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Flat Sheet Laser Cutting vs. Water Jet Cutting

When producing the parts you need for your business, using the right cutting technology will help ensure not only the best overall quality, but also the most efficient and cost-effective production of your parts.

At BenCo, we use a variety of cutting equipment—including flat sheet lasers and water jets—in order to provide options that will help you get the job done right. Read on for a comparison of flat sheet laser cutting versus water jet cutting.

Our Flat Sheet Laser Cutting Shop

Flat sheet laser cutting is effective when cutting parts from large sheets of aluminum, steel, stainless steel, brass, and copper. Advantages of flat sheet lasers include their accuracy, consistency, and speed. Plus, they can cut and etch in a single step. In our PA laser cutting shop, our flat sheet lasers can cut everything from single prototypes to full runs quickly and precisely.

A disadvantage of flat sheet laser cutting is that it’s limited to cutting only flat pieces of thin metal. Our flat sheet lasers at BenCo Technology are capable of cutting sheets sized up to 83″ x 162″, but with only a maximum thickness of 1″ for hot rolled, .75″ for stainless, and .5″ for aluminum.  There are, however, options for cutting round, square, channel and other types of open profile stock.

Our Water Jet Cutting Shop

Water jets are extremely versatile and can cut materials ranging from very thin glass to 6″ thick stainless steel and even granite. Unlike laser cutting, water jet cutting produces minimal heat so it can be used on a broader selection of materials than other cutting technologies.

Our PA water jet cutting shop is flexible in terms of the materials we can handle, and we can produce high-quality parts out of metal, stone, foam, brass, copper, delicate graphite composites, rubber, plastic, and even paper.

With a water jet, fast turn around is possible thanks to cutting speeds from about 1” to 6” per minute. We can make prototypes and short runs of finished parts in minutes or hours – not days or weeks. Another advantage of water jet cutting is its ability to perform stack cutting on multiple sheets of material up to a thickness of 8”.

Due to its ability to cut thick metal, some manufacturers use water jet cutting to quickly and cost-effectively cut rough slugs that can be finished through subsequent machining processes. Our ability to cut slugs for parts quickly helps our clients save time and money during the manufacturing process.

Looking for the Best Cutting Technology for Your Next Project?

We’ll be happy to talk with you about your next project. With a variety of cutting equipment available at BenCo, we can ensure you’ll get the parts you need according to your specific requirements. Contact us to learn more about our laser cutting service, water jet cutting service, and other available cutting options.

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