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What Is Waterjet Cutting of Marble?

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Natural stone is the first choice when anyone wants a material that is both luxurious and durable. In stone, there are many different materials such as granite, marble, limestone, slate, etc.

Stone must be cut in order for it to be used in any purpose. For very small-scale applications, conventional cutting instruments like angle grinders or blades are employed for this purpose. However, these cutting tools do not work well for large production applications due to the thickness of the stone and frequent wear of the blades.

Therefore, modern methods such as laser and water jet stone cutting are widely used in the stone cutting industry. Many experts consider waterjet cutting technology to be the best modern method of cutting stone.

This article will go into great detail about stone cutting using waterjet technology. You’ll learn how it’s done, its applications, and its advantages over other alternatives.

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Table of Contents

I. What is waterjet cutting of marble?

Waterjet cutting of marble is an advanced technology that uses high-pressure water flow or a jet of mixed abrasives for cutting. This cutting method is widely used in the processing of marble and other stone materials because it enables high-precision, smooth cutting without generating heat, thereby reducing damage to the material.

The basic working principle of waterjet cutting is to create a high-speed water jet by increasing the water pressure to extremely high levels, often reaching over 60,000 psi. To improve the cutting effect, abrasives, usually hard minerals such as quartz or opal, are sometimes added to the water jet, creating a water jet of mixed abrasives.

II. What are the advantages of waterjet cutting on marble?

Using water jets for stone cutting is better than traditional cutting tools. This is because waterjet cutting machines offer several advantages. Some of these benefits include:

1. Cold cutting process

Waterjet cutting is a cold cutting process and therefore does not cause heating of the cutting area. Other cutting processes that use heat, such as laser cutting, can produce visible heat marks on the surface.

Materials may also lose their original internal structure and strength as a result of thermal stress. With waterjet cutting, the stone maintains its original beauty, which is a huge benefit for stones like granite or marble.

Most stones have applications in aesthetic and decorative projects. Therefore, the ability of a waterjet cutter to preserve the original appearance of the stone being cut is the primary reason for using this method.

2. No cracks

When cutting stone, the risk of cracking is high and even professionals worry about it. Cracks may occur due to heat or improper force during cutting.

In waterjet cutting, there is neither heat nor any lateral force. Even at high cutting speeds, the water beam’s concentration on tiny areas of the stone eliminates the chance of surface stress and stone cracking.

3. Dust-free cutting

One of the main issues when cutting stone, especially tile, granite and marble, is the dust generated during the cutting process. Dust can cause respiratory problems for workers close to where the stone is being cut.

However, in waterjet cutting, the stone particles removed from the workpiece are suspended in water. As a result, no dust particles are released into the air, resulting in a cleaner and safer working environment.

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4. Etching

Water jet cutting can not only cut stone, but also etch the surface of stone. In fact, waterjet CNC machines can automatically etch digital designs on any stone.

Etching works very well on materials such as marble, glass, granite, limestone and other materials. The depth of etching produced by the water jet can be adjusted, allowing for superior detail and quality.

5. Environmentally friendly

All water used in the waterjet cutting process can be recycled back into the system. Moreover, dust collected in the water can be utilized as an abrasive when using a waterjet cutter to cut other materials. This makes waterjet cutting a very sustainable and environmentally friendly process.

6. High flexibility

Waterjet cutting is a very versatile process. The machine has flexible tools that can cut different stones without any changes in the machine settings. The advantage of flexible tools is that they reduce labor costs and downtime required to change tools.

7. Accurate

Waterjet cutting offers superior precision and produces minimal cuts when cutting stone or any other material. Traditional cutting methods cannot achieve this level of accuracy due to human error. High accuracy is beneficial for applications such as stone tiles that require a high degree of consistency.

III. Working principle of water jet technology

Materials cut by abrasive waterjet cannot be cut by laser technology because the process does not require the material to be heated. This eliminates the risk of thermal deformation or hardening of the material.

Waterjet cutting technology uses the latest European technology to digitally scan large format and odd-shaped templates with accuracy to within +/- 0.03mm. The cutting technology is five times faster than wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) and other traditional cutting methods. It has a larger work area and can cut large format materials in one unit, saving our customers time and money.

With the ability to cut to size, bevel edges, cut gutters and create tap holes in stone in a single operation, the waterjet has become one of the most valuable pieces of equipment in modern benchtop production.

As a wet process, waterjet reduces WHS issues caused by dust and effectively cuts a variety of products, including recycled engineered stone, porcelain, marble and granite.

Here's how waterjet can streamline your benchtop production:

1. Position slab on waterjet table
2. Set up & load the benchtop file
3. Make the cut
4. Remove slab from waterjet table & assemble
5. Finished product

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★ Super perforation vacuum assisted perforation

One of the most significant challenges for any waterjet machine is the ability to consistently pierce brittle materials without edge peeling or blowing chips away from the puncture point.

Brittle and laminated materials such as marble, stone, glass and composites tend to pit, crack or break during the high-pressure piercing process. The unique non-clogging design pulls abrasive into the cutting head just a split second before the waterjet starts, so that the waterjet’s abrasive particles are immediately entrained in the jet stream, giving each cut a good start.

IV. Application of water jet technology

Waterjet cutting is suitable for several different types of stone:

  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Limestone
  • Basalt
  • Travertine
  • Precious stone
  • Semi-precious stones
  • Quartz
  • Slate

Because waterjet cutting can be used to cut a variety of materials, there are many different use cases for the technology.

● Dams

The construction of dams is done using huge thickness of stones. Traditional tools cannot solve these problems, and manual labor takes a long time. Water jet cutting can easily cut these stones.

● Bridges

The pillars in bridge construction require stones cut using the waterjet stone cutting process.

● Flooring

Marble and granite tiles are commonly found in residential and commercial locations. The tiles must be consistent in size. Therefore, they are cut using a water jet cutting CNC machine.

● Sculpture

5-axis waterjet cutting machine can create complex sculptures for art installations and decorations. These machines support cutting any type of material.

● Sidewalks

Stone bricks are chosen for sidewalks because they are strong, resilient, and beautiful. Waterjet cutting of pavers allows for high productivity, precise dimensions and better material utilization.

● Construction

Stones such as travertine and marble are often used in construction. These are used in the construction of the entire building so these thick slabs of stone need to be cut. This is usually done using a water jet stone cutter.

● Interior design

Stones such as marble and thick granite are common in interior design installations, such as their use in kitchen counters and wash basins.

V. Conclusion

There is no better or safer way to cut stone than a waterjet cutter. Waterjet cutting is an industrial cutting method that uses a high-pressure stream of water and abrasives to cut many types of stone and rock accurately and quickly. Since there is no heat, it can be safely cut, resulting in a high-quality finish that cannot be achieved with laser cutters.

Waterjet cutting is undoubtedly the best way to cut stone. This method works on all materials such as tile, granite, marble, engineered stone or any other material you can think of. It is a favorite among beginners and professionals alike due to its many advantages. And waterjet cutting machines are easy to use.

If you have any questions about marble waterjet cutting parquet, please feel free to contact us!

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