waterjet cutting services in 5 qualities; CQ1, CQ2, CQ3 CQ4 or CQ5

Waterjet Cut Quality

Waterjet cutting is a very versatile and adaptable machining process that allows for parts to be manufactured to exactly suit the application. The speed at which the jet travels changes the results of cut edge.

5 Cut Qualities
5 Cut Quality

At RED we can cut parts with five different cut qualities varying from 1 which is the roughest/fastest cut to 5 which is the slowest/smoothest cut. Below is a graphic representation of each of the five cut qualities.

Points to consider when choosing an appropriate cut quality:

  • A part can consist of multiple cut qualities. Areas that do not require tight tolerances or smooth/aesthetic finish can utilize lower (CQ1 or CQ2) cut qualities. Areas requiring tighter tolerance or a smooth aesthetic finish may need to be higher (CQ4 or CQ5). Most customers select CQ3 since it has the best balance of cost and surface finish.
  • The higher the cut quality the slower the jet will travel and thus the more the part/feature will cost.
  • The lower the cut quality the more taper will appear in the part. For example, the bottom edge of outside profiles will be wider than the top.
  • Softer materials will be more susceptible to lower cut qualities. The tradeoff is softer materials cut faster so a higher cut quality can be utilized while still maintaining a reasonable price.
  • Harder materials tend to exhibit better than normal cut qualities at faster speeds since the abrasive is required to act on the material for longer in order to abrade the surface.
  • The striations shown in the graphic are generally focused on the bottom third of the material thickness. So as material thickness increases, the area exhibiting the striations reduces as a percentage of the overall thickness. This can be an advantage to parts that will be welded since the area of the cut edge with the most striations will be covered by the welding bead.