A Brief History of Waterjet Cutting

2022-11-14 Share

A Brief History of Waterjet Cutting


Early in the mid-1800s, people applied hydraulic mining. However, the narrow jets of water started to appear as an industrial cutting device in1930s. 

In 1933, the Paper Patents Company in Wisconsin developed a paper metering, cutting, and reeling machine that used a diagonally moving waterjet nozzle to cut a horizontally moving sheet of continuous paper. 

In 1956, Carl Johnson of Durox International in Luxembourg developed a method for cutting plastic shapes using a thin stream high-pressure water jet, but these methods can only be applied to those materials, like paper, which was soft materials.

In 1958, Billie Schwacha of North American Aviation developed a system using ultra-high-pressure liquid to cut hard materials. This method can cut high-strength alloys but will result in delaminating at high speed.

Later in the 1960s, people continued to find a better way for waterjet cutting. In 1962, Philip Rice of Union Carbide explored using a pulsing waterjet at up to 50,000 psi (340 MPa) to cut metals, stone, and other materials. Research by S.J. Leach and G.L. Walker in the mid-1960s expanded on traditional coal waterjet cutting to determine the ideal nozzle shape for high-pressure waterjet cutting of stone. In the late 1960s, Norman Franz focused on the waterjet cutting of soft materials by dissolving long-chain polymers in the water to improve the cohesiveness of the jet stream.

In 1979, Dr. Mohamed Hashish worked in a fluid research laboratory and began to study ways to increase the cutting energy of waterjet to cut metals and other hard materials. Dr. Hashish is widely regarded as the father of the polished water knife. He invented a method of sanding a regular water sprayer. He uses garnets, a material often used on sandpaper, as a polishing material. With this method, the waterjet (which contains sand) can cut almost any material.

In 1983, the world’s first commercial sanding waterjet cutting system was introduced and used to cut automotive glass. The first users of the technology were the aerospace industry, who found the waterjet to be the ideal tool for cutting stainless steel, titanium, and high-strength lightweight composites and carbon fiber composites used in military aircraft (now used in civil aircraft).

Since then, abrasive waterjets have been used in many other industries, such as processing plants, stone, ceramic tiles, glass, jet engines, construction, the nuclear industry, shipyards, and more.

If you are interested in tungsten carbide products and want more information and details, you can CONTACT US by phone or mail at the left, or SEND US MAIL at the bottom of the page.

Please message and we will get back to you!