Cold Cutting

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Cold cutting, or water jet (hydroblast) cutting as it is also known, involves a focused jet of water delivered at ultra high pressure (UHP)  combined with a sharp edged abrasive. This no-contact cutting tool does not produce any appreciable heat, something that most cutting tools do. It can also cut in precise easily controllable lines through solid steel and concrete, as well as various other hard composite materials.  It has one other advantage; it does not deform the material it cuts. This is something that can happen when high heat is generated in the cutting process. The pressure of the jet and the rate of flow are also easily controllable for differing materials and thicknesses, making it a most versatile tool all round.

The technique really comes into its own in the oil and gas industries where hot cutting is often hazardous. There is little chance of a spark to ignite stray gas with cold cutting making it a safe and highly efficient way to cut materials in areas where extreme care and general safety is essential.

Cold cutting is a technology that demands respect. Water delivered at ultra high pressures can be potentially dangerous if not handled properly. This is why all cold cutting operators must be highly trained and they must wear the proper safety clothing and use the proper ancillary equipment. To enhance safety further the operator of this unique cutting method operates the machinery at a safe and remote distance.

It might seem that cold cutting should use a high level of water, but this is not so. Recycling and filtration methods are employed to minimise water wastage. In this way the water is not required to be constantly replenished, but can be reused with only slight ongoing loss.

Pneumatic suction, magnetic and chain tracking options are available for cutting with ultra high pressure water jets. This allows for the cutting of linear, circular and circumferential steel plate cuts at will. No matter how the object to be cut is shaped, with the appropriate accessories and an experienced operator it can easily be done.

There are additional advantages to the use of cold cutting in any industry. Because water is used as the primary cutting force, dust is not generated in any form. When cutting concrete with traditional concrete saws the noise generated is considerable, requiring the need for ear muffs to protect hearing. This is not the case with cold cutting, which is considerably quieter in operation.

When cutting steel using traditional saws sharp shavings are produced that have the potential for being dangerous. This is not the case when using ultra high pressure water jets and abrasives. Also, no cutting oils are needed to lubricate the cut as the water does that as it cuts.

Cold cutting has firmly established itself as a vital and very important part of many industries where generated heat, dust, deformation and cutting shavings are undesirable. It is also the safest way to cut in hazardous areas where there might be the risk of gas igniting.

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