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Nozzle Selection and Abrasive Flow Settings

As a general rule, the diameter of the orifice for the abrasive nozzle should be approximately three times the water nozzle orifice.

Some people would suggest using a smaller ratio, about 2.5 times. Using a smaller ratio does produce faster cutting speeds. The trade-off is increased nozzle wear and costs. Part tolerance will suffer because of the increased speed of nozzle wear.

The following is a quick reference guide for the most common orifices for abrasive waterjet cutting. Typical abrasive amounts and water flow are also shown for easy reference.


Orifice (inches) Abrasive Nozzle (Inches) Abrasive Flow (lbs/min) Water Flow @ 60 kpsi (GPM)
0.01 0.03 0.65 to 0.7 0.51
0.011 0.03 0.8 0.62
0.012 0.03 0.9 to 1.0 0.73
0.013 0.04 1.4 0.86
0.014 0.04 1.4 1
0.015 0.04 1.5 1.14
0.016 0.04 1.6 1.3
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