Abrasive water jet cutting is a process using special tools capable of slicing into metal or other materials using a jet of water at a high velocity and pressure, or by using a mixture of water and an abrasive substance.
Due to the self-cooling attributes and lack of an ignition source, abrasive cutting is a safer method of cutting in potentially explosive atmospheres or around flammable materials, such as in gas-line construction and maintenance applications. Using abrasive water jet cutting on metal surfaces allows for the metal to be unharmed and unchanged.
- Uses a high-velocity stream of Ultra High-Pressure Water 30,000– 45,000 psi produced by a high-pressure pump with possible abrasive particles suspended in the stream.
- Used for machining a large array of materials, including heat-sensitive, delicate or very hard materials.
- Produces no heat damage to workpiece surface or edges.
- Nozzles are typically made of sintered boride or composite tungsten carbide.
- Produces a taper of less than 1 degree on most cuts, which can be reduced or eliminated entirely by slowing down the cut process or tilting the jet.
- Distance of nozzle from workpiece affects the size of the kerf and the removal rate of material. Typical distance is .125 in (3.2 mm).