.7 mm, the cutting surface is very thin, and in some cases, it almost reaches the quality of the machine, but there will be some errors from the top to the bottom of the incision. It will be bigger.
- Laser cutting: The cutting error of a laser is much smaller than that of the waterjet. When cutting tight geometric shapes on small parts or when parts need to be closely nested, laser cutting can be used, and laser cutting can make cutting profiles. The surface is cleaner and smoother but also leaves some streaks with increasing thickness or speed.
5. Comparison And Summary
- Waterjet cutting: It is a precise and versatile cutting method that can cut a wide variety of materials and thicknesses, although, in some materials the speed of waterjet is not as fast as laser, it can provide high cutting quality. There is also no heat that affects the material.
- Laser cutting: Laser cutting is very fast and accurate, but it depends on the material and thickness, in general, the speed and precision of the laser are very high, thicker materials or materials that will be affected by heat, it is better to find another cutting method.
The Similarities Between Waterjet And Laser Cutting
With the advent of new materials such as carbon fiber reinforced polymers, and ceramic matrix composites, the machining of these new materials has become a problem. Both waterjet and laser cutting have some defects, in order to meet this challenge, waterjet laser cutting technology was developed to process such advanced composite materials.
Waterjet laser cutting is a hybrid process, also known as laser microjet, that combines a laser with a “thin” water jet that is precisely guided in a similar manner to conventional optical fibers The laser beam thus realizes the cutting, and the water jet continuously cools the cutting area and effectively removes the debris generated during cutting.
The technology was first applied to semiconductor wafer cutting, and as the technology matured, it was gradually extended to medical equipment, clock processing, gas and jet engine turbine blades, machining of semiconductor equipment, and material cutting in the manufacturing of super hard tools.
After the laser is focused, a laser beam will be formed, and when it passes through the pressurized water cavity, it will push the water to flow forward and focus on the nozzle. Finally, the laser beam will be emitted from the nozzle together with the water flow.
There is no abrasive added in this water flow, so the cutting mainly depends on the laser. The function of the water is to use the water column to guide the laser not to disperse, to gather the laser energy to cut faster and to cool down and remove debris. In the distance from the nozzle to the cutting workpiece, the laser beam does not disperse, but continuously reflects and advances in the water column. In principle, it is similar to optical fiber transmission. The laser beam can be guided at a distance of up to 10cm, so as to achieve neat Cut slits without refocusing or distance control.
Waterjet laser cutting can achieve very high cutting quality, no thermal damage to the material, no burning or thermal degradation, fewer burrs, smoother surface, higher precision in straight edge cutting, which helps to maintain high precision of aperture, etc. Advantages and the water jet can continuously cool the cutting area, which can effectively remove the debris generated during cutting.
For processors, water jet laser cutting can have faster production speed, a wider range of processing materials, higher reliability and higher cutting quality, and achieve lower cutting costs. And with the emergence of more new materials, all these features of water jet laser cutting will also be more widely used.
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