Abrasive water jet machine tools are suddenly being a hit in the market since they are quick to program and could make money on short runs. They are quick to set up, and offer quick turn-around on the machine. They complement existing tools used for either primary or secondary operations and could make parts quickly out of virtually out of any material. One of the major advantage is that they donot heat the material. All sorts of intricate shapes are easy to make. They turns to be a money making machine.
So ultimately a machine shop without a water jet , is like a carpenter with out a hammer. Sure the carpenter can use the back of his crow bar to hammer in nails, but there is a better way. It is important to understand that abrasive jets are not the same thing as the water jet although they are nearly the same. Water Jet technology has been around since the early 1970s or so, and abrasive jets extended the concept about ten years later. Both technology use the principle of pressuring water to extremely high pressure, and allowing the water to escape through opening typically called the orifice or jewel. Water jets use the beam of water exiting the orifice to cut soft stuffs like candy bars, but are not effective for cutting harder materials. The inlet water is typically pressurized between 20000 and 60000 Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI). This is forced through a tiny wall in the jewel which is typically .007” to .015” diameter (0.18 to0.4 mm) . This creates a vary high velocity beam of water. Abrasive jets use the same beam of water to accelerate abrasive particles to speeds fast enough to cut through much faster material.