Wasserschneidetechnik Schär GmbH
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Wasserschneidtechnik Schär GmbH

Your partner in water jet technology.

The history of water jet cutting
For more that one hundred years, the focused water jet has been used for removal of materials such as sand, loam, and rock. In the late 1960s, industrialization of the water jet technology got under way when Boeing, who were in need of a machine capable of cutting composite materials for aircraft construction, had research work carried out for new technologies. In 1971, the breakthrough was finally made: The water jet technology made it possible to cut a wide range of materials such as metals, wood, titanium, plastics, fiber compounds, or stone.

The process
By means of a high-pressure pump, a water stream is compressed into a jet of approximately 4,000 bar (58,000 psi), whose kinetic energy can separate even the most diverse kinds of materials without interfering with the materials’ molecular structures. This makes water jet a cold-cutting technology.
There are two types of water jets: pure water and abrasive jets

As the name implies, pure water jets cut the material without the use of additives. The cutting performance of this method is rather limited with hard, dense materials like steel, but it is ideal for matters like plywood, soft plastics, leather, textiles, felt, GRP, carbon fibers, paper, cardboard, insulation materials, rock and glass wool, cork, foam, and rubber.

Abrasive jet cutters separate material by addition of an abrasive substance like sand to the water stream. This also enables the cutting of hard materials – with a perfect cut face even in thick materials.

The mixing ratio is usually computer numerically controlled (CNC). In proportion to the consistency and thickness of the workpiece, the abrasive is automatically added to the water jet just before emission.

Sandstone, marble, granite, steel, stainless steel, aluminum, regular glass, laminated and bullet-proof glass, non-ferrous metals, plastics, composites, titanium, or cast metal – such are the materials that usually require abrasive jet cutting.

Application area of water jet technology
Almost any material can be processed by water jet technology. Application area ranges from the automotive, aerospace, or steel industry to the processing of tools, glass, or food, all the way to gaskets, logos, stone, etc. One tremendous advantage of the water jet technology is that, along the cutting edges, no structural changes and almost no ridges are left, so that no (or little) further treatment is usually required. In order to prevent collateral damage, the workpiece is not clamped or fixed otherwise during the cutting process.

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