Composite Cutting with KMT Waterjet

Because composites are not homogenous materials and are reinforced for greater strength, cutting composites  requires a different approach than ceramic cutting or metal cutting, for example. Using conventional cutters and machining techniques will quickly cause parts to wear out and require replacement. Employing the techniques often used for cutting granite or titanium may also compromise the strength of the composite and/or cause delamination, making the material less suitable for use in applications such as aircrafts and medical devices.

As an alternative, cutting with a water jet offers a number of benefits for composite machining. KMT water jet intensifier pumps do not produce heat-affected zones (HAZ) or leave rough edges/burrs that require the material to undergo secondary finishing with other composite machines.. Additionally, very little waste is created with water jet technology to protect the material investment, and the speed of the technology makes it well suited to high production requirements.

 ADVANTAGES OF CUTTING COMPOSITES WITH WATERJET

• Create complex shapes using composites with precision water jet cutting.
• NO Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) which is ideal for composites and more.
• Ideal for cutting up to 8” (20 cm) of composites materials depending on density of product.
• Eliminates most secondary finishing… no burrs or rough edges.
• Safe for the Environment; no toxic fumes or dust and garnet is disposable.
• Omni-directional cutting. Minimal tolerances. No wasteful raw materials.
• Cutting heads do not have to be changed out during manufacturing avoiding aggravating delays.
• Thick or thin, waterjet cutting is the most flexible cutting process for granite to foam.
• Minimal set up for automated cutting process and minimal downtime for quick seal change.
• Cuts without melting.
• Can pierce material directly without the need for a pre-drilled starter hole.
• No tool sharpening.
• One head for all applications, no guessing, no need to change bits.
• High or low surface pressure flexibility for sensitive or thick materials.
• Tolerances at ±0.003"/.076 mm.


FAQ's

• Will the various layers of the material become detached from each other during cutting?
No, the material structure is not affected in any way, as the water jet is in contact with the layers for only a very short time.

• What is the best cutting method for composite materials?
This depends on the material properties. Composites of metals and other hard materials are best cut with abrasives. For soft composites, we recommend the pure water method.

• At what pressures are composite materials cut?
For soft composites, low operating pressures up to 55,000 PSI/3,800 bar are sufficient. Hard composites are cut at higher pressures of up to 90,000 PSI/6,200 bar.

• What cutting speeds are used to cut composite materials?
The cutting speed varies greatly, depending on the type of composite, the thickness of the material and the desired cutting quality. It is therefore not possible to make general statements about the cutting speed, as it must be determined on the basis of the actual application.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLES

With recycling and green initiative programs in effect worldwide, composite materials production and the manufacturing required to produce these commodities has hit an all time high.  Having the flexibility of water jet to cut most any composite into shapes from intricate to complex to simple, gives manufacturers the edge to succeed with these alternative technologies in a wide range of industries from sports equipment and home building materials to aerospace and medical devices.

 

Composite-Products-cut-with-waterjet