Abrasive water jet turning: for rough working hard materials that are difficult to machine

Abrasive water jet turning is done using a high pressure water jet containing granular particles. The cutting technology is therefore very suitable for processing cylinder shaped materials that are difficult to machine. Although it is not a technology that can be used for detailing or finishing.

Abrasive water jet turning is a reducing technology that uses a high pressure water jet with granules - read: ‘abrasive’ - particles. How does it actually work? Water and particles are mixed together to become a high pressure water jet in the spray nozzle. Next the combined translatory movement of the water jet and the rotating movement of the work piece ensure that cylindrical shapes can be processed.

Parameters for the abrasive water jet turning 

For hard materials that are difficult to machine

This cutting technology is very suitable for materials that are difficult to machine: composites, glass, ceramic, titan alloys, etc. The technology is also good for turning near-net-shapes (NNS). Profiling grinding wheels is also one of the possible applications with abrasive water jet turning.

Profiling a grinding wheel with abrasive water jet turning

Not a detailing or finishing technology

Thanks to the longer tool life and the cutting rate, abrasive water jet turning is more cost efficient than conventional technologies for processing these sorts of materials. Although with steel and other common materials, the cutting rate for abrasive water jet turning is actually lower than with conventional turning.

N.B.: because of quality considerations, this cutting technology can only be used for the rough turning stage. Additional technologies have to be used in order to achieve the quality demands for a work piece. In other words, abrasive water jet turning is not a detailing or finishing technology.


  • Hashish M., 1987, Turning with abrasive waterjets - a first investigation, ASME Journal of Engineering for Industry, Vol. 109, pp. 281–290.
  • Uhlmann E., Flögel K., Kretzschmar M., Faltin F., 2012, Abrasive waterjet turning of high performance material, Proceedings of 5th CIRP International Conference on High Performance Cutting, pp. 426–430.
  • Axinte D.A., Stepanian J.P., Kong M.C., McGourlay J., 2009, Abrasive waterjet turning - An efficient method to profile and dress grinding wheels, International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, Vol. 49/3-4, pp. 351-356. 

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