The impact of a stationary confined high pressure water jet on a solid surface has been investigated. Flow visualization by high-speed photography and measurements of average surface pressures show the action of the jet is to exert a series of discrete impulses rather than a steady force. It appeared more appropriate then to analyze the pressure data statistically to obtain the probability of occurrence of pressures above a critical value required for failure of the material. These probability values were then incorporated into a cutting model to predict jet piercing rates and expected maximum depths of penetration. Comparison of these model predictions with some limited field data was then carried out.

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