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Waterjet Cutting

Discover Waterjet Cutting at ETCN!

Are you looking to add a powerful alternative for cutting materials? Look no further than waterjet cutting from ETCN. Our waterjet services offer computer-controlled accuracy with high-pressure precision, letting you cut through even the most rigid materials. You can always ensure quality results with our state-of-the-art technology and experienced personnel. Get on board with the latest cutting solutions – discover waterjet cutting today!

  • Discover All You Need to Know with ETCN's Waterjet Cutting Service Guide

Take your production process to the next level with ETCN’s sheet-cutting service! Our comprehensive guide outlines all the advantages of sheet cutting in your manufacturing operations, from increased efficiency to cost savings. We’ll walk you through the key features and help you understand how to use this technology best. Get started today and unlock the potential of sheet cutting with ETCN!

Waterjet Cutting

Comprehensive List of Standard Specifications for Waterjet Cutting

Material typeVirtually any material, including metals, plastics, stone, and more.
Maximum material sizeUp to 96 inches by 144 inches.
Sheet thicknessUp to 8 inches thick.
Tolerance+/- 0.005 inches.
Cutting speedVaries depending on material type and thickness.
Cutting methodsAbrasive and pure waterjet cutting.
Design file formatsDXF, DWG, AI, and other vector graphic file formats.
Additional servicesMachining, drilling, etching, and shaping.
Production volumeFrom prototype to high-volume production runs.
Quality controlInspection and testing to ensure precision, accuracy, and quality.
These standard specifications ensure that waterjet cutting services meet industry standards and provide accurate and high-quality cuts for various materials and applications.
What is Waterjet Cutting?
  • What is Waterjet Cutting?

Waterjet cutting uses a high-pressure jet of water mixed with abrasive particles to cut through virtually any material, including metals, plastics, stone, and more.

The waterjet cutter directs the flow of water and abrasive particles through a nozzle to create precise cuts according to a programmed design. Waterjet cutting provides clean cuts without heat-affected zones, making it ideal for materials sensitive to high temperatures.

It also allows for cutting intricate shapes and designs with high precision.

Custom Waterjet Cutting Parts Display

Exceeding your Expectations: Waterjet Cutting Service

What is Waterjet Cutting?

What is Waterjet Cutting?

Waterjet cutting is a highly effective process that utilizes a high-pressure stream of water to cut through various materials. This cutting method has become increasingly popular due to its versatility and precision. This article will discuss waterjet cutting, how it works, the different types of waterjet cutting machines, the differences between abrasive and pure waterjet cutting, the advantages of using waterjet cutting, and its disadvantages.

Understanding the Cutting Process

The waterjet cutting process involves using a high-pressure stream or a mixture of water and abrasive to erode materials. The water is forced out of a small diameter nozzle at incredibly high pressures, reaching up to 90,000 pounds per square inch (psi). As the water hits the cut material, it creates a small kerf width, allowing for precise cuts.

Types of Waterjet Cutting Machines

There are two main types of waterjet cutting machines: pure waterjet cutting and abrasive waterjet cutting. Pure waterjet cutting machines are used for softer materials such as foam, paper, and textiles. In contrast, abrasive waterjet cutting machines are used for more complex materials like metal, stone, and glass.

Differences between Abrasive and Pure Waterjet Cutting

The main difference between abrasive and pure waterjet cutting is the presence of an abrasive in the stream. An abrasive waterjet cutting machine uses water and abrasive particles to cut through hard materials, while pure waterjet systems use only water. Abrasive waterjet cutting machines can cut through thicker and denser materials than pure waterjet cutting machines.

Advantages of Using Waterjet Cutting

There are several advantages of using waterjet cutting. First and foremost, it is an exact cutting method that can produce intricate cuts with minimal waste. Waterjet cutting is a cold cutting process that does not generate heat, allowing minimal distortion in the cut material. Waterjet cutting is also environmentally friendly, as it does not produce harmful byproducts.

