4 Tips for Optimizing Your Waterjet

Waterjet cutters are powerful machines, and quite efficient compared to many other cutting techniques. We at Hydro-Lazer favor the waterjet because of its accuracy and efficiency, and we also understand that its always possible to coax a little more efficiency out of your machinery. Here are some tips from us on how to get the most efficiency from your waterjet cutter.

Stack Materials

A major advantage of waterjet cutter is their combination of precision and power. They’re strong enough, in fact, that in many cases, materials can be stacked and cut simultaneously, effectively boosting productivity. In most cases, waterjet machines can cut up to 0.6 inches in depth.

Optimize Table Size

Important for optimizing productivity is having a workspace suited to what you are producing. If you know what you will be producing, base your table size around that. If you aren’t sure, we recommend choosing something around 2 by 4 meters, which will be well suited for most jobs.

Choose A One-Head System

There are a variety of different water projection systems for waterjet cutters. Some are dual-head systems, which split the water stream. Operating these systems is more complex than a using a higher power, single head system. At the end of the day, the decision should be made based on your capacity to operate it, but knowing that there are options can make a world of difference.

Practice Good Maintenance

One of the best things you can do for your waterjet is to take good care of it. Fortunately, the kind of wear that these machines face is easy to predict and can be easily prevented or repaired as needed. This will keep your maintenance costs down and your productivity up.

Your team here at Hydro-Lazer are your waterjet cutting pros, and whether you need something small or large, we can cut it for you. From tile and stone flooring inlays to cutting rubber, plastic, and steel, we can cut almost any material with ease. Contact us for more information today!

Choosing Waterjet Cutting for Rubber and Plastic

Vital to almost all major industries in some shape or form, rubber and plastic are the flexible and dependable parts of many machines and devices. Hydro-Lazer is a market leader in cutting these materials in a variety of thicknesses and sizes to suit your needs. Rubber is a malleable material that can bend and even warp under extreme temperatures and plastic can do the same if not treated properly. Here are just a few reasons why choosing Hydro-Lazer to water-cut your materials makes excellent sense.

Rubber

Rubber products have common uses in almost every industry, including FDA-certified or compliant rubber gaskets for food manufacturing equipment. It’s vital for the material to maintain the proper shape without imposing any thermal stress that could warp and deform. Waterjet cutting rubber requires no abrasives and no heat, allowing for the rubber to be cut cleanly and with little waste. No burrs or cutting marks will be present afterwards, leaving only a perfect line. Programmed cutting makes production time short, saving you both time and money. Better yet, relying on Hydro-Lazer for cutting rubber means your facility doesn’t need the added expense of equipment or hazardous fumes.

We can cut many different types of rubber, including the following and much more:

  • Nylon
  • Neoprene
  • PVC
  • Silicon Rubber
  • Polyurethane

Plastic

Like rubber, plastic is a valuable material that is used in millions of different ways in almost every industry. It’s critical that plastic be treated with care to prevent deformation during the cutting process, and waterjet cutting is the perfect process for this. With pre-programmed cutting patterns, waste is minimized and cuts are also made clean without burrs or marks.

We can cut the following types of plastics and more:

  • Acrylic
  • Thermoplastics
  • Biodegradable Plastics
  • Epoxy Resins
  • Polystyrenes

Rely on Hydro-Lazer for all your waterjet cutting needs. From tile and stone flooring inlays to cutting rubber, plastic, and steel, we can cut almost any material with ease. Contact us for more information today!

3 Reasons To Choose Waterjet For Glass Cutting

Glass cutting is a delicate process. One wrong move and the glass could be broken and ruined. Use the wrong cutting tool, and the risk for damage goes up, and your edges may turn out uneven. The best way to avoid these problems? Waterjet cutting. One of our specialties here at Hydro-Lazer, our high-powered waterjets are extremely effective at glass cutting. Here are a few reasons that waterjet is the perfect tool for glass cutting.

Handles Various Thicknesses

One of the great benefits of waterjet is its versatility, able to cut through glass both thick and thin. Everything from stained glass, to touch-screen panels and even glass walls can easily be cut with a waterjet.

Smoother Cuts

Few tools offer a cleaner, smoother cut than waterjet cutters. Rather than an abrasive material, the highly pressurized water splits the material cleanly, and simultaneously polishes the edge, preventing ragged edges.

Precision

Short of laser cutting, there aren’t many cutting techniques that can match waterjet for precision. The single cutting point allows highly detailed cuts to be made, even at small sizes, and holes are no problem since the cutting “blade” can effectively be turned off at will.

