Laser cutting and water jet cutting are two of the most common metal processing procedures for slicing through a wide range of materials. But what are the differences between the two? At American Metal Supply Co. in Cincinnati, OH, their metal processing experts have the unique knowledge and experience to help you choose the optimal option for your project.
Laser cutting uses a gas laser, like a CO2 laser, to conduct up to 2600 watts of energy sent via a beam. This magnitude is powerful enough to cut through a variety of materials including glass, wood, and plastic. The process also works well for nearly every type of metal, from stainless steel to aluminum. However, it will not work with reflective metals. Sandwich structures, those with cavities, or 3D materials are generally difficult to cut with laser cutting. Materials under 0.4 inches in thickness have the best results. When conducted properly, the process is quick and precise.
Water Jet Cutting
Water jet cutting, on the other hand, uses pressurized water to slice through the metal. Aluminum oxide or another abrasive material is sometimes added to boost performance. This metal processing process is akin to erosion found in nature, but at high speeds. A high-pressure pump propels the water through hoses that output up to 7 kilowatts of energy. Due to its high-intensity performance, water jet cutting is a suitable process for nearly every material, including some 3D materials, sandwich structures, and those with cavities.
Ultimately, the process you choose for your project will depend on your unique materials and needs. The experienced metal suppliers at American Metal Supply Co. are prepared to handle any project, big or small. They also manage in-house and strategic partner relationships. Ultimately, their goal is to make the experience as seamless and efficient as possible for their valued clients.
To get your metal processing project started today, call American Metal Supply Co. at (513) 396-6600. For more information, visit their website.