Abrasive waterjet cutting has historically been seen as a novel tool for rough cutting of materials such as steel, aluminum, titanium, Inconel® , and glass – sort of a glorified bandsaw for 2D shapes. But today™s waterjet technology has advanced into new territory.
With the latest in technology offered by waterjet manufactures and coupled with one firm™s technical innovations, waterjet is now entering the ultra-high tolerance 3D machining world and cutting advanced ceramics and composites in ways that compete with or replace more conventional practices in less time and for less money.
Computer algorithms that control both machine motion and waterjet cutting dynamics have pushed waterjet versatility to the forefront in modern machining practices, explains Jim Calder, president, Abrasive Waterjet& CNC Inc. (Huntington Beach, CA). In some cases, waterjet in its most sophisticated application is now a technology enabler that allows the user to manufacture in ways previously not considered. Abrasive Waterjet (AWC) is one company that is pushing the waterjet technology into this new manufacturing forefront.