There are myriad applications for waterjet cutting, and glass cutting is just one of them! If you need a glass project cut, or if you have another cutting project you think might benefit from waterjet cutting, contact us today with your ideas!

How To Plan Your Floor Medallion

One of the most interesting and exciting types of home décor available for hardwood floors is the visually stunning “floor medallion.” A floor medallion is a special decorative insert, usually round like a medallion, that can be customized to have almost any design and is placed in the floor to add to the aesthetic of a room. A popular form of floor medallion is a compass rose. At Hydro-Lazer, floor medallion inserts are one of our specialties. If you’re considering a floor medallion for your home, here are some tips for planning it out.

  1. Choose a Design

It may be that you already have a design in mind, or you’re not sure what style you’re interested in. Whatever the case, there are some important considerations to have in mind before making a choice.

  • Color

It’s possible to get floor medallions in full color, however these are harder to coordinate with an entire room. More commonly, designs are made with varnished or lacquered wood of different shades. These are easier to combine with the coloring of your floor itself, and the style of the rest of the room.

  • Size

You’ll also have to be careful about how small or large your design is. Too small and your details may become obscured, but too large and it may be difficult to arrange your furniture or other décor around it.

  1. Room Arrangement

Another vital part of planning for a medallion is knowing where it will go. The very best way to plan out the location of your medallion is with a floor plan of your home. It’s also helpful to have a cardboard or paper cutout at the size of your desired medallion that you can place on the floor to see how it fits with your arrangement and how your furniture needs to be moved, if at all.

  1. Create Visual Symmetry

The goal with a medallion should be to create a balanced visual space. Often times the easiest way to do this is centering the medallion in whatever space it’s added to, but that’s not the only way. The important thing is that the placement feels intentional.

If a floor medallion is something you’re considering for your home, choose Hydro-Lazer to cut and install it for you! We guarantee it will look fantastic and last for years to come. Contact us today with your ideas, and we’ll get started right away.

Four Flooring Materials Perfect for High-Traffic Areas

If you’ve been tasked to pave the floors of a busy school, library, hospital, or other public building, we’re sure you’ve seen the wide selection of flooring materials and designs to choose from. At Hydro-Lazer, we too offer everything from laminated and ceramic flooring to fritz and slate tile. For flooring that is fated to experience heavy traffic for many years to come, what are some of the best materials to use that will stand up to the endless punishment without needing much maintenance? Here are four of the best materials we’ve worked with.

  1. Porcelain Tile

Perhaps the undisputed champ when it comes to durability, porcelain tile can be cut by a waterjet in a myriad of ways to create beautiful designs that will last. Porcelain is built to withstand pressure and excessive wear and tear. It’s also extremely resistant to moisture, scratching, and staining, making it a breeze to sweep or mop clean. When you want the elegant look of stone and a floor that can withstand the elements, you don’t have to look anywhere else but porcelain tile.

  1. Laminate Flooring

If you’re looking for a warmer color palette for your building, you might consider laminate flooring. Available in a variety of colors and designs (especially those designed to look like hardwood), laminate is durable, affordable, and simple to keep clean. Better yet, replacing old flooring with laminate is a breeze, as it can be done without adhesives.

  1. Rubber Flooring

If you’re looking for a safe alternative to tile and laminate where falling or slipping may occur regularly, you might consider rubber flooring tiles. Available in many different colors, textures, and thicknesses, rubber is easy to clean, resistant to fire and water, and resistant to heavy weight (you won’t have to worry about rubber not bouncing back).

  1. Linoleum Flooring

Linoleum is a flexible and natural material perfect for almost any type of flooring. Water-resistant and simple to clean, linoleum flooring can last for decades without warping or discoloration with the right maintenance. You can also mix and match colors for creative designs and logos perfect for business or public building entrances.

Ext time you face a custom flooring design challenge, choose Hydro-Lazer to watercut the perfect floor inlay. We guarantee it will look fantastic and last for years to come. Contact us today with your ideas, and we’ll get started right away.

Staying Safe When Working with a Waterjet Cutting Machine

This may be stating the obvious, but a waterjet cutting machine is a serious industrial tool that requires an emphasis on safety while in use. Having the right knowledge about these machines is paramount to operating them safely and efficiently. While the abrasive waterjet itself is the apparent danger, there are other parts of the machine that can harm or injure. While working with Hydro-Lazer, here are some dangers to avoid while working with a waterjet machine.

