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Recycling Glass – A Window Of Opportunity Through Water Jet Cutting

Water jet cutting is known for its green credentials and a company in Japan has helped demonstrate this in a truly fascinating way.

When speaking of how water jet cutting is kinder to the environment than any other similar technology, we usually speak of the lack of waste produced.

You have water, you have an inert garnet, and then you have the tiny particles from the cut edge – a sort of dust that is easily, and responsibly disposed of. This is a technology that enables construction companies, and all others who use it to limit the negative impact they have on the environment.

However, the company in Japan benefits the environment in that way, but also by being at the cutting edge of recycling.

They have discovered that you can reclaim glass from solar panels by cutting away the other material. Essentially, a solar panel is glass with solar cells and back sheets. Clearly that is to oversimplify, and those selling solar panels would say there is a lot more to them than that, but, regardless, the glass is often theoretically recoverable.

The issue is that to do so has been highly complex and prone to going wrong and damaging the glass – you can expend more energy in trying to recycle the glass than you save in doing so, given the relative success rate of any method.

Water jet cutting makes recycling glass from these units affordable, efficient and beneficial.

Shintora Kosan, a Japanese water jet product supplier, states that he has set up water jet cutting so that it can peel off the solar cells and back panels all without damaging the glass.

The glass, he says, then shows no sign that it was ever anything but a perfect sheet of glass, no residue of the extra material remains.

The new patented water jet for solar panels can peel off and pulverize the solar cells and the back sheet by spraying high-pressure water from the module’s backside, without damaging the glass.

This use of water jet cutting is another example of how south-east Asia is fully embracing this technology. While water jet cutting is used heavily globally, it is southeast Asia where growth is fastest and where companies are reaping the advantages of switching to a tech that maximises efficiency at a lower cost.

Far from being a technology just used to cut parts for industry, it is now used in food production, art, recycling and many other areas. Innovative companies are working with water jet cutting specialists to find solutions to their business needs.



Work with the UK’s leading Water Jet Cutters

At TMC, we are a water jet cutter that serves the whole of the UK and increasingly Europe too, with clients across the content trusting us to work on their projects.

Despite our success, we remain a company that focuses on every client and work on projects of all sizes. If you think water jet cutting might be of use for your project, please do get in touch for an obligation-free chat.

Call us on 01625 610 441 or use our Contact Form.