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Author: Hawkwin Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 459753  
Subject: Re: Trend:Laser mining Date: 12/13/2012 4:24 PM
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I remember watching a show, must be at least a decade ago, where they were demonstrating how high powered water could be used to cut everything from steak to solid rock.

I was left wondering at that time why we did not use such for drilling since it seemed like a clean option. No idea how much energy it took to create such.

Found this:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/questi...

A waterjet is a tool used in machine shops to cut metal parts with a (very) high-pressure stream of water. As amazing as it sounds, if you get water flowing fast enough it can actually cut metal.

Think of a waterjet as something with about 30 times the pressure of the power washer wand at your local car wash. Power washing at car washes is an everyday example of a dirt film being "cut" off the body, wheels and tires of an automobile.

The key to cutting metal with water is to keep the spray coherent. Waterjets are able to cut because the spray is channeled through a very narrow jeweled nozzle at a very high pressure to keep the spray coherent. Unlike metal cutters, a waterjet never gets dull and it cannot overheat.

Low pressure waterjets were first used for mining gold in California in 1852. Steam and hot water jets were used in the early 1900s for cleaning. High pressure waterjets were used for mining in the 1960s, and about 10 years ago industry began using waterjets for cutting. Abrasive water jets (abrasivejets) were first used in industry in about 1980.

...

A waterjet can remove the bark from a tree at a distance of 40 feet if one alters the chemistry of plain water by adding SUPER-WATER®, available from Berkeley Chemical Research. The SUPER-WATER® is a soluble polymeric chemical that acts like a series of molecular spinal columns or concrete reinforcement bars that tie the individual water molecules together in a more structured way to form a coherent jet. Imagine the potential for cutting down roadside weeds.

Abrasive jets have been used to:

•Remove materials inside train tunnels
•Help rescue "Baby Jessica" from the well in Midland, Texas
•Cut virtually any shape in bullet-proof glass
•Cut out the parts for the F-22 and Stealth bomber, and other aircraft and spacecraft
•Cut into the hull, using diamond powder abrasive, of the submarine Kursk to recover the bodies of the Russian crew

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