Disadvantages of Using Waterjet Cutting

One of the main disadvantages of waterjet cutting is its high operating costs. The machines are expensive, and the operating costs can be significant due to the high-pressure pumps required to generate the water jet stream. Waterjet cutting can be slower than other cutting methods, limiting its usefulness in some applications.

How Does Waterjet Cutting Work?

Waterjet cutting is a precise and efficient method of cutting various materials, including metal, stone, glass, and composites. It works by using a high-pressure stream of water, accelerated through a small nozzle, to cut through the material. The process is ideal for applications requiring intricate designs and tight tolerances, and it is a popular choice in the aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing industries.

Components of a Waterjet Cutting System

A waterjet cutting system has four essential components: a high-pressure pump, a cutting head, a control system, and a tank for holding the abrasive material. The high-pressure pump pressurizes the water, typically at up to 60,000 psi. The cutting head directs the pressurized water to the workpiece, while the control system regulates the flow rate and pressure of the water and the positioning of the cutting head. The abrasive tank holds the garnet or other abrasive material mixed with the water to enhance the cutting power of the stream.

How is Waterjet Cutting Abrasive Added?

The waterjet cutting system relies on an abrasive material to increase its cutting power. This abrasive material is typically a fine-grit garnet mixed with pressurized water before it enters the cutting head. The mixture of water and abrasive is referred to as a slurry, and it is circulated through a nozzle with a tiny orifice, creating a narrow, high-velocity stream of abrasive particles and water. Once the stream of abrasive particles and water hits the workpiece, the abrasive particles cut through the material while the water flushes away the waste.

How is the Cutting Head Controlled?

The cutting head is the most critical component of the waterjet cutting system, and it is responsible for accurately directing the high-pressure stream of water to the workpiece. The cutting head is controlled by a computer numerical control (CNC) system, which uses software to coordinate the position of the cutting authority and the speed and flow of the abrasive slurry. The CNC system provides the necessary accuracy and precision for cutting complex shapes and contours in various materials.

How is the Material Positioned for Cutting?

The material to be cut is on a cutting table, typically made of stainless steel to withstand the high-pressure water and abrasive slurry. The table may be stationary or move in a coordinated motion with the cutting head to ensure accurate cuts. The material is placed with clamps or other fixtures, and a water drain system removes the waste material.

What is Kerf, and Why is it Important?

Kerf is the width of the cut made by the waterjet cutting system. The width of the Kerf is determined by the diameter of the orifice in the cutting head and the speed and pressure of the abrasive slurry. The Kerf is an essential consideration when designing parts, as it impacts the amount of material removed and the cut’s overall accuracy. By controlling the parameters of the waterjet cutting system, such as the flow rate, pressure, and abrasive content, the Kerf can be optimized to achieve precise cuts with minimal waste.

What Materials Can Waterjet Cutting Machine Cut?

Waterjet cutting machines are versatile and relatively new equipment that has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. With the ability to cut through a wide range of materials efficiently and accurately, technology is increasingly becoming the preferred option for many businesses. However, not all materials can be cut with a water jet. In this article, we will discuss the materials that a waterjet cutting machine can cut, those it cannot, and how it compares to other cutting techniques.

Soft Materials that Can be Cut with Waterjet Cutting:

Waterjet cutting machines can accurately cut through soft materials such as rubber, foam, gasket, and fabric. They can also cut food products such as vegetables and meats. This makes them ideal for the packaging, automotive, and textile industries.

Hard Materials that Can be Cut with Waterjet Cutting:

One of the unique properties of waterjet cutting is its ability to cut through hard materials with incredible precision and without causing thermal damage. Examples of rigid materials that waterjets can cut include metals such as steel, aluminum, brass, and titanium, as well as composites such as carbon fiber and fiberglass.

Materials that Cannot be Cut with Waterjet Cutting:

Although waterjets can cut through a wide range of materials, there are some that they cannot miss. Materials such as tempered glass and diamonds are too complex for waterjets to cut, while others, like certain types of ceramics and some hardened tool steels, cannot be cut due to their brittleness.

