Abrasive Water Jet Cold Cutting

Overview

water jet cutting

An abrasive water jet will cut any substance without heat or spark – so is ideal for cutting applications where there is a risk of fire or explosion.

This is a safe and precise method of cold cutting tanks and pipes for plant upgrades, maintenance, removal, repair, inspection or disinvestment. Irrespective of the type or thickness of metal, lining type or substrate material, our water jets will almost certainly cut it.

RGL’s cold cutting system or “Jetnife” is remote controlled, which means the man is remote from the work face. Our system is capable of cutting complex shapes with accuracy. This process uses a fine ultra high pressure water jet nozzle which entrains a small quantity of fine crushed rock as the abrasive media. Specialist accessories are linked to a diesel-powered ultra high pressure pump unit for safe remote working. At RGL we create bespoke tooling for deploying nozzles into confined spaces. This tooling enables most shapes of coupon to be cut and removed. Cutting saddles into pipes or creating “weld prep” on pipes are just two examples for which this versatile process may be used.

This powerful cutting process removes a minimal amount of material and creates no heat-affected zone, thus preserving the structural integrity of the substrate. It does not alter metallurgical properties, nor does it have any of the fire or explosion risks associated with alternative hot cutting methods.

Underwater Cutting

Our “Jetnife” system operates just as well underwater as above. Our remote control internal pile cutting system enables us to cut off piles below ground. This avoids the need for costly underwater excavations around the circumference of the pile. We have also successfully cut off steel reinforced concrete piles up to 2m in diameter. As we use such high pressure, (up to 3000bar) cutting speeds are only slightly reduced whilst working under water.

This system has the ability to cut any material quickly and safely.



Need an Abrasive Water Jet Cold Cutting quotation?

Briefing guide

Fill out our enquiry form to get a quotation.

Make an Enquiry Now

  • Abrasive water jet cold cutting is an intrinsically safe means of cutting – no fire or explosion risks.
  • This process can cut metals up to 600mm thick as well as any surrounding cementitious, metallic or rubber linings, coatings or multi-layer material sandwiches.
  • Coupons can be cut into tanks while there is still flammable product contained inside.
  • Precision cuts can be made which remove just a few millimetres of metal, which means that in many cases the cut section can be re-used.
  • Precise angle cuts can also be made to create ‘weld prep’ on pipe sections. This leaves a perfect surface on which to weld – no abrasive wheel dressing required.
  • Scrap cuts use the same process and are made even more quickly than precision cuts. Pipelines or other plant can be safely and quickly decommissioned.
  • All cuts are performed using remote control equipment. Operatives are safely positioned away from the work surface and control the cutting head via remote control console. Thus they exposed to significantly lower level of hazard.
  • Ultra high pressure water is mixed with mineral grade crushed garnet, an inert rock which presents little or no environmental consequences.
  • Waste water can be disposed of through the plant drainage system. If the waste water is contaminated with oils or chemicals, the effluent is contained and removed by vacuum tanker for licensed disposal.
  • For underwater cutting, it is an efficient and safer alternative to using divers with Broco-type hot cutting equipment.

Cutting of steel, concrete, glass, refractory lining, bronze alloy, stone, cast iron, ceramic, wood, cobalt and Kevlar.

Specialist applications include:

  • Cutting into tanks and vessels
  • Jet fuel lines at airports
  • Gas storage cylinders
  • Oil tank floors
  • Pipe cutting  – any diameter or thickness
  • Internal to external cutting of  circular steel piles
  • Reinforced concrete piles
  • Nuclear decommissioning
  • Underwater cutting in radioactive environments
  • Sub-sea salvage
  • Sheet pile cutting on jetties and marine terminals
  • An abrasive water jet lance is mounted to a rack and pinion track or chain drive carriage and linked to a portable hydraulic power pack. Supporting scaffolding is sometimes required.
  • RGL has a ready-made selection of tooling to suit most requirements – from straight cuts through to complex shapes and radiuses. We also have developed accessories for internal pile cutting. Where required, we design and manufacture a bespoke piece of tooling for a specific application.
  • The cutting heads are mounted on a carriage which is hydraulically driven and the operator stands at a safe distance, controlling the direction and speed of movement using a remote control console.
  • Underwater cutting can be undertaken on submerged structures. The cutting head may be lowered by crane in some cases (for example  during pile cutting) or placed by divers if necessary.
  • Each process can produce heat and/or sparks, so it is not intrinsically safe for use in petro-chemical plants, meaning very limited use is permitted.
  • Diamond wire sawing can be complicated to set up and is not suitable for cutting from inside out for tubular structures.
  • Mechanical machining/milling can achieve precision cuts but can’t cope with some composite materials such as steel and rubber/cementitious coatings or linings.

Need an Abrasive Water Jet Cold Cutting quotation?

Briefing guide

Fill out our enquiry form to get a quotation.

Make an Enquiry Now