How Fast Can a Waterjet Cutting Get?

When you make use of a 30 HP pump, you have the power right in your hands to wield an abrasive jet and make it cut a half-inch block of titanium at a pace of 7 inches every minute. The abrasive jet behaves very much like a pen plotter, but a much slowed-down version.

The time required to fabricate parts will also vary depending on the type of equipment utilized to construct the waterjet machine. If you require a precise time frame, you may need to reach out to your designated waterjet job shop or manufacturer, but be prepared to provide a drawing or an illustration of your part or component in question. As you will see below, the shape of the part affects how long it takes to manufacture.

metal fabrication

Abrasive jets have, in recent years, been employed for a variety of applications. It has been used to accomplish the following:

  • Eliminate materials from train tunnels
  • Assist in rescuing “Baby Jessica” from Midland, Texas, well.
  • Remove components from the F-22 and Stealth bombers.
  • Cut through the hull of the submarine Kursk, with diamond powder acting as the abrasive particle, to collect and retrieve the remains of the Russian crew. 
  • Carve signs from wood
  • Eliminate roadway markings
  • Cut sawmill logs
  • Create sculpture

Edge Quality

Edge quality in waterjet cutting is normally denoted as Q1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 in. Q1 is the fastest cut and is utilized in fabricating near net shapes for subsequent machining as well as material separation. Slower cutting speeds, denoted by Q2 up to Q5, are utilized depending on whether a fine edge is required or not. 

The Part’s Geometry

When the waterjet stream is flowing in a straight line, it cuts most efficiently. To navigate severe corners and curves, the cutting head must slow down. A part or component with numerous curves and angles will usually take longer to fabricate than one that has long straight lines.

Additionally, it takes longer for a waterjet to puncture the material. As a result, pieces with several holes that require piercing will be cut much slower than those with simpler designs.

Desired Outcome

If you require a part with a tight tolerance or a smooth surface finish, the product will take longer to manufacture. By varying the machining speed, you may get high tolerance in some sections of a component and quick tolerance in others, allowing you to mix and match to achieve the perfect balance of cutting speed and final product quality.

machining drilling holes

Industries that can benefit from abrasive water jet and abrasive jet technologies include the following:

What Industries Can Benefit from Waterjet Cutting Technology? 

Building and Construction

Seamless cutting of stone slabs for use as floors can be done with the use of a waterjet cutting system. Cutting metal and stone letters that have been lettered to look like matching pieces is also viable with this state-of-the-art technology. You can also make custom-cut tiles and metal roofs with a waterjet system. 


Making precise parts and other delicate pieces, such as those made from rubber or foam, can be accomplished without the need for any heat, as would be achieved when you use a laser cutter. 


Jewelry, sculptures, and mirrors can all be made with intricately cut shapes, and a waterjet cutting system can be made behind them. 

Other waterjet technology applications you need to be aware of: 

You can also utilize waterjet in the cutting/slicing of candy bars, vegetables, and diapers, things that you wouldn’t have thought would go through this kind of material cutting method. Waterjets can be installed on the bottom of an oil exploration drilling bit, which allows faster drilling operations.

An underwater waterjet can be used to drill under a road to run fiber optic cable when it is combined with directing jets.