Waterjet cutting is a mechanical production process for cutting different materials. Waterjet cutting services use a mechanical process to cut the parts, while most of the other popular methods, like lasers and plasma, use heat. Material gets removed by physical contact that results in material wear, thus a cut.
The waterjet blasts out of the cutting head at a supersonic speed. Meaning that it travels faster than sound. This is the first requirement for cutting hard materials like metal. But water alone could not accomplish such a feat. Therefore, additions in the form abrasives are necessary. The most common abrasive is crushed garnet – the same material that provides the roughness of sandpaper.
The high-pressure waterjet stream ensures that these abrasives hit the material at great speed. Continuous wear erodes the metal. The pressure for waterjet cutting is typically around 55000 to 90000 psi in case of newer machinery.
Gradual material removal combined with the cooling effect of water keeps the temperature low during production. This is also the reason why it does not leave a HAZ on the parts, whether using it for steel, stainless steel or aluminum.
The conical deviation with waterjet cutting is small because the jet itself travels in a straight line.