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What is Waterjet Cutting?

Waterjet cutting is a special technology that can cut through just about anything. Click here to learn more about this technique and what it can be used for.

The term “Waterjet cutting” can be confusing if you don’t know what it means. What is Waterjet cutting anyway?

This is a special, technology that pressurizes water to a very high pressure, turning it into velocity.

If you keep reading, we will break this material cutting technology down in detail so that you can understand how this amazing technology works.

You will learn about the components of a Waterjet system, as well as how water is turned into a force so strong that it can cut through a foot of steel.

We will also briefly go over the benefits of cutting with a Waterjet compared to other cutting methods.

Hopefully, this post will give you an understanding of the benefits associated with Waterjet cutting, so that you can visualize how it could pay off if you were to incorporate into your own business.

The Components of Waterjet Technology

A Waterjet machine works by using a series of techniques, designed to increase the cutting power of water by thousands of times.

First, there are three main components to a Waterjet system.

  1. Ultra high-pressure system
  2. The control system
  3. The machine itself

Second, there are two main pumps used in Waterjet technology:

  1. Intensifier linear pump
  2. Direct drum rotary pump

How an Intensifier Linear Pump Works:

This next section will explain the process of how a linear intensifier pump works to pressurize water.

  1. First, the pump uses hydraulic oil to push a large biscuit with two plungers from side to side.
  2. There are chambers at either end of the plungers that hold water.
  3. As the mechanism is propelled from side to side, the water is pressurized, pushing the water out from the left and out from the right.

How a Direct Drum Rotary Pump Works:

The section will describe how a direct drum rotary pump works to pressurize water.

  1. First, water is sucked into three main cylinders instead of 2 like the intensifier pump.
  2. Second, a lot like a pressure washer, a plunger is propelled into the center where the three cylinders meet that hold water.
  3. Lastly, the pressurized water is then pushed out of the three cylinders.

Both of these pumps are very effective with workloads that require continuous use.

The only difference between the two pumps is that the direct drum rotary pump cannot achieve the pressures that the linear intensifier pump can achieve.

This is partially due to fatigue and design issues with the drum pump when operating at higher pressures.

For this reason, cutting that requires higher pressures, will only use an intensifier linear pump.

How the Water is Pressurized Into Cutting Power

This next section will describe the process in which how the water is pressurized into a force strong enough to cut through a foot of steel.

  1. When the water comes out of the head of the pump, the pressurized water is passed through a jeweled orifice.
  2. The jewels used in this orifice, are generally diamond or sapphire.
  3. The water is pressurized and converted into velocity.

(So, in actuality, Waterjet technology does not cut with pressure. It cuts with a supersonic jet… which is way more powerful.)

  1. After the Waterjet is created, depending on what type of material is being cut, and what type of force is needed, abrasives may or may not be added to the mix.
  2. Granulized garnet is added, along with other abrasives to prevent clogging, and to enhance the cutting power of the water by thousands of times.

More About the Waterjet

A pure water jet is less than the diameter of one strand of human hair, or -0.005 in. in diameter (less than five thousands of an inch)

When mixed with the abrasives, the stream is up to six times larger.

That’s only because the granules go in right as the water comes out of the jet. If they just used garnet, the abrasive would clog in the tube, so up to three other abrasives are used to prevent clogging.

Benefits of Waterjet Cutting

In this next section, we will go over some of the benefits of Waterjet cutting, so that we can identify the ways in which it differs from any other cutting technology.

Hopefully, this information will convey to you how unique this technology is, and how it could save your company money, time, and material.

Cold Cutting

A Waterjet generates no heat transfer. This means, no materials are ever altered.


A Waterjet can cut through any type of material, unlike traditional cutting methods, most of which have limitations.

Waterjets have been used to cut food, gaskets, geodes, titanium, glass, and a wide variety of other materials.

Here are some examples of things that a Waterjet can do, that other methods could never touch:

  • Cutting food
  • Cutting details in stone and glass
  • Cutting titanium

Fast Turnaround

No waiting for parts to cool, Etc.

(This means a faster part to part-time frame and an overall faster production!)

Environmentally Friendly

No toxic or noxious gases, materials, or liquids are created by Waterjet cutting.

Where Can I Find Waterjet Machines?

Flow Waterjet has some of the most cutting-edge Waterjet models available if you are interested in finding out more about available Waterjet products.

There are other companies that sell Waterjet cutting devices but Flow invented the Waterjet, and is by far the best in the industry!

Want to See the Waterjet Machines in Action?

Waterjet technology is helping companies like Orange County Choppers do things that they couldn’t do with other cutting methods. If you want to see the Waterjet in action, check out this video on YouTube.

Final Thoughts

In the end, Waterjet cutting has proven to be one of the most Innovative, beneficial, versatile, and cost-effective ways to cut any material.

Cutting with a Waterjet can save you money, materials, time, and other expenses.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how Waterjet cutting works and answered any questions you may have had about this amazing technology.

If you haven’t checked out our blog lately, you should drop in and thumb around! We’ve got blogs on everything from Tips on How to Sell Classic Cars to How to Start the Next Big T-Shirt Company, and we are always thinking up new topics.

Don’t forget that you can contact us if you have any questions, and we hope you have enjoyed learning about Waterjet technology!