Water jet cutting is a technology that some put as ultra modern, others assume it is somewhat older.
Few, though, realise that it was used in some form by the Romans. Those Romans were a clever bunch…
Modern water jet cutting can be dated back to the 1970s, this the point where an abrasive started to be used, mixed in with the water jet to vastly increase the cutting potential. Without this addition, water jet cutting would have remained of limited use, good only for cutting soft materials such as card.
More recently, advances such as XD cutting – an ability to cut in multiple axis has enabled 3D cutting. The most complex of parts can be cut in one fluid motion.
However, water jet cutting was also used in the 1930s, this the version with just water. A pure jet of water.
What though of the Romans?
The Romans saw the power of water, they knew the impact of erosion. Water can cut through stone, if only somewhat slowly. Could this be accelerated to be of some greater use?
They developed a means to use a water jet to aid excavation and mining.
The aim of this water jet was not to be precise, but it did use the force to do what would have taken humans far longer, and would have been dangerous. That said, we’re not sure how important health and safety was to the Romans.
The water jet could be used for soft material excavation, and also to help cut through rock and other hard materials.
Roman engineers used the exact same principles that underpin modern water jet cutting.
Water is readily available – near-infinite effectively. Water has enormous force when forced through at high pressure.
Water’s ability to cut through material is also proved by nature – if it can cut through rock faces then it can cut through pretty much anything. As the water jet mixed with the material from mining, no doubt it made an abrasive of sorts and increased the cutting power, even if this wasn’t wholly through design.
Maybe it was through design, we shouldn’t underestimate Roman engineers.
All that modern water jet cutting does is use this for a more focussed jet, a jet that cuts with precision rather than just blunt force.
With this extra focus, the jet also becomes even more powerful.
Work with the UK’s leading Water Jet Cutters
At TMC, we are a water jet cutter who serve 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 focusses 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.
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