Our waterjet and laser machines allow CNC cutting on a wide range of materials. The water jet can cut at a rate of 150 inches/per minute and the laser cuts up to 1000 inches per minute. Both machines have extremely tight tolerances and allow for importing of CAD files for programming. These machines can be used for prototyping as well as low to medium volume production.
Water Jet Cutting vs. Laser Cutting
Water jet cutting uses technology that offers extremely clean and accurate cuts by forcing high-pressure water through a small nozzle (typically .005”). In our waterjet process, we do not use any abrasives in our machine, but rather pure water which is filtered multiple times before reaching the cutting head. Waterjet cutting is ideal for thick rubber (up to ¾”), certain plastics, compressed non-asbestos material and parts where there is minimal clearance between holes or sides of a part.
Laser cutting is a clean and precise method of cutting gaskets. High-powered lasers are controlled by a computer-aided design (CAD) program to move and cut out the desired shapes. We use a CO2 laser, which gives us the ability to adjust the strength of the laser and speed of the cut to best suit the material being processed. Laser cutting is ideal for closed-cell materials, foams, certain plastics, polyester films, paper, and certain fibers. It is also ideal where there is minimal clearance between holes of the sides of a part.
Both methods allow for tighter tolerances than traditional die cutting, generally +/- .005”.
Advantages of Water Jet & Laser Cutting
- Clean and precise cutting
- No compression distortion
- Tight tolerances
- No tooling cost
- Quick turn-around of parts
- Prototyping different materials, sizes, patterns, etc.
- Ability to tightly nest parts to maximize material yield
- Minimal clearance between holes or other features