What materials can it cut / What can't it cut?

General abrasive waterjet discussions.
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Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:47 pm

Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:23 am

What kinds of materials are reasonable to cut, which ones give troubles, and which ones can't be cut?
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Carl O
OMAX Employee
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:43 am
Location: OMAX Corporation

Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:53 pm

The ProtoMAX can cut most any material, though some materials will cut better than others. For example:

Cuts well:
  • Nearly any metal (Steel, brass, aluminum, copper, titanium, etc.)
  • Most kinds of stone
  • Most kinds of plastic
  • Most kinds of non-tempered glass
  • Well bonded laminates such as most carbon fiber
  • Most anything in general
Can be cut, but sometimes has issues:
  • Some kinds of glass (may have trouble piercing, especially thin or brittle glass)
  • Some laminated materials may delaminate, especially when piercing
  • Wood (some woods may have issues being wet, others are easy)
  • Materials that cannot get wet (for example, cardboard)
  • Polyethylene is quite sensitive to thermal expansion, so needs care to cut to good tolerances
  • Polypropylene creates weird self-healing volcanoes when piercing, so is difficult to pierce

Cannot be cut:
  • Tempered glass (shatters when cut, or shortly thereafter)
  • Some super hard ceramics such as Alumina (cuts too slow to be practical)
Other notes:
  • Materials considered hazardous should not be cut (lead, etc.) without taking proper precautions in terms of handling, disposal, etc.
  • Materials that are extremely expensive (gold, etc.) should not be cut, due to the amount of material removed during cutting, which can be expensive, unless you have some way to recover the metal from the catch tank.
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