Abrasive vs. Pure Waterjet Cutting

 ICS solely offers contract waterjet cutting services and specializes in both abrasive and pure waterjet cutting. Each process has its own benefits and the selection of which cold-cutting process is right relies mainly on the type of material that needs to be cut. Both abrasive and pure waterjet cutting techniques offer more precise cuts and a smoother surface finish than traditional cutting methods. 

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Abrasive Cutting

Abrasive waterjet cutting is a process that is very similar to that of the pure water jet, with the exception that it adds an abrasive garnet material to the high-pressure water stream.

The addition of an abrasive garnet makes cutting through hard, thick materials possible. With the help of this garnet and our 94,000 PSI waterjet pump, we are able to cut the strongest of metals.  Some of the most common abrasive waterjet cutting projects that ICS has worked on include:

  • Metal gears
  • Metal flat patterns for brackets
  • Rough blanks for the aerospace industry
  • Phenolic plastics for electrical systems
  • Armor plates 
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Pure Cutting

Pure waterjet cutting cuts with a high-pressure stream of water that does not have any abrasive material added.

The pure waterjet cutting process was the original method developed. In this process, it is the pressure and speed of the water itself that is penetrating the material. This is used to cut softer materials such as rubbers, fabrics, foams, and metal foils. Pure waterjet cutting has also been used in the food industry where there are strict health regulations. Our most common pure waterjet cutting projects include: 


  • Paper gaskets
  • Rubber gaskets
  • Insulation
  • Foam tool trays 
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