Why Waterjet Cutting Machines Work with Glass?

When we say that waterjet cutting machine work, we are declaring that it can cut and slice through virtually anything including glass. Seasoned glass fabricating professionals agree with us in saying that the waterjet system is a great innovation in the material cutting business because it lets you handle not just metal, wood, or plastics but it can also cut and slice through a flimsy and delicate glass.

This is because waterjet technology is not being limited by the contours and shapes of any glass material. Such a feat just cannot be done, replicated, or is just not possible to do with other available material cutting systems we have today. 

From glass ornaments, artistic table top inlays, antique car replacement windows, and many more – there seems to be nothing that a waterjet can’t handle. 

Cutting the Glass

The waterjet cutting machine is hooked up to a high-pressure water pump which ejects pressurized water through a small nozzle. This allows the system to slice through hard materials, including glass. To further intensify its inherent cutting power, additives may be added to the water in the form of suspended grit. Garnet particles or aluminum oxide may be used for this purpose, which assists and enhances the overall cutting process.  

Since the nature of the cutting stream can be easily modified without difficulty, a water jet system can be taken advantage of for many different glass cutting projects. If there is any major advantage that waterjet cutting is most noted for, this material cutting method can slice and cut through glass without interfering with the internal structure or structural integrity of the glass.  Hence, it is cut efficiently and smoothly. 

It is impressive to see that waterjet systems are capable of switching between different materials in a heartbeat, but what is even more surprising is when you see the first-rate quality of the cut it delivers. While waterjet systems carry out most of the legwork they need to transition to a glass workpiece, the waterjet cutting machine operator may need to put some extra effort to help him achieve his desired final product.  

Safety reminder with tempered glass. We don’t recommend or encourage working on a qualified tempered glass with a waterjet system. They are designed to shatter and go into bits and pieces when punctured. This is a safety feature of tempered glass, and that characteristic alone makes them unsuitable for use with water jet cutting methods.   

The Waterjet Cutting Process

Step 1: Personal Protective Equipment and Housekeeping

You can’t work with a waterjet system if your surrounding environment is not in good order or disarray. See to it first that your working area is completely devoid of anything that can potentially cause you to slip or trip. If there is a potential fall hazard, you need to clear that up. 

Accidents and injury arising from such incidents can substantially increase if you will be working with glass materials. This is because glass material can shatter into small sharp pieces. Needless to say, they can put the operator all the more in harm’s way if an accident occurs. 

Step 2: Pre-Cut Preparation

We recommend that you take advantage of 120 or 150 abrasive mesh when cutting glass work is in progress. The use of finer abrasive will keep your glass material from shattering, chipping, or cracking. Best of all, it will even further enhance the overall edge quality of the final product.  

Furthermore, see to it that you properly level your waterjet cutting table. Otherwise, it would be inducing stress on your glass workpiece which lays the foundation for you to have uneven cuts, leading to poor edge quality.  

Step 3: Cutting Procedure

You can start your waterjet glass cutting work once you have ascertained that your workpiece is fully supported and that it is on a good level with your cutting table. You may want to pre-pierce first all the start points on your glass before commencing. 

After pre-piercing work is done on your glass workpiece, you need to set your abrasive flow rate to normal again. In addition to that, return your pressure pump to 60,000 psi. Then you may proceed with the cutting job.