What is a water jet?
A water jet is a machine that uses high-pressure water to blast through materials with high accuracy and mobility. Most water jets use Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs to guide the high-pressure water nozzle across the cutting surface. This provides limitless programmability, allowing water jets to cut virtually any material along any path. Naturally, such versatility and power can only be achieved through a complex, finely-tuned machine operated by trained technicians.
How does it work?
The cutting mechanism of a water jet works by:
Water pressure is built up to extremes by a high-power pump which forces water through a series of continuously smaller pipes, eventually reaching the thickness of a human hair. The pressure in these pipes can reach over 90,000 psi, that’s over 6,000x the pressure of the atmosphere at sea-level. For perspective, the pressure at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the deepest point in the ocean, is a meager 15,750 psi. That’s 6x less than a water jet.
Adding Abrasive Material
Next, many water jets, including ours, add a fine abrasive material to the high-pressure water in order to give added cutting power. At SolidTops we use the precious gemstone, garnet, which yields maximum cutting power and speed.
Directing Mixture Velocity
Finally, the mixture of water and abrasive is forced through a pinhole sized nozzle, reaching speeds of over 3,000 mph or 4x the speed of sound. Such intense pressure and velocity allows our water jet to cut through up to a foot of solid steel with an accuracy of ~±0.0015 in/3 ft.
Our Water Jet & Services
At SolidTops in Easton, Maryland we maintain a large double bed Flow water jet cutting machine that uses a water and garnet mixture to accurately cut any material. We regularly work with local hobbyists, craftspeople, artists, and companies on projects that requires the speed, accuracy, and versatility of a water jet. You can see works our water jet has done all across the Eastern Shore of Maryland, such as in Rise Up Coffee‘s Easton location and in projects by Jan Kirsh Studios of Bozman.
Our advanced system makes it as simple as providing the material you wish to cut and a detailed drawing/specs or CAD file. Please contact us at (410) 819-0770 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get a quote and schedule time on our machine. Our shop is located at 505 South Street, Easton, MD 21601.
Watch our water jet in action: