Waterjet services from Elasto Proxy cuts rubber materials without long lead times or tooling charges. Waterjet cutting, a form of digital manufacturing, uses computer numerical control (CNC) to convert a computer-aided design (CAD) file into coordinates that control the machine’s movement. The results include cut rubber lengths with clean edges, chamfers, dovetail cuts, and 90° corners. Rubber water jet cutting can also produce small parts and support features like notches and vent holes.

During water jet cutting, a stream of highly pressurized water provides the cutting action. First, a pump generates pressures that are measured in tens of thousands of pounds per square inch (PSI). Next, the water jet cutter converts this pressure into velocity. Water travels into the cutting heads and a jewel orifice restricts the flow as high-pressure water cuts rubber sheets or profiles on a large cutting table. The advantages of waterjet services include speed, machine time, sizes, and tolerances.

In addition to avoiding tooling fees, water jet cutting eliminates setup changes. Plus, if an engineer revises a part design, there’s no tool to scrap or setup charges to write-off. Learn more about the advantages of Elasto Proxy’s waterjet services and compare them to other cutting methods. Contact us for more information or keep reading to learn how we cut rubber materials.

Advantages of Waterjet Cutting

Water jet cutting is a powerful way to make fine, fast cuts. Power is a function of two factors: the amount of water that’s exiting the jewel orifice, and the pressure of the water. As a rule, a smaller orifice with lower pressure will cut more slowly than a larger orifice with higher pressure. Yet machine time isn’t just about power at the nozzle. The hardness and thickness of the material, the geometry of the part, and the software that controls the waterjet head also determines cutting speeds.

Water jet cut rubber is fabricated on table with a large surface area. This size of this table supports the cutting of sandwich-style insulation that’s laminated from large sheets of thermal and acoustic materials. Yet, our waterjet services can also make cuts as small as 1/2” x 1/2”. With rubber gaskets, holes with diameters as small as 0.01” are achievable. It’s important to remember, however, that part tolerances are also a function of the material – and a reason to refer to RMA Tables during gasket design.

Waterjet Services vs. Other Cutting Methods 

Water jet cutting at Elasto Proxy can produce fast, precise, and consistent cuts that are hard to make with manual cutting methods. With hand tools like knives, the quality of cuts on a Monday morning may differ from the ones made at mid-day Wednesday or on Friday afternoon. Uneven cuts make it harder to bond rubber gaskets, and the amount of shop waste from mis-cuts can be significant. The use of hand tools increases the risk of employee injury, too.

Plus, water jet cutting won’t deform rubber profiles. The cuts are quick and match the part schematics every time. Unlike other machine-based cutting methods, water jet cutting is a tool-less process. By contrast, die cutting requires metal tools called dies that can be expensive to buy and may take weeks to arrive. Digital knife cutting doesn’t require custom tooling, but customers still need to buy a set of knives or at least pay for their use.  

Are you ready to learn more about our waterjet services? Contact us and request a quote.

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