What Is Waterjet Cutting – Applications, Uses, Types, How Does Waterjet Cutting Work


The sharpest cut in the world is not a metal forged cut, but a watejet cut. Water jet is a device that uses ultra-high pressure water to form a high-pressure mixed jet through siphoning diamond sand for cold cutting. Mainly composed of high-pressure pumps, CNC machining platforms, and jet cutting heads. The application range of waterjet cut is very wide, from metal materials to non-metallic materials, from natural materials to artificial materials, from food to daily necessities. In this article, we take a brief overview of what is waterjet cutting, what applications can waterjet cutting be used for, how does waterjet cutting work, and what are common uses for waterjet cutting.


What Is Waterjet Cutting & How Does Waterjet Cutting Work?

Waterjet cutting is a versatile technology that can cut a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, glass, stone, and wood, among others. It provides high precision and accuracy, with minimal waste and a clean cutting edge. Waterjet cutting is used in various industries, such as aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing, for cutting parts, components, and intricate designs. The waterjet cutting process involves the following steps:
1. Material Preparation: The material to be cut is first prepared by cleaning and drying it. For harder materials, such as metal or stone, the material is often secured to a cutting bed or fixture to prevent movement during cutting.
2. Design Creation: A digital design is created using computer-aided design (CAD) software, which specifies the shape and dimensions of the desired cut.
3. Cutting Head Setup: A cutting head is attached to a high-pressure water pump that generates the water or water/abrasive mixture. The cutting head is positioned above the material to be cut and can move in multiple axes to cut the material according to the digital design.
4. Cutting Process: The high-pressure water or water/abrasive mixture is forced through a small orifice in the cutting head, generating a narrow, high-speed jet that cuts through the material. The cutting head is moved along the cutting path, guided by the digital design, and the water or water/abrasive mixture is continuously sprayed onto the material.
5. Finishing: After the cut is complete, the material is cleaned and dried, and any finishing touches, such as polishing or sanding, are applied.


Waterjet Cutting Applications - What Is Application of Water Jet Cutting Process

Waterjet cuttings have been used to process difficult to machine materials, such as super alloys, advanced ceramics, and synthetic materials, and play an important cutting role in different industries.

– Automotive industry: It can cut various non-metallic materials, such as instrument panels, carpets, asbestos brake pads, door frames, roof glass, interior decorative panels, rubber, plastics, gas tanks, and other internal and external components.

– Aerospace: Waterjet cutting is used to cut complex shapes and parts for aircraft and spacecraft, including turbine blades, engine components, and fuselage parts.

– Medical: Waterjet cutting is used in medical applications, such as cutting surgical instruments, orthopedic implants, and medical devices.

– Manufacturing: Waterjet cutting is used for precision cutting of parts and components in manufacturing, such as cutting machine parts, gears, and valves.

– Electronics and computer industry: capable of forming and cutting printed circuit boards and thin film shapes.

– Art: Waterjet cutting is used in art and sculpture, allowing artists to create intricate designs and shapes in a variety of materials, such as metal, glass, and stone.

– Other industries: Water jet and abrasive jet cutting technology can also be applied in other industrial processes, such as cutting marble, granite, ceramics, etc. in the construction industry, processing finished paper rolls, corrugated paper, toilet paper, etc. in the paper industry, and processing plywood, wooden boards, etc. in the wood industry.


Types of Waterjet Cutting

There are two main types of waterjet cutting: pure waterjet cutting and abrasive waterjet cutting.
– Pure Waterjet Cutting: Pure waterjet cutting uses a high-pressure stream of water, typically between 30,000 and 90,000 psi, to cut soft materials such as rubber, foam, and paper. The water stream is generated through a small orifice and directed towards the material to be cut. Pure waterjet cutting is an excellent option for materials that may be damaged or deformed by other cutting methods, and it does not produce any heat, dust, or fumes.
– Abrasive Waterjet Cutting: Abrasive waterjet cutting uses a mixture of water and abrasive particles, such as garnet or aluminum oxide, to cut harder materials such as metals, ceramics, and stone. The abrasive particles are added to the water stream, which increases the cutting power of the waterjet. Abrasive waterjet cutting can achieve precise cuts, even for thick or hard materials, and it does not produce any heat-affected zone (HAZ) or distortion.
Both pure waterjet cutting and abrasive waterjet cutting offer various advantages, including high precision, versatility, and eco-friendliness, making them popular options for cutting materials in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing. However, the type of waterjet cutting used depends on the material to be cut, its thickness, and the required level of precision.

What are the Advantages of Using a Water Jet?

1. Water jet can be used on complex surfaces that cannot be machined with metal tools, and can also cut components along any curve.

2. Almost all the heat generated during the working process of the water jet can be carried away by water, without changing the physical properties of the material.

During the cutting process, the vibration and noise caused by the water jet are very small, and the small amount of chips generated will also follow the water flow, without the occurrence of chip flying.

4. There is no problem of tool wear when using the water jet cutter, and the generated wastewater can also be recycled, so as to achieve the purpose of water conservation.

5. The application range of water jet is wide.