TECHNOLOGY: Mobile Waterjet Cutting Time
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE latest development in waterjet cutting services is Bellville-based Waterjet On-Site’s Mobile Hydro-Cutting technology, now offered nationally. On - Site Waterjet provides the same advantages as fixed table waterjet cutting, says managing director Simon Baschiera, but right at the source of the required solution. The process can cut virtually any material, cleanly, accurately and without effects of heat on an in situe platform.
A mobile diesel engine powered crank and plunger type pump is used to generate 2800 bar of water pressure. When abrasive is mixed with this high pressure/high speed water and focused into a small calibrated beam, a highly effective and versatile cutting tool is born. This beam cuts, by means of erosion or abrasion, through virtually any material, he says.
When it comes to using this tool for on-site solutions, special equipment for cutting into vessels such as pipes and tanks are available. Additionally jigs to cut holes, straight and even profiled cuts have been developed.
Other solutions for complete custom cuts are being developed on an ongoing basis.
As can be seen in these images, a rotating tool was conceptualised and manufactured for this special application.
The major advantages of this abrasive waterjet process is that it eliminates the need for oxy-acetylene (flame) or plasma cutting, both of which are unsuitable in fire hazardous environments. Besides this hazard there is also the fact that many special materials cannot be cut by these metal melting processes, where waterjet can, Baschiera says.
In conclusion there is no flame or risk of fire and there are no damaging effects of heat at the cut area - no slag, burrs, mechanical changes to material properties or hardening of the cut edge. Also, the cut is clean and can even be executed at angles, thereby creating a weld prep. Waterjet will cut through carbon steel, stainless steel, cement, refractory, insulation, rubber and laminated or combinations of these materials.
Importantly cuts can be executed on site and in confined spaces which reduces downtime of plant - process is quick and requires little finishing off after cut. It also reduces health and safety risks to humans, unlike gas cutting, grinding, and so on.
“All in all, on-site waterjet can replace many labour intensive and dangerous tasks in one efficient and advanced process. Successful jobs completed thus far include cutting of rigging holes and base of large steel tanks, cutting of special steel pipes lined with cemented refractory and cutting of various parts of plant for replacement at petrochemical refineries,” according to Baschiera.
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