Sugino's nozzle in a JCC water jet deburring machine and how it works in different industries.

High-Pressure Water Jet Deburring by Industry

Every industry has unique challenges when it comes to cleaning and deburring, including cycle time, and cleaning specifications.

While it’s important to have dependable parts in all industries, it’s particularly paramount for high-value pieces, such as in the automotive, aerospace/aviation, and medical industries.Missed burrs are not just inconvenient in these areas. Deburring can make the difference between function and failure.

An image of metal chips created by machining metal parts, that need to be deburred

So how do you make sure these crucial parts are fully deburred without compromising structural integrity?

Many medical and aerospace parts are deburred by hand. Manual and/or mechanical deburring is effective yet can also be labor-intensive and time-consuming. It also relies only on the person doing the work, leaving room for human error. Another drawback is that each piece can have different finished results. Automated deburring helps ensure a consistently better fit and finish for your parts in a shorter amount of time than a fully manual process.

Thermal deburring is often used for parts with complex geometries, but it may not be effective in removing thicker burrs (this varies by material) and the workpiece can be affected by heat distortion and surface oxidation. Thermal Energy Method (TEM) is not suitable for magnesium, titanium, or copper. And incoming parts must be free from chips, oils, and excess moisture. TEM deburring also leaves a layer of metallic oxide, requiring additional cleaning if the part is not going to be anodized, plated, or heat-treated.

Then there is High-Pressure Water Jet Deburring. It is exactly what it sounds like. Pressurized water is precisely focused via CNC control to remove burrs and chips in and around parts. Depending on the cleanliness specifications, this can be performed submerged or in an open-air environment. Open-air washing/deburring targets specific areas of the part where the water jet is focused. Submerged will clean the entire part, internally and externally.

One of the main benefits of water-jet deburring is a high level of precision and repeatability – and for this reason, CNC control is used. This eco-friendly process uses high-pressure water to remove loose burrs and chips even in deep holes – all while leaving the parts cleaner and free of debris.

Spraying water to deburr an automotive part inside a Sugino CNC JCC machine.

Highly pressurized water makes quick work of burrs.

Complex Parts, Cleaner Parts

High-pressure water is optimal in situations where hard-to-reach areas need to be deburred. CNC control enables high positioning accuracy and penetration as the nozzles are directed to cross holes, deep holes, and tap holes to remove chips and burrs effectively. Even workpieces with complex geometry are often a great match for this method. Water jet deburring is also recommended when parts cannot be exposed to corrosive chemicals or heat. It is deposit-free, residue-free, and leaves your parts cleaner, shortening the cleaning process.

So, what are the ideal industries and applications for High-Pressure Water Jet Deburring?

An image of an automotive metal part that needs to be clean and free of burrs.


High-Pressure Water Jet Deburring can provide burr-free parts for both gas and electric vehicles. Targeted water can reach places other deburring methods cannot. Such as deburring the cross holes in a hydraulic manifold or cylinder block. The Jet Clean Centers can easily be incorporated into production lines, suitable for gantry loaders, conveyors, and robot transfer. This automation allows for the high-volume processing that automotive manufacturing requires. And the high-pressure water combined with CNC control delivers the power and precision needed to meet tight specifications.

An image of aerospace components that require precision deburring and have tight cleanliness specificationsAerospace & Aviation

Aerospace manufacturing has no room for part failure. Burrs from machining can keep parts from fitting properly, and misaligned parts can have disastrous results. Burrs in cross holes can create blockages that prevent lubricants and fluids from flowing freely. There is no room for human error. Automation delivers a consistently better-finished product in less time than manual processes.


Medical parts and implants made from metalBurrs can inhibit the fit and function of medical implants and parts, which presents obvious health risks to the consumer. Burrs can cause lacerations to the patient or the medical professional. Many implants are 3D printed and high-pressure water jet deburring can remove supports, loose powder, and any burrs that are formed during other manufacturing processes, such as die-cast molding. Clean, burr-free medical parts are imperative to minimize health risks.

Features and Add-ons

There are a number of features that can be incorporated into a high-powered water jet deburring process to save time and steps, including tooling, part-holding fixtures, filtration, part-identification systems, automation, and specific nozzles to optimize washing and deburring. Vacuum dryers and cleanliness evaluation systems can also be added to improve efficiency and reduce cycle time.

The advantage of CNC-controlled high-pressure deburring is that multiple parts can be run in the same machine with just a program change. Parts can be added or changed at the production line with simple programming, nozzles, and fixtures. This results in a system that meets your specs – effectively and efficiently.

Is it the Right Fit?

So how do you know if high-pressure water jet deburring is the right method for your production challenge? In general, Class One through Class Three burrs can be removed by high-pressure water or by brush, assuming the burr passes the Lead Pencil Test*. But some Class Four burrs are also removable as well.

*Lead Pencil Test. – If a burr can be removed by prodding it with a 0.7mm mechanical lead pencil tip (without breaking the lead), the burr is removable by high-pressure water or brush.

Ultimately, the best way to determine if it’s a match is to test your parts to see if high-pressure water jet deburring is fit for your manufacturing process.

Water jet deburring is an effective, CNC-controlled method for deburring metal parts that require a high level of precision and repeatability. This method can both deburr and clean parts in one eco-friendly process, getting rid of loose burrs and chips even in deep holes – all while leaving the part clean and free of debris.

Get more information and insight into deburring – Click to read more from this Learning Series.

A learning series about deburring and the use of water