How does water jet cutting work?

Water jet cutting is a abrasive separation process. Water is either pure or has abrasive additives, at high levels Pressure of approx. 4000 bar applied to the material to be cut. This results in material removal along the cutting contour. Water jet cutting can be used for both Processing thin sheets, as well as for very thick panels.

How are waterjet cutting systems constructed?

Water jet cutters are similar to laser cutting machines and Plasma cutting machines very similar. However, the cutting here is done with water and any added ingredients additives.

As a rule, water jet cutting is carried out along a flat contour, such as a sheet of metal. With the latest product technology, this cut can also be made three-dimensionally. 3D technology is used in cutting turbine blades, fan wheels and various types of three-dimensional components.

As with modern plasma and laser cutting machines, the control is computer numerical (CNC water jet cutting).

What types of waterjet cutting are there?

A distinction is made between that Pure water jet cutting and abrasive water jet cutting by adding powdered material.

The Pure water jet cutting is mainly used for soft materials, such as plastic films or foam applied and is of little relevance in mechanical and plant engineering. Through the Addition of abrasives The cutting ability of the water is further increased, so that waterjet cutting is also suitable for hard materials such as steel, glass or ceramic materials can be used.

What are the advantages of waterjet cutting?

The big advantage of water jet cutting is this minimal heat input on the surface of the component to be cut. In contrast to thermal separation processes, the surrounding structure of the component is not damaged.

This is what it is range of use of water jet cutting more versatile In addition to metals, it can also be used to cut glass, tiles, ceramics, granite, marble, wood, plastic, plexiglass or rubber.

Another big advantage of waterjet cutting is the ability to cut precise and very complicated contours, without that one post processing is required. In most cases, the components can be further processed immediately. The processing step of the Deburring is not necessary most of time.

Water jet cutting or laser cutting?

The advantages described above make water jet cutting more versatile than laser cutting. In addition, can greater cutting depths can be achieved. However, laser cutting has the advantage of being slightly more precise and making less noise.

The biggest Disadvantage of water jet cutting Compared to laser cutting, however, they are significantly lower cutting speed and higher Costs.

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  • Andreas Janisch


    Andreas Janisch, founder of, is an industrial engineer with more than 15 years of experience in mechanical engineering, plant construction and construction....

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Last revised on December 2, 2022 by Andreas Janisch