Unicorn Sheet Metal Works

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High Precision Sheet Metal Laser Cutting & Waterjetting

Waterjet Cutting for Sheet Metal Precision

Waterjet Cutting for Sheet Metal Precision

Unicorn Sheet Metal Works Ltd continues to invest in the latest technology with the acquisition of the Swiss-engineered Bystronic ByJet Classic 4022 waterjet cutting system.

Waterjet cutting offers many advantages over traditional sheet metal fabrication. Waterjet is an excellent alternative to laser cutting when it comes to the precision engineering of reflective metals including stainless steel, aluminium, titanium, copper and brass. High quality waterjet cutting is so finely controlled it can be used for cutting glass, synthetics and ceramic.

Innovations in waterjet technology mean that in many circumstances waterjet cutting can be quicker, cheaper and more efficient than laser metal cutting.

Waterjet Cutting – How it Works

Low pressure water jets were first used in gold mining in the 19th Century, and steam & hot water jets have had commercial applications for over a hundred years. High pressure water hoses are now commonplace and are regularly used for everything from washing cars and patios to pressure cleaning buildings.

A waterjet cutting head uses water pressure over 30 times greater than a standard pressure washer. The key to precision waterjet cutting is the constancy of the stream, the fine focus of the spray head, and the addition of sand, garnet or other abrasive material injected into the spray in exact quantities.

Waterjet cutting – or abrasivejet cutting – is usually carried out in a water tank to reduce noise, splashback and to give a clearer definition to the fabricated material.

Waterjet Cutting at Unicorn Sheet Metal Works

Waterjet Cutting at Unicorn Sheet Metal Works

The Bystronic ByJet Classic 4022 has a 4m x 2m area cutting bed. The spray heads are finely controllable to cut through thin metal plating and powerful enough to slice through sheet metal of over 100mm thickness. The waterjet stream operates at pressures up to 3600 bar.

With dual cutting heads, the Bystronic Byjet is quicker, more efficient and cheaper than single cutting machines. Precision guided programming and common–line cutting mean that in some instances two components can be produced with a single cut. High tech materials, including composites and laminates, can be cut without risk of delamination, and waterjet technology can be utilised for fast and efficient engraving on most metals and other surfaces.

Waterjet Cutting Applications

Unicorn Sheet Metal Works use waterjet technology when fabricating parts and components for use in many manufacturing areas.

The Pharmaceutical & Chemical Industries regularly uses stainless steel for pipework and conveyor belt mechanisms. The reflective surface of stainless steel can 'bounce' the light from a laser cutting head but waterjet fabrication techniques that cut heavier grades of stainless steel are ideal for shaping flange ends for pipes and tubing.

The Aerospace Industry use metals that are light and strong including titanium and aluminium. At Unicorn we cut titanium profiles for components used in aircraft manufacture.

Unicorn work closely with Defence Industry contractors in the fabrication of hardox, armour plating, military vehicle parts, brackets, sump guards and many others components. We make brass fittings for the Royal Navy and the Merchant Shipping Industry including brass ventilation parts for frigates. Waterjet and abrasivejet techniques are perfect for shaping wear-resistant steel.

Unicorn use waterjet cutting in the manufacture of aluminium balustrades, structural steelwork, support plates and decorative aluminium fittings for the Architectural and Construction Industries.

Waterjet cutting is highly effective and efficient in the manufacture of copper components such as buzzbars used in Electrical Distribution, and Unicorn manufacture electrical termination plates for batteries.

Unicorn Sheet Metal Works manufacture brass and copper machine parts for the Offshore Oil Industry to exact specifications using waterjet and abrasive jet cutting techniques.

We waterjet cut copper flanges for an engineering company in Liverpool.

We produce thick aluminium alloy bearing housing flanges for a water pump manufacturer.

We waterjet cut 10mm thick black pvc flashings for a decorative architectural design company. The flashings are used as cladding for the front of buildings to produce a highly original decorative effect

Waterjet Manufacturing – More Information

We are always happy to talk new or existing customers about how waterjet cutting techniques might be used to create metal parts and components.

For enquiries or advice on any aspect of waterjet cutting please call 0191 262 2882.


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