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High-Pressure Water Jetting

Last updated: May 15, 2020

What Does High-Pressure Water Jetting Mean?

High-pressure water jetting is the use of high-speed streams of high-pressure water to cut through almost all solid materials and to clean various surfaces.

In high-pressure water jetting, high-pressure water is forced to pass through the small hole or orifice of the jet nozzle, where the restriction of the small orifice results in a high-pressure water stream.

High-pressure water jetting can be just pure water or water with abrasives, cleaning chemicals or other additives at an operating pressure of between 10,000 to 25,000 psi (70 to 170 MPa) from a system that includes an engine, pump, water storage tank hose, specialized nozzle and other accessories. The terms "pure water jetting" and "abrasive jetting" are also used.

Manual high-pressure water jetting can be hazardous to untrained or unskilled users.


Corrosionpedia Explains High-Pressure Water Jetting

High-pressure water jetting has been used since the 1950s and more features have been added to the basic components; some water jetting systems are now computerized. In many industries, it is replacing or used along with other machining and cleaning methods or procedures. It offers many advantages in terms of performance capability, flexibility, safety and operational costs as briefly discussed in a few examples below.

1. Coating removal and surface preparation
Many current models of high-pressure water jet machines have better process controls and more efficient nozzles that meet the needs of various users as well as the standards established by the SSPC and NACE.

High-pressure water jetting also operates with fewer environmental and health issues, and does not damage the substrate surface profile like "overblasting" compared to abrasive blasting.

2. Hydrodemolition
High-pressure water jetting has provided construction engineers and contractors with the effective, fast, less costly, much more precise and quiet alternative to jackhammers, to cut and remove concrete, stone and similar hard surfaces.

3. Sewage system preventive maintenance
High-pressure water jetting is the complete solution to pipe clogging problems because after breaking up clogs, it also thoroughly cleans the pipe walls.

4. Machining
Like lasers, high-pressure water jetting can be set to cut intricate shapes without tools; it is sometimes called a "water laser." One advantage it has over laser cutting is that any heat produced is absorbed by water, which makes it capable of cutting some plastics, stone, brass, bronze and Teflon, which lasers can’t cut because the heat generated will produce toxic fumes and/or dust, or deform the edges.


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