Water Cutting Explained

Water cutting, also known as waterjet, is a high-pressure water jet cutting technology that utilizes a machine to cut through various materials.

Under the control of a computer, the workpiece can be intricately carved without being overly affected by the texture of the material.

Due to its low cost, ease of operation, and high yield, water cutting has emerged as the mainstream cutting method in industrial cutting technology.

I. Classification

Water cutting is divided into two methods based on the addition of sand:

  • No sand cutting
  • Sand cutting

It is classified according to the device used:

  • Large water cutting machine
  • Small water cutting machine
  • Three-dimensional water cutting machine
  • Dynamic water cutting machine

Water cutting machines are also categorized based on pressure:

  • High-pressure water cutting machine
  • Low-pressure water cutting machine

The pressure is usually limited to 100MPa. A water cutting machine with a pressure of 100MPa or more is considered high pressure, while those below 100MPa are low pressure. If the pressure exceeds 200MPa, it is categorized as ultra-high pressure.

Water cutting machines can also be classified based on their technical principle:

  • Premixed water cutting machine
  • Postmixed water cutting machine

The machines can be further classified based on safe cutting:

  • Safety cutting type
  • Non-safe cutting type

The primary difference between the categories is the water pressure used.

Low-pressure water cutting, below 100MPa, can be applied to special industries such as hazardous chemicals, petroleum, coal mines, and hazardous materials.

After conducting numerous experiments, it was discovered that even pure water can detonate sensitive chemicals if the water pressure exceeds a certain threshold.

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Water that contains abrasive sand is used for cutting, and the potential energy of the sand, coupled with the impact force when it collides with an object, generates energy that can destabilize special chemicals.

After extensive experimentation and debate, the final threshold was determined to be around 237.6MPa.

As a result, water cutting is mainly utilized in the mechanical processing industry for cuts above 200 MPa.


  • Numerical control of various intricate patterns
  • It is a cold cut process that does not cause thermal deformation or thermal effects
  • It is environmentally friendly, producing no pollution, toxic gases or dust
  • It can process a variety of high hardness materials such as glass, ceramics, stainless steel, as well as relatively soft materials such as leather, rubber, and disposable diapers
  • It is the only means of complex processing for fragile porcelain materials
  • The cut is smooth with no slag, requiring no secondary processing
  • Drilling, cutting, and forming work can be completed in a single operation
  • It has low production costs
  • It has a high degree of automation
  • It can operate continuously for 24 hours.

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