What Waterjets Can Offer in Aerospace Production
So, how have waterjets proven themselves to be precise, reliable, and strong enough to meet the tight demands of aerospace production?
In large part, waterjets are favored due to their adaptability. Not only can abrasive waterjets be adjusted to the specific needs of any given part; they can also be standardized for precise, uniform production on a large-scale basis. They are adaptable across projects, and across material types. Waterjets can effectively cut through a range of substances — including materials that may experience damage from other fabricating processes — such as:
The reason waterjets can cut so many differing materials is that they employ a cool cutting process that leaves no heat affected zones. Lasers and other tools struggle to effectively cut materials that possess a high thermal conductivity (like steel or aluminum). Waterjet machines, on the other hand, eradicate any heat affected zones that could lead to microscopic cracks, or structural weakness in components.
Waterjet machines also work alongside control and automation technologies, to make production more standardized and straightforward. Considering the precision required in aerospace manufacturing, this is a huge benefit to companies in the industry. High tech computer systems ensure parts are fully and carefully constructed, right down to the smallest possible detail. Though laser machines can also use computerized systems, the heat they impose on materials can lead to warping, which then requires secondary processing.
Added Benefits of Waterjet Technology
Waterjet cutting is one of the most versatile manufacturing solutions in the world — capable of delivering a clean, smooth cut that requires minimal additional fixturing. For the aerospace industry, this means efficiently producing parts that don’t suffer from structural issues, through a process that is:
Environmentally friendly, and capable of reducing hazardous dusts and gasses
Flexible in terms of machine integration
Able to save on raw materials
Faster than a number of conventional cutting tools
Capable of cutting in various directions
Once you look at all the capabilities and benefits of waterjet technology, it seems like a no-brainer that this is the machine of choice for the companies making our planes, jets, military devices, and space vehicles.