Water jetting, also known as waterjet cutting, is a technique used to cut glass using a high-pressure stream of water mixed with abrasive materials. It is a versatile and precise method that allows for intricate shapes and designs to be cut into glass with minimal risk of cracking or chipping.
The process of water jetting for glass begins with a computer-aided design (CAD) file or a pattern that is programmed into the water jet cutting machine. The machine then directs a focused jet of water at the glass surface, typically at pressures ranging from 30,000 to 90,000 pounds per square inch (psi). The water stream is emitted through a small orifice, creating a high-velocity jet that can penetrate and cut through the glass.
To enhance the cutting capabilities of the water jet, abrasive materials such as garnet or aluminum oxide are usually added to the water stream. These abrasives increase the cutting power of the water jet, enabling it to effectively slice through the glass. The abrasive particles are mixed with the water and accelerated through a nozzle, creating a highly concentrated and powerful cutting force.
Water jetting for glass offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows for precise and intricate cuts with smooth edges, making it suitable for creating complex shapes and designs. Secondly, it is a cold cutting process, meaning that it does not generate heat that could potentially damage the glass. This makes it ideal for cutting delicate or heat-sensitive types of glass. Additionally, water jet cutting does not produce dust, fumes, or hazardous byproducts, making it a cleaner and environmentally friendly cutting method.
Water jetting is widely used in the glass industry for various applications, including architectural glass, automotive glass, decorative glass, and artistic glass. It provides a versatile and efficient solution for creating customized glass components, from simple shapes to intricate patterns, while maintaining the integrity and quality of the glass material.