On the “Cutting Edge” of Waterjet TechnologyNathan Binder
GLE Precision has been a key supplier of waterjet cutter manufacturers on the cutting edge of waterjet technology for years. We have developed technologies that allow our parts to perform better and last longer than our competitors. Due to our reputation, we are the supplier many companies (such as NLB, Omax, and Flow) trust as they pursue the next technologies. This demand has led to waterjet being the largest of all GLE business segments.
How Does a Waterjet Cutter Work?
A waterjet cutter, as the name implies, uses a pressurized jet stream of water to cut various types of material. A pump uses either a plunger with a crankshaft or an intensifier system to create water at pressures in the range of 100,000 psi. Then, high-pressure hoses deliver the water to a jewel with an orifice that further pressurizes the water. In pure-water waterjets, the water then exits from the nozzle to perform the cutting. Abrasive waterjets can cut harder materials by adding garnet or aluminum oxide to the jet.
Benefits of Waterjet Cutters
Waterjet cutters are most often compared to plasma and laser cutters, as they all serve similar purposes. However, waterjet cutters have multiple benefits over laser and plasma machines. They do not produce toxic fumes or hazardous waste when cutting, there is no heat warp along the cutting edges, they can cut many more types of materials and at greater depths, and they are more accurate. It is not the cheapest or quickest method, but the benefits make waterjet cutting very common in shops around the world.
Parts of a Waterjet Cutter
Due to the accuracy required by waterjet machines, the components must be made with high precision. These components include the nozzles, the poppets that create the flow, and plungers that are used for pressurizing the system. The surface finish is also critical in these components. A high surface finish will increase the wear life of parts, allowing for lower replacement costs and better performance. GLE Precision is the chosen supplier of multiple waterjet manufacturers for these parts and more. Our decades of experience in tight tolerances and high surface finishes have helped us build relationships and remain on the cutting edge of waterjet technology.