Harnessing the Power of Water

Throughout civilization man has taken the elements of nature and harnessed them for the benefit of humankind. One of the earliest examples is the discovery of fire. Initially used for warmth, lighting, cooking, foundry and defense, humans are still finding applications for this primitive element. Another such discovery is the power of water. Early settlers recognized the power of water in the creation of magnificent structures such as the Grand Canyon and the geysers of Yellowstone national park. Today, engineers harness the magnitude of the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River to generate hydroelectric power and scientists continue to pursue advances in geothermal energy.

Controlling Natural Elements

In the founding of the western territories of California and Utah, early settlers recognized the power of water for its ability to cut through tough surfaces. As early as the 1800s, gold miners employed waterjet cutting for hydraulic mining. The miners used highly pressurized water to create veins into mountainsides in order to expose the gold. By the 1930s, inventive individuals used water as a cutting device for softer materials such as paper. Those looking for additional cutting power soon began adding abrasives to the stream of powerful water.

Benefits of Waterjet Cutting

  • Cuts a variety of materials with or without the addition of abrasives
  • Applicable for use in multiple industries
  • Works well with materials and structures sensitive to high temperatures
  • Enhanced accuracy with nozzle-speed variance

Directing the Power

As technology for waterjet cutting applications continued to improve so did the range of possible uses. The addition of abrasive jets in the 1980s further refined the water cutting technique as well as the invention of motion control systems the following decade. An increase in accuracy through variance in the speed of the nozzle enabled even more precise application. This is particularly important when going around curves and working with materials prone to dulling or manipulation through the application of heat.

Sampling of Industries Using Waterjet Cutting Technology

  • Tile
  • Stone
  • Textiles
  • Rubber
  • Foam
  • Plastics
  • Glass
  • Leather
  • Metal
  • Food
  • Paper

Maximization through Waterjet Cutting

There are a number of ways to cut a material but what’s more important is the ability to cut quickly with high accuracy. Walsh Manufacturing offers OMAX abrasive waterjet technology. The OMAX system has the capability to cut aluminum, hardened tool steel and titanium. It also works well with exotic materials such as composites, nickel alloys, carbon fiber, and ceramic. A state-of-the-art technology, OMAX creates precision ±0.025 and the possibility of dimensions closer than ±0.005. The cooling aspect of the technology as negates thermal stress in the material that could create hardening or warping.

OMAX Applications

The OMAX system is perfect for a range of architectural use materials such as tile, stone, marble, granite and glass. Cutting speeds for the OMAX range up to 72” x 120” and exceed 3” in thickness for the most simple to complex shapes. The application also works to reduce unnecessary scrap by using scanned images, CAD files or .DXF files. When you choose waterjet cutting services from Walsh Manufacturing, your business can move from prototyping to full production with secondary operations, reducing production costs and lead times.