Water was primarily used to rinse and clean parts and surfaces in the early days
During the 1920s, foundries began looking for a new and more productive method for the wet treatment of cast parts. The mining industry also needed newer technologies to enhance the process of extracting coal and metal ores. At that time, the technology allowed water to be pressurized to maximum 100 bar only.
In 1968, Dr. Norman Franz, professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, developed and patented the first concept of a high pressure waterjet cutting system using water pressures of around 700 bar.
In 1971 the first waterjet cutting system with a pressure of 4000 bar was developed by the paper tube division of Alton Box Board Co. Due to limited cutting power of this system it could not be used to cut metal at that time.
In the early 1980s, through technology advancements addition of abrasives to the water was done for the Waterjet system to be used for cutting metals.