The composite materials, which are actually composed of several materials joined together, are difficult to cut. Their characteristics – thanks to low density and very high durability, the materials are often used in different branches of industry and building. However, such characteristics make it also difficult to process the materials. In the event when the composite material has distinctive layers, the efficiency of cutting depends on the order of arrangement of such layers. The problems with water jet may occur in case when soft layers are combined with hard layers. With an increase of differences in hardness between particular layers, water jet becomes more difficult.
Water jet cutting of carbon fiber has many advantages. There is no risk that the material will melt or change its properties due to excessive heating. The material is not at risk of layer separation. There is no risk of development of toxic gases during the process, which could occur in case of applying other technologies.
The use of methods causing high temperatures definitely increases the risk of damaging glass fiber. The situation is different in case of the water jet technology, which is a low-temperature method allowing to completely eliminate such risk. Similarly as in case of carbon fiber, no harmful fumes are created during the process. The use of water almost completely eliminates the risk of toxic dusts.
It should be also mentioned that by using water jet to cut composite materials, means significant reduction of costs. Thanks to the precision of details, further processing is not necessary. Additionally, since no further works are required, there is no risk of losing the properties of the created elements. However, every material is different and the effects of cutting depend, in particular, on its structure.