The best new use of water
We all love water. It’s fairly vital for us to live so, naturally, we’re pro water.
We use it for cleaning ourselves and other things, washing away our sewage and putting out fires. It’s great to swim in and put in water guns or balloons and attack each other in a friendly way during the summer months.
However, one thing I don’t often see it used for is cutting.
That’s probably because it’s not obvious that water can cut or that it would be better than all the other cutting implements we’ve devised over the years.
“Hey guys, let’s use this bucket of water to cut down a tree!” Said no-one ever. We may as well just use our chainsaws.
But our archaic cutting methods aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be: often they create a lot of heat from the friction between the cutting implement and the thing to be cut. This heat, in turn, causes the material to deform around the edges and prevents the cut from being clean.
Just think about the times you used a mechanised jigsaw in DT to saw through a plastic material, the edges where you were cutting would melt a bit and look slightly weird.
We sometimes also want to cut out materials precisely and this isn’t always possible with our saws. A saw has a thickness, this thickness means there will always be a slight difference between the line we wish to cut on and the actual cut. It also means it can be tricky to cut tight curves in the material.
So how have we tried to solve these problems? By inventing water jet cutting.
Water jet cutting involves forming an incredibly high-pressured stream of water which is mixed with an abrasive to cut through stuff. It is a very effective process and can be used to slice through notoriously difficult materials such as titanium. It is not for the faint-hearted.
As it is primarily water, the deformations which come from heat are no longer present as it is a cool way of cutting.
Additionally, this high-pressured stream resembles a laser therefore it is able to turn corners and cut precisely.
It is pretty incredible.
Next time you’re drinking water, reflect on how your refreshing beverage can be turned into a superior, modern cutting method and how you should give it more respect in the future as a result…