A reader asked about Slurryjet, and why there are no ultrahigh-pressure units out there in the world today cutting in production.

First of all, let’s make sure everyone who has not studied the subject understands what we’re talking about here.  Abrasive waterjets today are created by pressurizing water, forcing it through a small jewel orifice where the pressure is converted to velocity, and then the abrasive particles are metered into a mixing chamber and accelerated like a bullet out of a rifle down the mixing tube.  Abrasive slurry jet is where a water/abrasive slurry is pressurized and pushed through an orifice.  It is inherently more efficient because the water and abrasive are going the same speed, and no momentum transfer from the water to the abrasive is taking place.

I have always loved the idea of abrasive slurry, but it isn’t easy.  Progress has been made by Dr. Hashish over the decades, but still, there are no commercially viable slurry jets running in normal production at ultrahigh-pressures that I am aware of.  The abrasive/water slurry is very aggressive and causes excessive wear on pump and delivery components.

Slurry Jet Comparison

Maybe someday we’ll solve the technical challenges, and then we’ll have a system that cuts with a smaller kerf and faster per given horsepower (because it is inherently more efficient).  Time  will tell.


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