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Cutting Steel With Waterjet: How Does It Work?

Waterjet Cutting Steel

Steel is a widely used material in manufacturing and construction. It’s sturdy, long-lasting, and simple to work with, making a large range of uses possible.

But when cutting steel, there are a couple of different methods to choose from. Each method has its own set of pros and cons, depending on the type of steel being cut, as well as your project requirements.

Waterjet is one of the most popular tools for cutting steel. The reason for this popularity is its high precision, no heat affected zone and saving of time and labor.

In this article, we’ll take a look at cutting steel with waterjet and explain how it works in detail. We’ll also show you how water pressure can cut a material as hard as steel.

Can a Waterjet Cut Steel?

Is cutting steel with waterjet possible?

Wondering how a material like steel can be cut with just the pressure of water? Well to surprise you, a waterjet pressure can range from 30,000 to 90,000 PSI which can pierce a material like steel easily.

All types of steel such as carbon steel, nickel steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel which are quite hard to cut with other conventional cutting methods can easily be cut with a depth that is ten times greater than a laser.

Waterjet cutting can be used to cut steel in a variety of thicknesses, from thin sheet metal to thick plate. It can also cut steel in a number of shapes, including rounded, square, rectangular, and complex shapes.

A waterjet can also cut steel in a variety of sizes, from small parts to large parts which are then used in cars, machines and electrical appliances. In addition to this, a waterjet can also be used to create patterns or inlays in steel.

Process of Cutting Steel With Waterjet

The waterjet cutting process is fast, cost-effective and can be used to cut through a variety of materials. It is an industrial process that uses a jet of water at high pressure to cut through materials like metal, glass, stone and even concrete.

The waterjet steel cutting process works by first propelling water through a small nozzle at extremely high speeds . The water is forced through a 0.010″ to 0.015″ in diameter hole in a jewel. 

The water then mixes with an abrasive substance such as garnet that is fed into its stream. The mix then cuts through steel at a relatively high speed of about six inches per minute, depending on the type and thickness of the steel.

Why it is Better to Cut Steel With a Waterjet?

Why it is Better to Cut Steel With a Waterjet?

As long as cutting steel is concerned, a waterjet is considered one of the most efficient machines out there in the market and for good reasons.

One of the main reason to cut steel with waterjet is that there is no creation of a heat-affected zone (HAZ) while cutting steel with a waterjet, in contrast to conventional steel cutters because the operation is heat-free. A waterjet prevents steel from overheating and also helps maintaining it’s integrity.

furthermore, waterjet cutting steel provides better finishing in comparison to other traditional cutting machines. As there is no heat-affected zone, it produces a cleaner result. It also eliminates the need for any finishing work, unlike other steel cutters that leave the final surface needing further finishing.

Water jets can cut in a wide variety of shapes and designs since they are not only restricted to straight lines. This provides yet another reason for cutting steel through waterjets.

In contrast to all of these, a waterjet can also manage to produce precise cutouts that you may need on steel. Once the cutting has started, it can reach upto +/- 0.001” consistently.

How Thick Can a Waterjet Cut?

Favored by industries like aerospace, automotive, food and construction, the waterjet has become one of the most ideal tools for cutting materials due its precision and clean results.

But can it cut through thick materials? This is one of the major concerns that people have before buying a waterjet and it is sensible to do so.

Several factors determine how thick a waterjet can cut which includes the type of  the material that is being used and the nozzle of the waterjet. Some waterjets are designed for thicker materials, while some are designed to cut thinner materials.

Waterjet cutters are used to cut through steel up to 9 inches thick. They can also cut 18-inch blocks of steel, but you will need to use reconfigured waterjet systems. In general, waterjet cutters are used to cut 4-inch steel.

Cutting Speed of Waterjet

The cutting speed of the waterjet is one of the questions that is frequently asked before buying a waterjet and is also right to do because the speed of the machine can also help you save your time and labor.

The cutting speed of the waterjet is decided by some factors that include, the material that is being cut, the thickness of the material and the power of the pump inside the waterjet. Thin materials tend to be more easily cut than thicker materials.

However, the cutting speed of waterjet is said to be around six inches per minute and waterjets are stated to be 10 times faster than EDM cutters.


Cutting steel with waterjet is fast, easy to use, and produces high quality results. So, if you are in the market looking for a machine to cut steel then a waterjet may be just what you need. It has gained its supremacy over other machines because of the benefits it provides.

But be sure to do all the research before buying a waterjet for cutting steel. If you still have some questions regarding waterjet don’t hesitate to contact SAME Waterjet. We hope this guide has helped you!

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