Cutting Composites with Waterjet

Since 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.


Main advantages of cutting composites with waterjet cutting

  • 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 20 cm (8”) 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.
  • 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 ±0.076 mm/0.003"

Comparison of cutting methods

KMT Comparison of cutting methods

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 - Advantages of Waterjet Cutting

As can be seen from our application examples, waterjet cutting features significant advantages in many different situations. Depending on type an thickness of material as well as on the design of the work piece, waterjet cutting may be the most - and in come cases even the only - economical way of cutting an item.

Waterjet Cutting Absorber        Waterjet Cutting Absorber_Detail

Item: Absorber – Composite of Metal and Rubber (diameter approx. 11 cm, thickness 4 mm)
Abrasive Flow Rate: 350 g/min
Pressure: 3,600 bar
Cutting Speed: 400 mm/min

Advatages of Waterjet Cutting

  • The absorbing characteristics are preserved 100% because the cold-cutting technology does not affect the rubber layer.
  • Waterjet Cutting is the most economical method to cut this item because the three-coat base plate can be cut as one. The layers do not have to be cut separately.