The power of water can never be underestimated and this is the basis on which glass water-jet cutting are based. If you take normal tap water, pressurise it to 60 psi (40,0 bar) and force it through a small hole, then you will have a thin stream of water travelling at high speed and it can penetrate and cut almost any material. Water-jets use high pressurised water (20-60 psi) that is forced through a small opening, the orifice. The thin stream of water moving close to the speed of sound (600 mph or 960 km/h) and concentrated on a small area can cut through glass. For harder glass, abrasives are added to the stream of water which then can easily cut the harder glass as well. The abrasive-jet is thus just a water-jet charged with abrasives.
Advantages of using water-jet for cutting material is that it is a very versatile, flexible and cost effective cutting tool to cut a wide variety of materials precisely. Materials that can be cut include hard materials, brittle materials laminated materials as well as flammable materials. This kind of cutting will definitely become more prominent in high security areas where no open flames or sparks are allowed.
To set up and program the water-jet is fast and does not require a lot of parts to be assembled. The tool is placed on the glass and the cutting head will move over the glass. A CAD program are used to draw the object you want cut and with the push of the print button the water-jet will cut the whole pre-programmed object out of the glass.
The heat, generated by water-jetting is so small that you can ignore it while the downward force of the glass are also very small. This make machining glass that are laminated easy while the absence of heat or sparks make it perfect for hazardous areas where no open flames or sparks are allowed. The absence of any dust, smoke or fumes make water-jetting a very clean way of cutting glass. It is therefore a very Environmental friendly way to cut glass.
It is a very safe way of cutting glass, there is not much debris associated with it and even if there is a leak in the system, then it is only water leaking with the only negative result being the drop in the pressure of the cutting head. The biggest hazard associated with water-jet cutting is that you might cut yourself if you touch the very sharp edges of the glass that has been cut!
Its a very easy system to learn seeing that the machine is computer-interfaced and that programming have been done by an expert in that field.
No start holes have to be drilled except in certain cases where the glass are difficult or impossible to pierce. When pierced the water-jet cutter will cut the glass and only a very small portion of glass will be destroyed by the narrow water beam.
Water-jetting is thus the easiest, most effective and precise method to cut glass.