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Waterjet Cutting

Glass Waterjet Cutting is the Crystal Clear Choice

The destructive nature of water has never been in doubt, but who knew if engineers focused on that nature and beefed it up with abrasives, a water jet could cut through anything? Seriously, glass water jet cutting has various benefits over traditional glass cutting methods. Precision waterjet cutting provides a precise cut that needs no finishing. 

Even then, it doesn’t mean you put any glass type through glass water jet cutting and expect superb outcomes when you’re done. In this article, you will discover the most common types of glass you can subject to precision waterjet cutting technology using tools from Elemet Manufacturing.

Float Glass

Glass Waterjet Cutting is the Crystal Clear Choice: Float Glass

If you’re looking for extremely smooth and distortion-free glass for window applications, then float glass can provide you with excellent solutions. The Pilkington process is responsible for the formation of this type of glass. During the process, the glass floats on a tin bed in the shape of its container.

You can devise multiple cut-outs, holes, shapes, and many other designs using precision waterjet cutting. However, you require precise cutting settings ranging from 700-1400 bar for smooth finishes and edges in the final piece.

Laminated Glass

Laminated Glass can be used for store windows.

Cutting through laminated glass can be challenging, especially using traditional methods such as glass cutters, diamond wheels, or sandblasting. When attempting to cut laminated glass, the single biggest risk is delamination, and that’s why it’s always best to let a professional do the cutting. 

Glass waterjet cutting at low pressure would be best in this situation. This reduces the chances of piercing or delamination. Pre-drilled holes can also reduce the chance of the high-pressure water stream separating the glass layers.

Annealed Glass

Annealed glass is often used in tabletops

Annealing is a glass cooling process during fabrication; unlike tempered glass, it isn’t treated with heat. As you can imagine, annealed glass is soft and best handled by highly skilled technicians.

It is ideal for various uses, from cabinets and windows to come up with custom cuts. Still, the annealing process results in a glass that doesn’t have the internal stresses which allow the tempered glass to shatter. It strengthens it more compared to tempered glass. 

The internal strength simplifies the use of glass waterjet cutting techniques to develop a remarkable finished product. Even if the annealed glass is a few degrees softer, you can’t utilize pure waterjet cutting for the final product. 

Note that tempered glass cannot withstand pressure and shatters immediately upon the impact of a high-pressure stream.

Bulletproof Glass

Bulletproof glass is used in windows of military vehicles.

This wonderful glass innovation, capable of stopping bullets from the world’s most syndicated assault rifle, the AK-47, would surely be a tough match for glass waterjet cutting technology. The surprising thing is that it isn’t. Crank the pressure up to 60,000 PSI, and the abrasive water jet cuts through bulletproof glass like a chisel through wood. 

Suppose you’re looking to fashion something out of bulletproof glass. In that case, you can be sure an abrasive water jet can carve through 2 inches of bulletproof glass to get you the desired shapes.

Mirrors

Dressing room mirror.

Mirrors present quite a challenge to cutting machines, particularly those that rely on lasers. The reflection of that mirror can spell disaster for anyone trying to cut it with lasers. Even though mirrors only reflect light, the energy carried with that light can translate to heat damage on a surface unfortunate enough to be anywhere in the laser’s path.

The advantage of using glass water jet cutting is you never have to worry about flying glass particles, unseemly cracks, and unwanted reflections.

Stained Glass

Stained Glass Window

The piece of history that can turn any dwelling into a hallowed work of art is notoriously difficult to deal with, especially when using hand-held tools. Rather than waste time trying to maintain the sanctity of the art of cutting stained glass, why not do quick work using precision waterjet cutting technology?

Why Should You Use Glass Precision Waterjet Cutting?

The various benefits to glass cutting using abrasive water jets include:

  • Smooth cuts: A water jet’s high-pressure stream provides a smooth and highly controllable tool. By managing stream speed means you can cut through glass of varying thicknesses.
  • Precise cuts: The high-pressure stream makes for a precise tool, allowing you to cut several shapes down to a thickness of 0.1 mm. The stream precision allows you to come up with distortion-free designs. 
  • Intricate cuts: With a high-pressure stream being a precise tool, you can cut glass into various shapes, angles, and any other complex shape you can think of. A glass precision waterjet cutting tool can make it happen whether it bevels sharp corners, pierces holes, or cuts curves with the smallest inner radii. Moreover, you can save time by stacking the glass to be cut.

Would you like to get started with glass waterjet cutting? Look no further than Elemet Manufacturing. Our company is based on a joint venture between Precision Waterjet Concepts and Aitkin Iron Works. This collectively gives us nearly 90 years of experience providing precision waterjet cutting and other metal fabrication services. We have industry-leading precision waterjet cutting and advanced metal fabrication services. Get in touch with us now.