Waterjet Cutting: The History of the Waterjet

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Waterjet CuttingWaterjet cutting is a process that has been around for decades, but the cutting process as we know it today has evolved drastically over the years. To give you a better feel for how far waterjet cutting has come, here is a brief look into its history:

  • 1930s — A low-pressure system designed to cut paper was invented. During this time period, an abrasive waterjet nozzle concept was awarded a patent.
  • 1940s — High-pressure seals for automotive and aviation hydraulics were invented.
  • 1950s — The concept of waterjet cutting was gaining in popularity during this time period, and many processes were benefitting from it. For instance, an ultra-high-pressured liquid jet was used to cut aerospace materials for the first time. A high pressure waterjet used to cut plastic shapes was also developed.
  • 1960s — A 50,000 psi pulsing waterjet was created that could cut both metal and stone.
  • 1970s — John Olsen developed and patented a high-pressure fluid intensifier. The first mainstream commercial waterjet cutting system was also introduced.
  • 1980s — The 80s were significant in the development of waterjet cutting because the evolution of the 1930s abrasives nozzle allowed for abrasive jet machining to become a reality.
  • 1990s — OMAX Corporation was established, and Dr. John Olsen developed processes for motional control systems that can precisely locate a waterjet stream.
  • 2000s — Waterjet cutting became more mainstream as technology for this process became more readily available and advanced.