  • The water stream itself

A waterjet that carries abrasives such as garnet can do terrible damage and easily remove fingers if brought into contact. Fortunately, the stream is often easy to avoid. You should never attempt to steady any materials with your hands while the machine is in use, above or below the water; the jet is just as strong under the water as above. In fact, the central rule should be to never put your hands in or near the machine while it is running. While the stream doesn’t often kick up dust or debris, it’s always wise to wear protective eyewear while operating the machine.

  • The slat supports

After repeated use, the supporting slats that lie above the water and support the material can become jagged and sharp from repeated cutting. This is most common form of injury from waterjet machines – be cautious when replacing these slats. On large machines, never rely on the slats to support your weight while retrieving cut parts. Always put down a catwalk or board.

  • The pressure tanks

Water is not as compressible as air. This means it only takes a bit of water leakage for all pressure to be lost. Many machines are built with the capacity to bleed off excess pressure, but you should always keep an eye on pressure readings while the machine is in operation. Be sure to keep an eye out for deterioration with any pressurized parts, as this can lead to dangerous pipe or tank bursts.

Waterjet machines are valuable tools that manufacture parts for almost every major industry, and like every tool, they should be treated with care so our workers can come home safely. Contact Hydro-Lazer for the best cutting prices on the market today.

How Waterjet Cutting Makes a Difference in Aerospace

Industrial waterjet cutting is an extremely versatile manufacturing technique, useful in a wide variety of industries, and Hydro-Lazer is proud to be part of that legacy. One particularly noteworthy field of waterjet machining is the aerospace industry, a field which has exacting demands for the quality and precision of its parts. The range of materials and parts that are produced with the help of waterjet cutting is quite extensive: aircraft engine and body parts, military solutions like missile components, and even parts essential to space vehicles.

Waterjet cutting and machining has been a key part of the aerospace industries for almost half a century, due in no small part to how accurate it is. Short of a laser, there’s not much that is more precise than a waterjet cutter, and nothing as clean.

What kinds of materials are worked by waterjet cutting for aerospace purposes? Just about anything you could imagine: Aluminum, glass, foam, plastic, rubber, copper, carbon fiber and even titanium and metal alloys. On top of its cutting abilities, waterjet machining is environmentally friendly, producing no hazardous gasses or debris, and allowing raw materials to be preserved and reused.

Hydro-Lazer has been part of aerospace engineering and manufacturing with its waterjet machining, and if you find that you have need of waterjet aerospace, we are happy to help. Please contact us for quotes, or for any information on our capabilities and what we can offer you.

History of Waterjet Cutting

Waterjet cutting technique uses a high pressure stream of water to cut different materials. The early usage dates back to Roman Empire, who used it for hydraulic mining and land development. In the early 1930’s, a Paper Patent Company used relatively low pressure water for cutting soft metals. The first reliable ultra-high pressure pump was developed in 1970 by OMAX Corporation. In this blog, we will discuss the evolution of Waterjet cutting process till date.

Evolution of Waterjet Cutting:

The early waterjets only managed to cut soft materials. However, the modern waterjet machines use garnet abrasive, which are capable of cutting hard materials like steel, stone, and glass.

  • 1930’s: Waterjet devices were used were used to cut, meter, and reel paper by engaging a low pressure water on the surface of the seasoned metals.

 

  • 1940’s: By this time, advanced high pressure water jet machines started gaining popularity. These machines were specifically developed for aviation & automotive hydraulics.

 

  • 1950’s: Liquid jet machines in the pressure range of (100000 PSI, 6900 bar) were used to cut plastic and aerospace metals. The first liquid jet machine was developed by John Parsons.

 

  • 1960’s: Ultra high pressure hydro jet machines up to 50,000(3,450 bar) were used to cut metal and stone. They were also used in polyethylene industry.

 

  • 1970’s: The first commercial waterjet cutting system developed by Bendix Corporation was introduced in the market.

 

  • 1980’s: First abrasive waterjet nozzles ROCTEC ceramic tungsten carbide composite mixing tubes were developed by Boride Corp. These nozzles were made from a patented carbide material.

 

  • 1990’s: OMAX Corporation developed patented ‘Motion Control Systems’. It was also used to locate the waterjet stream.

 

  • 2000’s: The introduction of zero tapper waterjet improved the precision cutting of parts with square, taper-free edges, including interlocking pieces and dove tail fittings.

