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In this issue:
Water Jet Machine Provides Cutting-edge Cuts
SLAC Holiday Party Photos Online

SLAC Today

Tuesday - January 4, 2011

Water Jet Machine Provides
Cutting-edge Cuts

(Photo)
Aaron Monteleone (left) and Tom Moss stand next to MFD's new water jet. (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

The SLAC Mechanical Fabrication Department has a new way to cut custom machine parts. Called a water jet, the machine uses a millimeter-thick jet of water traveling at twice the speed of sound to precisely cut custom parts out of everything from stone to ceramics to plastics to metals. It is not only capable of cutting a wider variety of materials than prior technologies, but can do so more quickly and more economically, according to MFD Production Planner Tom Moss.

(Photo)
The water jet puts out a millimeter-thick "blade" of water at 60,000 pounds per square inch. (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

"We installed this machine as part of our ongoing effort to increase efficiency and reduce costs to our customers," Moss said. The water jet's contributions to MFD's bottom line are obvious when the abrasive-laced jet is compared to the plasma and flame cutters it replaces. All three tools can be used to fashion a rough version of a custom part from a piece of material called a part blank. "We have to start with part blanks of the appropriate size," Moss explained, but using the plasma or flame cutting process for the initial shaping "requires a larger blank so you can machine away the heat-affected zone and slag," metal that has chemically combined with cutting gasses.

By comparison, the water jet allows a closer shave. 

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(Photo - SLAC holiday party 2010)
Holiday party event Chair Maria Mastrokyriakos and Master of Ceremonies Frank Topper. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

SLAC Holiday Party Photos Online

Many thanks to all who helped to make the December 15, 2010, SLAC holiday luncheon a big success! Photos and acknowledgements for party contributors and donors are online now at the holiday party Web site.

Many SLACers and their families pitched in to provide holiday entertainment. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

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