K-Form is proud to offer waterjet cutting services to extend the range of materials we process. The waterjet uses a highly pressurized stream of water infiltrated with an abrasive material to cut materials ranging from thin elastomer to thick hardened steel. K-Form already employs laser cutting to manufacture parts with free form, complex edges; offering waterjet cutting services simply extends these capabilities.
As a manufacturing process, waterjet cutting presents several advantages over the more common punch press or laser cutting processes.
|Cast Iron||Copper||Exotic Alloys|
|Mild Steel||Neoprene||Nickel Alloys|
|Stainless Steel||Steel Alloy||Steel Hot Rolled|
Waterjet cutting does not form heat affected zones (HAZ) around processed areas. Laser cutting and even simple saw cutting can create a heat affected zone which dramatically alters the mechanical properties of materials. FEA calculations are often invalidated as a result. For example, laser cutting aluminum may alter the temper at the cut edge causing odd disparate properties within a single workpiece. On a more basic level, laser cutting steel can partially anneal the edge making welding or hardware insertion more difficult. Industries with strict mechanical requirements, such as Aerospace and Defense, can take advantage of waterjet cutting.
Simple components manufactured from thick material suffer from high material costs relative to value. Nesting allows manufacturers to economize material usage bringing down waste costs. In some instances, waterjet cutting will even allow shared edges.
The simplicity of profile cutting reduces setup time. Unlike punching or milling, waterjet cutting does not use a series of tools to produce features but a single adjustable beam. The user replaces a single nozzle based on material type and/or thickness. CNC programming is done directly from CAD in minimal time.