Materials

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What materials can a waterjet cut? Oh, just about everything, from granite to glass to metal to composites to laminates. And with a wide range of thicknesses. This section talks about some of the materials that can be challenging to cut with a waterjet, such as brittle materials , and ways to work with them.

Articles in this Section

Introduction to materials

Because waterjets cut by rapidly eroding material with a mixture of high-pressure water and abrasive, they can cut most materials in flat sheets. They can also cut non-flat materials, such as pipes, although with varying degrees of precision, depending on the shape of the material.

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Brittle materials

Some brittle materials may crack on piercing. If you are unsure about the particular brittle material that you have, plan to do some test cuts or call the technical support number of one of the abrasive waterjet manufacturers. If you are sending a job out to a job shop, ask them to do some test...

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Laminated materials

Laminated materials consist of two or more layers of material, joined together by an adhesive. The materials can be the same, as in plywood, or different as in laminated windshields where a sheet of glass is sandwiched between sheets of plastic. The principal problem when cutting laminated material with a waterjet is that the water...

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Cutting glass

Although glass is a brittle material, it can be cut using an abrasive waterjet and the results can be quite stunning. Most glass cutting is done for artistic purposes.

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Material thickness

One of the first things people want to know about waterjets is "How thick can they cut?" This question can lead to misleading answers. For example, the Grand Canyon was essentially cut with an waterjet process. The real answer to this question is, "How long are you willing to wait?" Cutting speed is an exponential...

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