Tag Archive: aquajet

  1. 911 Memorial Monument

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    Finished sculpture with American flag visible in the background.

    We are honored to have played an important part in the creation of this new 911 Memorial Monument in Barrington, New Jersey. With another anniversary of the tragic attacks on our nation only a few days away, we thought we would take the time to share this story with you.

    The monument is a thick slab of weathered steel protruding from the earth; its top edge cloven with a sharp gash and its surface perforated with 2,977 holes—exactly the amount of people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The placement of the plate, the angle of its tilt, and the angles of the holes cut through the plate are all precisely planned and calculated. On the exact date and time of each of the four attacks, the sun aligns perfectly with the holes representing the people who lost their lives in that attack. In the dark shadow cast by the plate, thousands of tiny spots of light defy the darkness. And even as the sun advances in the sky and more spots of light come into focus, the long arm of shadow stretching out from the plate grows shorter and shorter until it is finally gone. Such is the fate of shadows when they are pierced by many lights.

    Simulation of the sculpture.

    The credit for this project goes to many businesses and people, foremost among them being Sikora Wells Appel, the landscape architecture firm that designed the memorial garden and the sculpture. We take our hats off to Joe Sikora. He was the painter, and we were his brush.

    This project was started already in the fall of 2021. The original vision was to have it done in time for a 20th anniversary opening ceremony. Unfortunately, this was not possible. Instead, we were able to fabricate the plate without the holes and have it installed at the site in time for the ceremony. In the spring of this year, the sculpture was taken back down and put up on our waterjet again for the big job of cutting in all the holes. The holes are cut through the plate at angles, so our 5-axis waterjets are a great tool for a job like this!

    The holes being cut with one of our 5-axis waterjets.

    It is always a bit stressful to put this much time into a single plate, but the job went smoothly and turned out perfectly! We are very thankful to Sikora Wells Appel and to the Borough of Barrington, New Jersey for giving us the opportunity to be involved in the creation of this beautiful and meaningful monument.

  2. Fine Detail Cutting for the University of Texas!

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    We want to show you a cool part we just waterjet cut that really showcases one of the big advantages of waterjet cutting. This part was cut for the PMC lab at the University of Texas. The material is 1-3/4″ thick 7075 aluminum, and the ribs of this delicate lattice structure are only 1mm (.039″) wide! The through holes in the corners are only .130″ in diameter. This is a somewhat challenging job for even a waterjet, but it would be much more difficult or impossible to accomplish with nearly any other cutting or machining process.

    Most other cutting and machining processes involve a considerable amount of heat and/or force to shape the workpiece. Both heat and mechanical force are a big problem when you’re removing most of the material and producing a very delicate part. A waterjet leaves a cut surface that is unaffected by mechanical stresses or heat, making it ideal for cutting jobs with delicate features and fine detail.

    Talking about the forces involved in a waterjet cut, we have some quick facts that we think you’ll find interesting. The same exact waterjet that we’ve used to cut metals up to a foot and a half thick exerts a mere 22 pounds of downforce on the workpiece during a pierce and less than 5 pounds of downforce during the cut! And yes, we do actually know this to be true. We literally pierced and cut material that was supported by a postage scale so that we wouldn’t have to lie awake at night anymore with such weighty questions on our minds…

    If you find yourself burdened with weighty questions about waterjet cutting and how it works, please visit our TECHNICAL GUIDE TO WATERJET CUTTING which is an absolute trove of delightful facts and valuable knowledge. We promise it will be well worth your time!

    -The crew at AquaJet

  3. Check Out Our New Toy!

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    If you attended our Open House, then you already saw our latest waterjet. You were even lucky enough to watch it snorting through 9” thick steel!

    We’re especially excited to make this announcement to all of our customers, and here’s the big reason… While this new machine is 5-axis and 87,000 psi just like our other machines, it is much larger than the others. The cutting envelope is 3 meters x 7 meters (for those of you who deal with high blood pressure whenever you’re given dimensions in metric, that is about 118” x 275”). So we can easily put a full 8’ x 20’ plate on the table and have plenty of room to spare!

    You may have noticed that we’re giving you the X and Y travel on this machine, but not the Z. There’s a simple reason for that. We’re not accustomed to limiting ourselves to what the machine was built to accommodate. The Z on this machine is 12”, but if you have something you need cut that’s thicker than 12”, send it on over! When needed, we tear the slat system out and build special fixtures to drop the workpiece down into the tank. We’ve waterjet cut up to 18” thick stainless steel, so we’re not scared of big stuff!