Waterjet machining has been around for decades and is one of the fastest growing machining processes today. Its ease of use and its ability to cut almost any material while maintaining high precision, make it suitable for a large array of operators, from small short-run job shops and R & D facilities to large corporations engaging in full-scale production to trade schools teaching manufacturing methods.
A waterjet utilizes a high-pressure stream of water to erode a narrow line in the stock material. To cut a wider range of materials from tool steel to titanium to foam, a granular (typically garnet) abrasive is added to the waterjet, increasing the cutting power. Because the abrasive is added at the nozzle, it is simple to switch between water only and abrasive waterjet cutting. This flexibility greatly enhances the versatility of a waterjet machine, as it can easily switch from cutting ½” (1.27cm) foam gaskets to 4” (10.16cm) titanium brackets.