Not only are Waterjet machines powerful and highly versatile, but they are also one of the most environmentally friendly CNC cutting technologies on the market. With the growing emphasis on environmental issues, many businesses are striving to decrease their impact and operate in a “greener” fashion. With this in mind, lets take at a look at a few of the factors that make this cutting technology more environmentally friendly than the rest.
What the Waterjet Uses to Cut
The waterjet cuts using water and abrasives rather than any chemicals, gasses, or noxious liquids. An abrasive is a fine substance that is added to the water to increase its cutting capabilities. The most common abrasive used with waterjet machines is called garnet, which is a type of stone in a sand-like form. Therefore there are no hazardous bi-products created during the cutting process, making for relatively easy disposal.
For the disposal of the water and abrasive it is safe enough to send it to a landfill or down the drain as sewage.
The Reuse of Water
Waterjet technology uses surprisingly little water. It of course depends on the size of the orifice but typically it will use around half a gallon per minute. Additionally, since a waterjet can be configured with a closed loop system, the water used in cutting can be recycled for further use. This conservation and reuse of the water clearly allows any environmental impact to be decreased.
Since the waterjet cutting has such a small kerf, there is less wasted material. Kerf is the amount of material along the vector line of the design that is removed in the cutting process. This not only decreases the amount of waste created while cutting from an environmental standpoint but also from the economic side it saves you money. Many materials are expensive and even saving small amounts of material on each cut can add up.