“Water jet.” You may have heard the term, but you may not know what it entails. You might think of it just like water being shot at very high pressure, and while this is the general basis, there is so much more to the practice. Water is one of the most powerful forces in nature. Think about what it feels like to get carried away under the waves at the beach or be sprayed by a traditional garden hose, or consider the damage that floods can cause. It has the power to wash off rocks and erode mountain sides.
Let’s go back to that garden hose: think about the pressure it holds. Now, imagine if it had been pushed through a much smaller hole, at a much higher pressure. Mix an abrasive element, such as garnet, and you have a tool that can cut a wide variety of substances. These machines are capable of cutting a wide variety of substances, from cardboard and rubber to aluminum and titanium.
Erosion is the origin of the idea of water jet cutting. The first seeds of this form of precision cutting were planted in the 1800s, when hydraulic coal mining became popular in areas such as New Zealand and the Soviet Union. The miners used water from the streams and blasted it onto a rock face, which would carry away loose coal and rock.
With the California Gold Rush (1853-1886), pressurized water was used to mine soft gold rock mines, the first time such a feat was attempted. Another reason this was remarkable is because this allowed the miner to get away from the face being washed, which means less danger for the worker. The practice reached Europe and Asia in 1900, and in the 1930s the Russians first attempted to cut rock with pressurized water.
In the 1950s, a forest engineer experimented with a first cutter for cutting lumber. It wasn’t until the 1970s, however, when waterjet cutting technology as it is known today was first developed, with the first industrial cutter installed in 1972. Further advances were made over the years. 80, when abrasive water jets, which adds an abrasive to the steam water, were first developed. This greatly increased the power of the table, allowing it to cut more materials.Water Jet Cutter
Other types of water jets include percussion jets, which use rapid pulse jets to cut materials; cavitation jets, formation of empty cavities by high forces, which then immediately implode; and hybrid jets, which couple laser water jets and other cutting options.
The industry took off, with waterjet cutting becoming one of the most preferred forms of precision cutting. Waterjet cutting is used today in a variety of applications, from cutting disposable diapers to space exploration tools.