How Waterjet Cutting Compares to Other Cutting Techniques:

Waterjet cutting has several advantages over traditional cutting technologies such as laser and plasma cutting. Unlike conventional cutting techniques that use heat to melt or vaporize the material, waterjets use high-pressure water to cut through the material. This makes waterjet cutting ideal for cutting materials that are sensitive to heat. Additionally, waterjet cutting machines require minimal setup time compared to traditional devices, making them ideal for small-scale production.

Advantages of Waterjet Cutting over Traditional Cutting Technologies:

Waterjet cutting has several advantages over traditional cutting technologies. For instance, waterjet cutting is environmentally friendly because it does not release any hazardous fumes, gases, or waste materials. Additionally, waterjet cutting allows for high precision and accuracy while producing smooth and burr-free edges. Lastly, waterjet cutting is cost-effective in the long run due to its minimal maintenance requirements and fast setup times.

How Accurate is Waterjet Cutting?

How Accurate is Waterjet Cutting?

Waterjet cutting has become a popular method for precision cutting in various industries due to its accuracy. However, how accurate is waterjet cutting? In this article, we will discuss the factors that affect cutting accuracy, how to measure it, how to improve it, applications requiring high precision, and the limitations of cutting accuracy.

Factors Affecting Cutting Accuracy

Waterjet cutting accuracy is affected by several factors, such as the machine’s precision, the nozzle’s size and shape, water pressure, material hardness, and thickness. Its computerized numerical control (CNC) software determines the machine’s precision, which directs the nozzle to cut with a specific path and angle. The nozzle’s size and shape determine the amount and direction of water flow during cutting, affecting the kerf width and taper. Water pressure affects the material’s cutting speed, quality, and thickness consistency. Material hardness and thickness affect the cutting speed and accuracy, whereas harder and thicker materials require more time and pressure to cut accurately.

Measuring Cutting Accuracy

Cutting accuracy is measured by comparing the actual cut dimensions with the intended dimensions specified in the CNC software. The measurement can be done using various methods, such as a micrometer, a caliper, or a CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine). The accuracy is usually expressed as a percentage of the difference between the actual and intended dimensions. For example, if the intended dimension is 10mm and the exact dimension is 9.8mm, the accuracy is 98%.

Ways to Improve Cutting Accuracy

Several ways can be implemented to improve cutting accuracy, such as using a smaller nozzle size, increasing water pressure, reducing material thickness, using better CNC software, and calibrating the machine regularly. A smaller nozzle creates a thinner kerf, reducing the taper and increasing accuracy. Increasing water pressure reduces the material cutting time, improving consistency and accuracy. However, excessive water pressure can cause material deformation and warping. Using better CNC software enhances cutting path optimization and reduces machine drift. Regular calibration ensures the machine’s precision and accuracy by setting the nozzle and aligning the machine’s axes.

Applications that Require High Cutting Accuracy

Waterjet cutting is commonly used in applications that require high cutting accuracy, such as in the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries. In the aerospace industry, waterjet cutting is used to precisely cut composites, metals, and alloys, such as titanium, to create complex shapes and parts. In the automotive industry, waterjet cutting is used for cutting glass, metal, and plastics to make automotive parts with high accuracy and speed. In the medical sector, waterjet cutting is used for cutting medical devices, implants, and prosthetics with high precision and clean edges.

Limitations to Cutting Accuracy

Despite the advantages of waterjet cutting in accuracy, there are still limitations to its precision. The rules are mainly related to material thickness, material hardness, and the machine’s precision. Thicker and harder materials require more time and pressure to cut, reducing accuracy. Additionally, the components’ vibration, wear, and tear can affect the machine’s precision, resulting in deviations from the intended path.

How to Choose the Right Waterjet Cutting Machine?

How to Choose the Right Waterjet Cutting Machine?

