High-Quality
Sheet Metal
Waterjet Cutting

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Sheet Metal Waterjet Cutting offers:

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Certifications and Registrations

* Not all locations have all certifications and registrations. Parts requiring these will be made at facilities with the correct certifications and registrations.

Prototek Sheet Metal Capabilities | Waterjet Cutting
Table of Contents

What is Sheet Metal Waterjet Cutting?

Sheet metal waterjet cutting is a precise cutting technology that utilizes a high-pressure stream of water mixed with abrasive particles to cut through sheet metal materials. The waterjet cutting process starts by pumping water at a pressure of up to 90,000 PSI through a small nozzle. The water stream is combined with an abrasive material such as garnet or aluminum oxide to increase the cutting force. Using a computer-controlled cutting head, the mixture is then aimed at the sheet metal material. The high-speed stream of water and abrasive particles cut through the sheet metal material, delivering an accurate and high-quality cut. Sheet metal waterjet cutting is used in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, and architecture, to produce complex shapes and designs with high precision and minimal material waste.

How does Sheet Metal Waterjet Cutting Work?

Waterjet cutting is an exact and efficient method commonly used to cut sheet metal. This process involves using a high-pressure water stream forced through a small nozzle, typically between 30,000 and 90,000 psi. The water jet creates a thin stream, roughly 0.030 inches in diameter, that rapidly erodes the material, resulting in a precisely cut edge.

 

In some cases, abrasive materials, such as garnet or aluminum oxide, can be added to the water stream to enhance its cutting power. This is commonly referred to as abrasive waterjet cutting and is typically utilized when cutting thicker or more rigid materials.

 

One of the primary benefits of sheet metal waterjet cutting is its ability to create highly intricate and complex shapes quickly and accurately. This makes it popular for various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. The method is non-thermal, meaning it does not produce heat or negatively affect the material’s properties, making it a safe and efficient cutting method.

Sheet Metal Waterjet Cutting Line Drawing

Sheet Metal Waterjet Cutting at Prototek

OEM:

Flow

Lead Time:

1 – 15 Days

Max Dimensions:

60 x 120 in

Tolerances:

Linear Straightness  |   ± 0.0021 in

Repeatability  |  0.0014 in

 

Material:

Aluminum, Copper, Stainless Steel, Titanium

Plastic Materials

Prototek's Materials for Sheet Metal Waterjet Cutting

Waterjet cutting is a popular method for cutting materials such as aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and titanium. The process involves using a high-pressure stream of water mixed with an abrasive material to precisely cut through the desired material.

Aluminum is a lightweight and versatile material commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, and construction industries. Waterjet cutting is a great way to cut aluminum, producing clean, precise cuts without heating or distorting the metal.

Copper is a soft and malleable metal used in electrical wiring and plumbing, among other applications. Using waterjet cutting allows for precise cuts without any risk of heat damage, which is especially important when cutting copper.

Stainless steel is a strong and durable material often used in the food service and medical industries. Waterjet cutting is an excellent method for cutting stainless steel as it produces clean, precise cuts that do not require additional finishing.

Titanium is a strong and lightweight material used in aerospace and medical industries. Waterjet cutting is a great way to cut titanium as it produces accurate cuts without any risk of heat damage, which could weaken the material.

Waterjet Cutting

Designing Parts for Waterjet Cutting

A few critical factors come into play when designing parts for waterjet cutting. Materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, and various plastics are commonly cut using waterjet machines. Secondly, the design needs to be optimized for waterjet cutting, with square corners, minimal interior holes, and minimal piercings, as these features can affect the cut quality and accuracy. Thirdly, parts should be designed to minimize material wastage during cutting with nesting in mind. Lastly, it is essential to consider the thickness of the material, as this can affect the cutting speed and quality. By considering these factors and working with an experienced waterjet cutting provider, designers can create efficiently cut parts with the highest accuracy and quality.

Feature Recommended

Fillets

Necessary for smooth finishes

Holes

Size of hole ø < t

Space between holes ≥ 2t

Space from edge to hole ≥ t

Kerf

0.04 - 0.05 in

The width of a cut resulting in the removal of material.

Laser cutting results in the least amount of material being removed compared to waterjet and plasma cutting.

ø (diameter)  |  in (inches)  |  ± (plus or minus)  |   > (greater than)  |  ≥ (greater than or equal to)  |  t (material thickness)

Feature Recommended

Fillets

Necessary for smooth finishes

Holes

Size of hole ø < t

Space between holes ≥ 2t

Space from edge to hole ≥ t

Kerf

1.02 - 1.27 mm

The width of a cut resulting in the removal of material.

Laser cutting results in the least amount of material being removed compared to waterjet and plasma cutting.

ø (diameter)  |  mm (millimeter)  |  ± (plus or minus)  | > (greater than)  |  ≥ (greater than or equal to)  |  t (material thickness)

Finishes for Sheet Metal

Various finishing techniques are available to enhance the appearance of metal surfaces. Deburring, for instance, is a process that smoothens rough edges, thereby rendering the surface smooth and even. Sandblasting, conversely, is a technique that cleans and smoothens the surface, removing impurities or rough spots. Polishing is another option that creates a reflective surface and imparts a beautiful shine to the metal. In addition, painting is a viable option that not only protects against corrosion but also enhances the aesthetic value of the metal.

Combining these finishing techniques can achieve a distinctive and highly customized look for the metal. Whether the desired look is sleek and polished or rugged and rough, waterjet cutting and finishing options can achieve the desired outcome.

sheet metal waterjet finishes
Why choose Prototek for your next waterjet cutting project?

If you are looking for a reliable and experienced waterjet cutting service provider, Prototek is the perfect choice for your project. Our state-of-the-art facility and extensively trained professionals enable us to deliver the highest-quality precision cuts to our clients. We offer customized and cost-effective solutions to meet your requirements. Our waterjet cutting services are versatile, making them suitable for various industries, including aerospace, medical, defense, and more. We prioritize customer satisfaction and work tirelessly to deliver timely projects with precise cuts that meet client specifications. So, if you need high-quality, cost-effective precision cuts that meet your needs, choose Prototek for your waterjet cutting needs.

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