How Can Water Jet Cutters Slice Through Steel?

Over the years, water jet cutters have become a ubiquitous cutting/slicing tool that is now seen in the vast majority of machine shops and metal fabrication centers in the country. This innovative material cutting method makes use of the most unlikely of cutting mediums ever imagined, a stream of high-pressure water.

fabrication steel

As amazing as it sounds, water can cut through metal. The key to making water cut through metal lies in very coherent spraying. 

This is the working principle behind waterjet systems, you channel the spray of water through an extremely narrow jeweled nozzle. But you can only get the job done by it if you can apply extremely high pressure on water, which significantly helps in making the sprayed water coherent. 

Unlike traditional metal cutters that we use, waterjet systems will never get dull. It also takes away from the picture production of heat, thus rules out the possibility of overheating which is a constant concern in traditional methods. 

Waterjet systems are usually controlled and managed by computer systems and are taken advantage of in many industries to help them out in processing and slicing their raw materials which are either hard or soft. The water-abrasive mixture is another variant of the waterjet cutting system, it leaves the nozzle at a whopping speed of 900 mph.

The most recent upgrades on these machines are capable of cutting through 2-thousandths of an inch.  Waterjets systems can handle the following materials:

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Stone
  • Wood
  • Stainless steel
  • Metal

How Fast Can a Waterjet Cut?

An abrasive water jet cutter can slice through a half-inch titanium under a 30 HP pump at a rate of 7 inches per minute. The movement of the abrasive jet is comparable to that of a slowed-down pen plotter.  

Abrasive jet systems have been taken advantage of in a variety of applications such as the following:

  • Cut through bullet-proof glass and cut virtually any shape on it. 
  • Cut out parts for spacecraft and aircraft. 
  • Defacing of marking strips in highways
  • Carve wooden signs. 
  • Slicing through logs in a sawmill. 
  • Create a work of art sculpture.  

What Other Industries Can Benefit from the Use of Abrasive Water Jet Cutters? 

These industries include: 


Waterjet cutting systems allow for seamless cutting of intricate patterns or designs in stone materials that you intend to use in your floor systems design. Besides, this can be complemented also by matching lettered sign parts, which can be made from metal or stone. 

Alternatively, you can also cut special shapes for use in metal and tile roofs.  


Gears and parts that are both precise and intricate such as parts that are made of rubber or foam can be cut and processed even without the use of heat, which is a normal occurrence in laser machine cutters.  


Cutting and slicing through for shapes intended for use in sculptures, jewelry, and even mirrors. 


Water jet cutter can be taken advantage also in slicing or cutting through consumable food items, from fruits to vegetables, even candy bars, too. Waterjet systems are also utilized in drilling works for oil exploration projects

They make use of a special drilling bit for this purpose, which is attached at the bottom part of the drilling machine. This will significantly help in further intensifying the speed of the drilling process.