History of Waterjet Cutting

Waterjet cutting technique uses a high pressure stream of water to cut different materials. The early usage dates back to Roman Empire, who used it for hydraulic mining and land development. In the early 1930’s, a Paper Patent Company used relatively low pressure water for cutting soft metals. The first reliable ultra-high pressure pump was developed in 1970 by OMAX Corporation. In this blog, we will discuss the evolution of Waterjet cutting process till date.

Evolution of Waterjet Cutting:

The early waterjets only managed to cut soft materials. However, the modern waterjet machines use garnet abrasive, which are capable of cutting hard materials like steel, stone, and glass.

  • 1930’s: Waterjet devices were used were used to cut, meter, and reel paper by engaging a low pressure water on the surface of the seasoned metals.


  • 1940’s: By this time, advanced high pressure water jet machines started gaining popularity. These machines were specifically developed for aviation & automotive hydraulics.


  • 1950’s: Liquid jet machines in the pressure range of (100000 PSI, 6900 bar) were used to cut plastic and aerospace metals. The first liquid jet machine was developed by John Parsons.


  • 1960’s: Ultra high pressure hydro jet machines up to 50,000(3,450 bar) were used to cut metal and stone. They were also used in polyethylene industry.


  • 1970’s: The first commercial waterjet cutting system developed by Bendix Corporation was introduced in the market.


  • 1980’s: First abrasive waterjet nozzles ROCTEC ceramic tungsten carbide composite mixing tubes were developed by Boride Corp. These nozzles were made from a patented carbide material.


  • 1990’s: OMAX Corporation developed patented ‘Motion Control Systems’. It was also used to locate the waterjet stream.


  • 2000’s: The introduction of zero tapper waterjet improved the precision cutting of parts with square, taper-free edges, including interlocking pieces and dove tail fittings.


  • 2010’s: The technology in 6 axis machines greatly improved the credibility of Waterjet cutting tools.

Throughout the history of Waterjet cutting, technology has evolved, became more reliable, more accurate, and much faster. If you are looking for a reliable waterjet cutting for your next project, you can always consider industry expert like Hydro-Lazer. The company always tries to find innovative ways to improve the process. For more information on waterjet cutting services, please click here.

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