 

  • 2010’s: The technology in 6 axis machines greatly improved the credibility of Waterjet cutting tools.

Throughout the history of Waterjet cutting, technology has evolved, became more reliable, more accurate, and much faster. If you are looking for a reliable waterjet cutting for your next project, you can always consider industry expert like Hydro-Lazer. The company always tries to find innovative ways to improve the process. For more information on waterjet cutting services, please click here.

7 Major Differences between Waterjet Cutting & Laser Cutting

Waterjet cutting and laser cutting are two of the most widely used techniques. Which one is the best among these? Well, both the cutting processes can get a good job done for you. However there are certain factors that decide which cutting process is suitable for what applications. In this post, will discuss some of these factors.

Difference between Waterjet Cutting and Laser Cutting

There are a number of differences in the two cutting processes. Here are a few major differences between waterjet cutting and laser cutting. These differences will help you choose the right cutting process:

  1. Definitions: As the name suggests, waterjet cutting is a process which uses water and an abrasive to cut different types of materials. In laser cutting, a high intensity beam is used to cut through the metal.
  1. Edge Finish: Laser cutting process produces heat. This heat creates a Heat Affected Zone (HAZ). This HAZ needs a secondary finish based on the requirements. On the other hand, waterjet cutting process does not create HAZ. Thus, it does not distort the parts. Besides this, unlike laser, waterjet delivers a smooth edge finish. This eliminates the need for secondary finishing process.
  1. Thickness of the Material: With the help of a waterjet machine, you can cut materials up to 3 inches thick. On the other hand, lasers can cut parts up to 0.25 inch, and metals of thickness around 11/2 inches.
  1. Accuracy: As far as the accuracy of cutting is concerned, laser has tolerances close to +/-.002”, whereas waterjet has tolerances as close as +/- .003”. Another factor that plays an important role in deciding which cutting process is ideal for what application, is part features. Holes that have their diameter smaller than the material’s thickness require waterjet cutting, and cannot be cut using laser. Also, waterjet cutting can be used to cut small holes in thick materials.
  1. Material: Lasers have the capability to cut through various types of materials other than metals. When laser cutting is done on materials such as rubbers and plastics, they produce byproducts. On the other hand, when these materials are cut using waterjet, there no harmful byproducts are produced. Lasers find it hard to cut materials like copper and aluminum, which are highly reflective. Though the cutting speeds of laser and waterjet are almost same, the edge quality is considerably better in case of a waterjet cutter.
  1. Cutting Speed: When the material thickness is less than 1 inch, waterjet machines can cut five to ten times faster compared to Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM). For non-reflective and thin materials, the cutting speed of lasers is very high. For example, consider a carbon steel material of thickness 1 inch. A waterjet, which is equipped with 0.030 inch nozzle, can cut the material at 2.9 IPM. On the other hand, a laser that is equipped with a 3,800-W resonator and a 2-mm coaxial nozzle, has the capability of cutting the material eight times faster as compared to waterjet.
  1. Surface Cutting: Waterjet cutting works better for flat surfaces, however, laser cutting works for squares, tubes, flat sheets, bars, and other surfaces as well.

Each type of cutting has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, usually garnet is used as an abrasive material in waterjet cutting. Garnet being a biologically inert material, does not emit any noxious fumes, thus possesses no hazard of fires. If you are unable to make up your mind, you can always talk to an industry expert like Hydro Lazer – a leading service provider of waterjet cutting and has two decades of experience in the field. For more queries related to waterjet cutting, please feel free to reach out to us.

Everything You Need to Know About Waterjet Floor Inlays

Flooring is one of the most important elements of a structure. However, that is not enough, you may be specific about their look and feel too.  If you are very particular about the aesthetics of the place, you should consider inlays, which are designed to accentuate the beauty of the flooring. These are decorated flooring patterns that are cut out of the flooring material. These patterns are created using various methods. However, today manufacturers are largely using waterjet cutting to produce attractive flooring inlays. Why? Read the post below to know the answers.

Linoleum Floor Tiles

Why is Waterjet Cutting an Ideal Method for Creating Floor Inlays?

