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New data on the waterjet cutting industry

Posted by IndustryNet on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

100000319_Largescale_waterjet_cuttingWaterjet cutting is the process of using high-pressure water to cut through nearly any material. In some situations, abrasive materials are mixed with the water to allow cutting of harder alloys such as stainless steel.

Far from new technology, the concept of high-pressure water for removing material has been around since the 1800s. Back then, hydraulic mining used water cannons to remove rock and dirt at a faster rate than digging.

Today, waterjet cutting has evolved into a computer-controlled process that is environmentally friendly, efficient and precise.

Regional trends in the waterjet cutting industry

The vast majority of the 148 waterjet cutting companies in the U.S. are based in the Midwest with 61 companies located in that region.

The fewest are in the Northeast with only 16 companies. The South and West share the remainder with 39 and 31 companies respectively. Waterjet cutting supports 1,776 jobs, an increase of nearly 3 percent from the previous year.

Growth trends in waterjet cutting 

The waterjet cutting industry is a subsector of manufacturing. Like the rest of that industry, waterjet cutting has seen substantial growth over the past twelve months. With only 148 companies offering the service, total sales are not as high as some of the more common sectors.

However, the increase in total sales has been astronomical. Total sales have increased 14.42 percent in the last year, bringing the sector's economic contribution to roughly $349.1 million.

This rate of increase is nearly double what manufacturing has experienced as a whole, and higher than any other sector except for precision machined components.

Sustainability in waterjet cuttingwaterjet_cutting_production_floor

Perhaps part of the reason for this significant increase is the relative cleanliness and sustainability of waterjet processes. In closed-loop systems, water is filtered and recirculated for future use.

In open-loop systems, the water can be filtered and drained without any adverse effects on plumbing or toxic byproducts.

For systems that use an abrasive material such as garnet, the substance's non-toxic properties make it safe for recycling or disposal in a landfill. Waterjet cutting also does not subject operators to harmful chemicals or gases during normal operations.

The advantages of waterjet cutting

Another advantage of waterjet cutting is that materials are not subjected to heat effects from friction. Additionally, there is no warping, edge deformation and burr formation, and minimal loss of material. Stress impacts are non-existent, and the crushing of materials is also minimized, making waterjet cutting a sensible alternative to other methods of cutting.

waterjet_cutting_workersWaterjets can also be outfitted with multiple nozzle heads. When controlled by computers, these heads enable waterjets to create complex 3D shapes. Tolerances down to 0.004 of one inch are industry standard.

Recent advances in waterjet pressure control have enabled the cutting of soft materials such as rubber, leather and foam.

With very high-pressure pumps, waterjets can slice through six inches of metal, ceramics, glass and composites. About the only material that waterjets cannot cut is diamond.

Finding a waterjet cutting facility

To see a complete listing of the nation's waterjet cutting companies, start your free search on IndustryNet.

 

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