Flow International Corp. said abrasive waterjet cutting can cut through 4-in.-thick titanium.
Flow International Corp., South Kent, Wash., introduced its "HyperJet" abrasive waterjet cutting machine for the sheet metal industry. The company said this is the first commercially viable application of the 87,000-psi "Hyper Pressure" waterjet pump.

According to Flow, the HyperJet can cut 30% to 40% faster than lower-pressure machines and uses 40% less abrasive to help reduce operating costs.

The company said traditional cutting process such as laser and punch press require lengthy and expensive set up times in order to cut different parts. However, the HyperJet, like all waterjets, can easily switch shapes, material, and thicknesses without the time-consuming set-up, tooling, or fixturing changes required by other machine tool processes.

To optimize specific applications of sheet metal cutting, the HyperJet features a machine design that moves material from left to right under a cutting head that moves from front to back. By splitting the cutting motion between the work piece and cutting head, the dynamics of motion are improved, and cuts are faster and more precise.

"The HyperJet is a breakthrough that makes Flow's waterjets highly competitive against laser cutting and punch presses in nearly all applications, greatly expanding the available market," said Ron Tarrant, chairman of Flow International. "This technology provides manufacturers a solution that can make lean and just in time production a practical reality."