Thanks to their versatility and precision, Waterjet cutting machines are a popular choice for businesses in various industries. Whether you are looking to buy or rent a waterjet cutting machine, there are several key factors to consider to make the right choice. This article will guide you through choosing the right waterjet cutting machine.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Waterjet Cutting Machine

The first factor to consider when choosing a waterjet cutting machine is the type of cutting method best suited for your needs. There are two main types of waterjet cutting machines: abrasive and pure waterjet. Abrasive waterjet cutting machines use water and abrasive particles to cut through materials, while pure waterjet machines use only water to make precise cuts.

Another essential factor to consider is the workpiece size you will be cutting. Different waterjet cutting machines are designed to handle different sizes and thicknesses of materials. Choosing a device capable of cutting the length and thickness of the materials you will be working with would be best.

The speed and precision of the machine is also an important consideration. Some waterjet cutting machines are faster than others, and some offer greater precision. Depending on your specific needs, you may need a device capable of speedier cutting speeds or one that offers more precise cuts.

Popular Waterjet Cutting Machine Brands and Models

When choosing a waterjet cutting machine, there are several popular brands and models to consider. Some popular brands include OMAX, Flow International, and Jet Edge. Each brand offers a variety of models with different features and capabilities. It is essential to research each brand and model carefully to determine the best fit for your needs.

Buying or Renting a Waterjet Cutting Machine

Another important consideration is whether to buy or rent a waterjet cutting machine. Purchasing a device can be a significant investment, but it may be the best option if you use it regularly. Renting a device can be a good option if you only need to use it briefly or want to test the machine before purchasing.

Cost of Waterjet Cutting Machines

The cost of waterjet cutting machines can vary widely depending on the brand, model, and features. Abrasive waterjet cutting machines tend to be more expensive than pure waterjet machines due to the added cost of the abrasive particles. In general, prices for waterjet cutting machines can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Choosing the suitable waterjet cutting machine requires careful consideration of several critical factors, including the cutting method, size and thickness of materials, speed and precision, and cost. You can find the machine that best meets your needs and budget by researching different brands and models and weighing the pros and cons of buying vs. renting.

Frequently Asked Question

Q: What is waterjet cutting?

A: Waterjet cutting is a technology that uses a high-pressure stream of water to cut through different materials. It can cut virtually any material, including metals, plastics, glass, stone, and composites.

Q: How does waterjet cutting work?

A: Waterjet cutting forces water through a small nozzle at high pressure. The water can be mixed with abrasive particles to cut more rigid materials. The cutting stream is directed by a computer-controlled cutting tool, allowing for precise and efficient cutting.

Q: What materials can be cut using laser cutting?

A: With the addition of abrasive, a waterjet can cut virtually any material including metals, composites, glass, ceramics, stone, and more.

Q: What are the advantages of waterjet cutting?

A: Waterjet cutting is highly precise, does not create heat-affected zones, and can cut a wide variety of materials. It also has minimal setup time, making it a very efficient cutting method.

Q: What is a pure waterjet?

A: A pure waterjet uses only water and no abrasive to cut materials that do not require abrasive such as foam, rubber, and gasket materials.

Q: What is a waterjet system?

A: A waterjet system is a machine that uses waterjet technology to cut parts. It includes a cutting tank, a high-pressure pump, a cutting head, and software to control the cutting path.

Q: What is kerf in waterjet cutting?

A: Kerf is the width of the cut made by the waterjet. Waterjets have a narrow kerf, allowing for precise cuts.

Q: What is an abrasive waterjet?

A: An abrasive waterjet uses an abrasive substance such as garnet to assist in the cutting process, allowing for the cutting of harder materials with greater speed and efficiency

Q: What is the cutting accuracy of a waterjet cutter?

A: Waterjet cutting technology can achieve high cutting accuracy with tolerances up to +/- 0.003″.

Q: What are the applications of waterjet cutting?

A: Waterjet cutting is used to cut parts for various industries such as aerospace, automotive, architecture, and manufacturing.

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