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A water jet cutter is a tool capable of slicing into metal or other materials using a jet of water at high velocity and pressure, or a mixture of water and an abrasive substance.
The process is essentially the same as water erosion found in nature but greatly accelerated and concentrated. It is often used during fabrication or manufacture of parts for machinery and other devices.
The versatility of the waterjet allows it to be used in nearly every industry. There are many different materials that the waterjet can cut. Materials commonly cut with waterjet include rubber, foam, plastics, composites, stone, tiles, metals, food, paper and much more.
An important benefit of the water jet cutter is the ability to cut material without interfering with the material’s inherent structure as there is no “ heat-affected zone “. Minimizing the effects of heat allows metals to be cut without harming or changing intrinsic properties.
Water jet cutters are also capable of producing rather intricate cuts in material. Typical abrasive cuts are made with kerfs in the range of 0.04” to 0.05” (1.016mm to 1.27mm).
They can cut off large pieces (6.0’ by 12.0’ or 1828.8mm by 3657.6mm) of reusable scrap material that might have been lost using traditional cutting methods. Parts can be closely nested to maximize material use, and the waterjet saves material by creating very little kerfs.
Water jet cuts are not typically limited by the thickness of the material, and are capable of cutting materials 7.5” (190mm) thick.