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Technology Factsheet

UHP Waterjet Cutting System Used in Glove Box Size Reduction(with a Permalign® II)

Category: Dismantlement > Non-Mechanical Cutting Equipment > Abrasive Water Jet
Reference # : Model No :

UHP Intensifier Pump: The Jet Edge intensifier is a 55,000-psi pump: 1.2 gallons per minute (gpm) and 1 pound of garnet per minute (lb/min). The intensifier pump utilizes a pressure compensated hydraulic system to drive plunger style intensifiers. Hydraulic oil pressure is used to drive a piston/plunger assembly that uses the hydraulic pressure and converts it to high pressure water through a 19 to 1 intensifier ratio. The dual reciprocating piston/plunger assembly is controlled using PLC technology to control the shifting of parameters. The intensifier is a tie-rod design for ease in maintenance and to maintain proper torque specifications to pressurized components. The high-pressure water is sent through an attenuator to eliminate water surges created during the pump stroking process. The water then travels trough a 60,000 psi hose to the Permalign® II cutting head. Permilign® II Cutting Head: The Permalign® II cutting head is a patented Jet Edge product that takes pressurized water up to 60,000 psi and injects an abrasive to create a powerful cutting stream capable of cutting over 8 inches of almost all materials. The cutting speed, abrasive, on/off, cutting direction and water on/off functions are controlled from a remote control station. The cutting head utilizes replaceable consumable parts to eliminate the need to replace the cutting head main body. The cutting head is manipulated using a portable cutting track that is powered by 24V electric motor. Cutting Head Motion System (Versacutter): The cutting system used for the glove box was a modified Jet Edge Versacutter. For horizontal cuts, the system consisted of 2 vertical “masts” with a horizontal track system that carried the electronic “bug”. The bug is the device used to hold the cutting head and attaches to the horizontal track using 4 “V” shaped wheels. The track and bug set-up uses a cog drive to move the bug along the track. For vertical cuts, a shorter section of track was fixed to one of the masts and positioned manually to perform the cut. Motion was done using the same electric bug. The system is stand-alone and did not utilize the actual glove box for structural support. EBBCO Closed-Loop Filtration System: The EBBCO system is designed to interface with different water cutting systems to filter and recycle wastewater as closed-loop to minimize water consumption. The main components of the system are one stainless steel size #2 bag filter, one stainless steel reservoir with clean/dirty baffle and lid, one stainless steel filter supply pump, and one stainless steel 0.35 micron hurricane polishing filter.

Benefits

The technology has a number of benefits: (1) The waterjet cutting method is fast and efficient compared with previous technologies demonstrated. The technology was able to cut through port rings and frame windows (1/2 in thick of reinforced stainless steel) with difficulty. However, production and cutting rate is slower, approximately 20% slower than cutting through flat metal. (2) Even though temperatures above ambient were measured in the containment during cutting activities (up to 100 ºF), no fumes were observed at any time during cutting activities. The process can be considered fume free, which minimizes workers exposure to contaminants. (3) This technology can be operated remotely, increasing workers protection to exposure of contaminants while the cutting process is ongoing. However, visibility is a great concern since the technology generates considerable amounts of mist which blocks operators’ visibility from outside of containment. (4)Cutting and production rates are considered high. (5) The Jet Edge UHP Waterjet Cutting System is a portable cutting tool relatively easy and safe to operate if the operator receives proper training. Setting up of equipment may take longer than some other conventional technologies due to the plastic liner the vendor needs to set to contain wastewater. (6) Performance specification can be achieved since technology is portable and relatively easy to relocate after set up is completed. (7) Since the technology operates at high pressure, low flow rate (up to 55,000 psi, and low flow rate, 1.2 gpm and 1lb/min of abrasive), wastewater generated is relatively low. (8) Waste generated is mainly wastewater, sludge, and pump filters. The EBBCO filter used to recycle wastewater operated successfully. Wastewater was filtrated in this closed-loop system and reused during the cutting process. Wastewater generated after filtration was below local sewer discharge standards for lead concentration.

Limitations

There are also some limitations: (1) One disadvantage of the process stems from the large quantities of mist generated while cutting. Mist generated during the demonstration limited operator visibility to continuously maneuver equipment from outside of the containment. Production and cutting rates are impacted doe to the poor visibility inside the containment. In addition, mist can carry and spread loose contaminants (lead particles) from cutting activities. (2) Wastewater containment needs to be improved to completely capture wastewater generated during cutting activities. (3) Noise generated by the technology and measured outside of the containment ranged from 95 to 105 dBA. OSHA considers these noise levels a noise hazard. Therefore, personal protective equipment as well as hearing protection needs to be considered. (4) Jet Edge needs to improve their vacuum system to make their wastewater, collection process more efficient. (5)Rigging techniques need improvements to minimize lifting hazards during and after segmentation.

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