Laser Metal Cutting Services Verses Water Jet

A Wisconsin battery manufacturer decides that Rentapen Inc.’s Just-In-Time Laser Cutting Services™ is better for cutting its cut metal parts than water jet cutting.

On December 15 2011, a battery manufacturer that wishes to remain anonymous needed to have some aluminum plate cut for its windmill energy storage unit. It had samples of the metal parts cut with Rentapen’s laser and some with a water jet.

The main differences between water jet cutting and laser cutting is in the thickness of the material, accuracy of the cut, heat affected zones and machine cleaning.

Water jet cutting machines can cut materials such as: stone, ceramics, and materials of a greater thickness, sometimes up to 10 inches.

One benefit of a water jet are sheets of material can be stacked onto each other, allowing the water jet to cut multiple sheets of material at one time. However, the cut tends to taper out as it goes deeper into the metal. So instead of a close-to-perfectly vertical cut through the metal that is provided by a good laser cut, the water jet sprays out a bit causing a slight taper to the edge of the thicker cut parts.

This was the difference that really made the decision for the Battery Manufacturer. “They needed to fixture the part and it is easier to hold a straight vertical edge than one that is tapered,” said Susan Straley, President of Rentapen.

Rentapen Inc., located in Waukesha, WI purchased a 4000 watt CO2 Mitsubishi Laser Cutter, which started their Just-In-Time Laser Cutting Services™. The laser can cut up to 1 inch mild steel, .5 inch stainless steel, and .5 inch aluminum.

metal shims for the machine tool industry each year.

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About rentapen

Susan Straley, aka Queen of Lean Machine Design, is the President of Rentapen Inc. in Waukesha, WI. She helps manufacturers reduce costs through excellence in 3d desing services, RAPid Tooling Components(TM), and Just-in-Time Laser Cutting Services(TM). Susan can be reached directly at 262-542-8891.
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