The days when sheet metal was cut to size using simple hand tools are long since past, and the vast majority of sheet metal cutting services used sophisticated, computer-controlled laser cutting machines to cut and shape their products. However, while laser cutters are far more efficient that traditional, cutting methods, they do have some shortcomings.
One disadvantage associated with laser cutting is the problems it has cutting highly reflective metals—particularly brass. While some specialised, high-intensity laser cutters can work with brass sheeting, there are alternatives, and waterjet cutters can cut through brass as easily and precisely as laser cutters cut through most metals. Here are the some of the main advantages of having your brass cutting needs handled by waterjet cutting services:
Waterjet cutting offers incredible precision for your brass cutting needs, and the narrow, highly pressurised jets of water and cutting media used are amazingly accurate. This makes waterjet cutting ideal for applications where precision is important, such as cutting cogs and wheels for delicate clockwork mechanism.
Waterjet cutters, particularly computer-controlled models, can cut through brass sheeting at an amazing rate, and large cutting orders can be completed and delivered to you quickly.
When brass is heated and allowed to cool off slowly, it becomes harder and more brittle, a phenomenon known as annealing. As you can imagine, the high-intensity lasers required to cut brass kick out a lot of heat and can heat the edges of a cut sheet of brass to the point where they become slightly annealed.
Waterjet cutters have none of these problems, as the stream of water simultanously cools the brass as it cuts through it. This prevents annealing, as well as warping and distortion of cuts caused by the brass melting slightly (a commonly encountered problem when cutting very thin sheets of brass). Waterjet cutting is therefore very suitable for applications where maintaining the natural flexibility and hardness of your brass is important.
Because waterjet cutters consume less energy than laser cutters, waterjet cutting services are generally quite inexpensive and can rival cutting services that utilise metal saws and other manual tools when it comes to pricing. Bulk cutting orders can be particularly cost-effective.
Relatively low energy consumption also makes waterjet cutters a more environmentally friendly option, especially if you choose a service that collects and recycles the water used by the cutting machine. The solid, abrasive media which are often added to the water stream when cutting thicker sheets of brass are also environmentally friendly, as they generally consist of crushed garnet and other organic materials.