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Creative Uses of Water Jet Cutting

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Mr. Ray Williams, 2nd from right, instructs Hull Technician Fireman Mionna Green (L-R), Mr. Richard Cornwell and Hull Technician 1st Class James Hampton on the intricacies of the cutting head. The cutter uses a 60,000 psi jet of water mixed with fine particles of garnet to cut steel and virtually any other material. Photo by Scott Curtis

Can you imagine water could slice through different materials even the thickest steel and stone? Imagine a bone surgery using the power of water to cut through the bone. When water is pressurized up to 50,000 PSI, it becomes a powerful tool for cutting and slicing, making it very useful to a number of different applications. Water jet is also used for drilling holes.

While laser cutting, plasma cutting, and heat-based cutting methods are excellent, water jet cutting is considered as more efficient. It uses a high-pressurized water or a combination of water and abrasives. Some people might not have heard of this cutting technology, but it has been around since 1970s. since then, it has been the most preferred cold-cutting technology. It has replaced many traditional cutting methods such as using machineries. One of its first uses was to cut wood-fiber tubes.

 

Advantages of Water Jet

Water jet cutting has many benefits over traditional cutting methods. Water jet technology is dustless and you don’t have to worry about toxic gases being released in the atmosphere. The power of the water flow can be adjusted. You can stop or slow it down during the cutting process without damaging the material being cut. You can use it on any point or part of the material without causing damage. It is isothermal, which means its temperature does not change no matter the pressure.

 

Waterjet in Modern Industries

Many industries today use waterjet technology for their cutting procedures. Aerospace industry has one of the most sophisticated operations among industries and it uses powerful jets of water to cut, shape, and ream very intricate and tight-tolerance components.  

The mining industry also uses water jets to cut and drill rocks in hard-core mines and coal mines. This method is very much effective and cost-efficient compared to other cutting technology.

In the food production and preparation, water jet is also used to cut meat hygienically as well as fruits, vegetables, cake, and bread. Since no mechanical tool is in contact with food, the risk of food contamination is reduced or even eliminated. The food or any other material that is being cut does not get wet or damp because the water jet is very fine and cuts the material very quickly.

Further research and studies are currently conducted surrounding the science of water jets and cutting. More interest has arose regarding water jet as a cutting technique because it is cost-efficient and non-polluting. Thus, you can expect that this cutting technology will become more efficient in the coming years.

Many reliable and established companies offer water jet cutting services for a wide range of materials including steel, brass, aluminum, phenolic, concrete, marble, granite, titanium, plastics, cork, glass, and many more.

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