When it comes to laser cutting versus water jet cutting, many people are still baffled about it as to which among these two is the better option. Indeed this one can’t be as straightforward as much as we’d like it to be.
It is also not going to be possible for us to say one is better than the other. What is suitable for waterjet cutting method may not befitting for a laser cutter. Choosing between these two modern methods of cutting would highly depend upon your specifications.
If you want to figure out which cutting technique is likely to deliver your best-expected results, here are some guiding questions you will want to ask yourself. This set of guiding questions includes:
- What type of material are you planning to work on and cut?
- How thick is the material you are planning to work on?
- What edge finish and tolerance level do you require?
- Would you mind if your material gets affected by heat?
The main distinguishing factor between laser cutting machines and water jet cutting machines is the level of versatility of the latter. With water jet cutter, you can cut almost anything imaginable, any material. It may be organic or inorganic. It could be stone, textile, glass, or aluminum, with thickness levels up to 200 mm.
This comes in complete contrast to laser cutters. This is the method of choice when working on metal alloys, such as stainless steel, copper, aluminum, brass, or steel. Besides, laser cutting machines are well suited for use in an array of finer thicknesses. This would range from 0.5 to 25 millimeters.
Why is Waterjet Cutting Machine More Advantageous to Use?
- The low temperature of the cut will help prevent residual material tensions and thermal alterations, too. With waterjet cutting, there is a complete absence of heat input.
- Water jet cutter offers a high level of versatility. It allows you to work on a wide array of materials, with varying thickness levels of up to 200 mm.
- It offers you no less than a clean method of cutting because it is not known to generate any kind of harmful or damaging byproducts.
- The raw materials you have for this method of cutting are optimally used and produces minimal waste.
- It takes away subsequent finishing or final touch-up processes.
- Allows for simultaneous cutting with other types of cutting styles such as plasma cutting and waterjet cutting.
In the laser cutting method, as the name itself denotes, you make use of a laser to burn, melt, or even vaporize a material. During this process, a highly intense and focused beam of light will be used to carry out your cutting design.
Depending on the design you have for material, you can have the laser move across the material itself or have it static. Laser cutting method delivers best, most satisfying cutting results when they are used between 0.12” and 0.4” material thickness. This type of cutting method is commonly used in cutting out flat sheets of steel materials that are of medium thickness.
In the case of waterjet technology, this method makes use of a jet of pressurized water. Most of the time, the water itself is mixed with abrasive materials, specifically teensy particles of garnet. Combining water with an abrasive material will help further intensify its cutting power, allowing it to cut a broader array of materials. With the use of garnet particles, the resulting cut has a close tolerance and with a good, remarkable edge finish.