Thursday, September 11, 2008

Water Table at MSFC

I went on a tour of the shop facilites at NASA/MSFC today. This small building houses a really cool water cutting machine. It cuts with a high pressure jet of water, with crushed garnet mixed in. They let us feel the garnet. The courser powder felt like fine sand. The finer powder felt like, well, powder.

It can make a 9" cut in a single pass.

Below, the table, with two of the guys checking it out.

The table is filled with water. The "bed" is a bunch of cheap metal slats, on-edge, which routinely get cut up by the machine, and then get replaced. They sometimes have to weight down the material that is being cut, because the water from the jet will push down into the bath and push back up on the bottom of the material, making it float off of the slats.

This NASA "meatball" was cut by the water table. The keyboard is part of the control console.

I assume the pink horse was cut on it too, since it was sitting nearby.

Here are the scraps, where many pieces were cut out of single sheets of material. That's not much waste.

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