Waterjet cutting, also known as hydro jet cutting is perfect for creating flooring inlays due to the following reasons:

  • Cutout Accuracy: Waterjet machines provide high cutting accuracy. Hence, it is perfect for creating inlays that require high precision, as well as tolerance.
  • Design Flexibility: Waterjet machines produce a sharp water stream, which can cut through any type of material, and allow design flexibility. Hence, flooring inlays can be created in any desired shape. Designers can also create intricate detailing on these inlays.
  • Minimal Cutting Defects: Waterjet cutting receives its name from a water stream that is used to cut surfaces. Thus, it is a cold cutting process, which produces no heat. This minimizes the chances of surface deformation due to heat distortion.
  • Superior Edges: Water jet cutting is the only method that can ensure burr-free edges, which is why it is becoming a choice for creating tile inlays. Most times the inlay patterns require no secondary finishing.

 

Porcelain tile

Porcelain tile with waterjet cutting

Introduction to Types of Waterjet Flooring Inlay Types

There is an abundance of variety when it comes to creating waterjet flooring inlays. Here, we have attempted to differentiate these inlays on the basis of flooring materials, as well as flooring patterns.

Flooring Inlay Types Based on Flooring Materials

Following are some of the popular types of flooring inlay materials:

  • Porcelain Tiles: These tiles are made from ceramic, and used to cover walls or floors.
  • Rubber Floor Tiles: These tiles are ideal for high traffic environment.
  • Laminated Floors: Generally, hardwood flooring is laminated to protect from scratches, dulling, stains, etc.
  • Linoleum Tiles: These are the types of eco-friendly flooring created using wood flour, as well as eco-friendly materials. These tiles can be availed in different styles, as well as colors.
  • Vinyl Composition Tiles: These tiles are scratch resistant, water resistant, and built for high traffic areas. These tiles require no maintenance, and are becoming a choice for homeowners. Various expensive inlay patterns can be experimented over the vinyl composite tiles using waterjet machine. This allows users to enjoy the benefits of expensive patterns of hardwood, oak, and ceramic tiles at low costs.
  • Slate Tiles: These tiles are perfect for any room in the home, and can improve aesthetics of any place.
  • Fritz Tiles: These tile inlays are perfect for high-traffic areas, where longevity, appearance, and low-maintenance becomes essential requirements. Custom logos or designs can be created over fritz tiles using waterjet machines.
  • Carpets: These flooring materials have been around for a long time. Earlier people were only aware of plain bright carpets. Thanks to waterjet cutting, today colorful designer carpets with various designs are getting popular.

Flooring Inlay Types Based on Flooring Patterns

Following are some of the popular waterjet flooring inlays based on patterns:

  • Medallions: The medallions are large circular accent pieces that are cut from the material such as natural stone, slate, granite, porcelain, limestone, etc. Waterjet cutting is a suitable method for creating inlays because they help materials retain their original properties. Stone medallions and wooden medallions are two of the most popular waterjet inlays used around the world.
  • Waterjet stone medallions are created by cutting large stone slabs by tightly assembling on a backer. Stones are polished and sealed to ensure there are no gaps between pieces. These stones are cut to tight tolerances using a waterjet machine. Also, stone medallions require less maintenance and are engineered to fit into hardwood or stone floors.
  • Parquet: This is a classic flooring pattern created by joining wooden pieces in a decorative manner. Parquet patterns are created in various angles, as well as geometric patterns- triangles, lozenges, squares, etc. These patterns are glued over concrete or wood installations. Following are the two popular types of parquetry flooring styles:
  • Herringbone: This pattern features parallelogram or rectangular shaped wooden inlays arranged in zigzag patterns to resemble bones of herring fish. French Herringbone, also known as Chevron Herringbone refers to rectangular wooden boards that are cut at 45-degree angles. Double herringbone boards are created in three sizes.
  • Marquetry: These patterns are created by arranging veneer pieces in particular designs to create decorative flooring. Custom marquetry inlays are used over wall panels, cabinetry, door ornaments, etc. The marquetry pieces are custom created, and can be lacquered or sealed or offered unfinished. 
  • Floor Borders: Waterjet cutting is used to create customized patterns. The pre-assembled patterns can be glued to any clean, dry, and sub-floor.
  • Accent Floor Tiles:  These floor types are used to accentuate tile arrangements in bathrooms, kitchens, or other recreational areas. Decorative patterns are created over the floor tiles using a waterjet cutter.

Apart from the above-mentioned inlay types, you can experiment different types of decorative and designer flooring by employing water jet cutting. By now you might have realized that sky is the limit of imagination when it comes to creating inlays from waterjet cutting. You don’t need to bother about the material, heat, or temperature restrictions when working with waterjet cutters because they use sharp water stream to cut through surfaces.