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Water Jet Cutting vs The Hardest Materials

In previous posts, we have written about the materials a water jet cannot cut – it’s not a lengthy list, you have diamond, tempered glass and not a whole lot more.

However, somethings are best shown.

thinking about water jet cutting

Wouldn’t you love to see for yourself how a professional-grade water jet performs against the most challenging of materials?

Thanks to the excellent Waterjet Channel on YouTube, we can do just that.

The team behind this channel have world-class water jet cutting facilities, they also seem to have a lot of time on their hands and overactive imaginations.

It is an interesting blend.

In a recent video, they put their water jet cutting expertise up against four materials, these all among the densest of materials as judged by the Mohs hardness scale.

The Mohs hardness scale is a means of measuring mineral hardness, ranking minerals by their ability to resist scratching.

Diamond is at the top with a 10, talc scores a one – we don’t need to test whether a water jet cutter can cut talc!

Inbetween you have the likes of quartz (seven) and topaz (eight. For reference, steel would slot in at around 6.5 if it was a mineral, while a copper coin would be between three and four. Glass is around 5.5.)

In the video, they look at quartz, topaz, obsidian (six out of 10) and a man-made ceramic that is virtually designed to be uncuttable. Anyone with a child who enjoys Minecraft will know that obsidian is not easy to breakthrough – in the game at least.

Fun fact: you can see which mineral would rank higher by scratching each other – the one that shows the scratch has the lowest score. For instance, topaz leaves a visible scratch on quartz but not vice versa.

Water Jet Cutting with Abrasive

It is worth noting that the cutting is not done by water alone, the water jet is mixed with an abrasive garnet and it is this that makes the cutting force so powerful.

Water alone would get through soft materials, but it would not be troubling any of the minerals tested.

So, how does water jet cutting fare?

We can’t spoil their video with results – have a watch below and do please subscribe to their excellent channel.

What we can say is that the video shows the difference between just cutting and also accurate cutting. Water jet technology is fully controllable and so while a rough cut might be achieved quickly, it is always possible to achieve far greater accuracy by cutting more slowly.

Perhaps the one thing missing from the video is seeing a water jet cutting machine against a diamond. Still, maybe even with closer to a million subscribers, the expense of buying diamond just to attempt to cut it is hard to justify.

Work with the UK’s leading Water Jet Cutters

At TMC, we are a water jet cutter who serve the whole of the UK and increasingly Europe too, with clients across the content trusting us to work on their projects.

Despite our success, we remain a company that focusses on every client and work on projects of all sizes.

If you think water jet cutting might be of use for your project, please do get in touch for an obligation-free chat.

Call us on 01625 610 441 or use our Contact Form.