Field systems

Aquablast Ultra-High Pressure Water Jetting


Aquablast Field Systems

Aquablast has a range of mobile abrasive waterjet cold cutting packages for a wide range of tasks in hazardous areas both on and offshore including tank floor removal and access cutouts; pipe cutting and process equipment decommissioning. 

Aquablast’s TrackCut© Robot is a hydraulically-driven tracked platform specially developed to deploy an abrasive waterjet nozzle for the safe, rapid removal of corroded bottoms in large, above ground storage tanks.

In typical 6mm steel floor plate, cut rates of over 30m per hour with a single nozzle have been achieved. Four robotic cutters can be easily deployed in a large tank – an 85m diameter tank floor, for example, can be cut into 5m x 2m plates; plus cuts around 200 legs; usually in only 10 days.

Minimal water consumption (approx. 8 litres/minute per nozzle); 50,000 psi (3,500 bar) Mach 2 waterjet velocity;
Very little disturbance to underlying sand;
No gasses, sparks, toxic smoke, risk of explosion or heat-affected zone;
Single pass cutting on double, or even triple, plates; cutting rates up to 30m per hour per nozzle on 6mm plate;
Single pass cutting on GRP and steel ‘sandwiches’;
Totally enclosed ultra high pressure (UHP) waterjets for maximum safety – no hand-held or close contact operation; 100% safety record;
Minimal manpower – 3 -5 men crews maximum, depending on tank diameter.

  • Our BendiTrack© and Cutterbug© robots can deploy UHP abrasive cutting nozzles in materials as thick as 300mm depending on the cut quality required;
  • Can be attached magnetically, pneumatically or by tensioned straps;
  • Concrete or cement is cut with or without rebar;
  • GRP, carbon fibre, stone, brick, resin-bound material, wire-reinforced rubber, Kevlar®, plate glass (except tempered glass which shatters), and many other materials;
  • Almandite garnet as blast media cuts fast, clean and extremely accurately when propelled in a supersonic waterjet; low volumes of non-toxic garnet, which has a light pink colour, is easily disposed of or can be left in the sand bottom of a tank floor, for example;
  • Multiple softer materials can be cut with UHP waterjet only without any abrasive;
  • Composites such as cemented casing strings or steel plate with doublers and patches.

Key Features:

  • Totally enclosed UHP waterjets for maximum safety; no hand-held or close contact operation; 100% safety and task completion record;
  • Uniquely high pressure operation at low volume – over 50,000 psi (3,500 bar) at 8 litres per minute water flow; for high pressure and lower water volume than other waterjet systems; cutting speeds in 6mm tank floor plate at up to 30m per hour.

Aquablast Field cutting spreads have dismantled contactor towers with 65mm wall thickness on offshore North Sea platforms and other projects have included;

  • Safe removal of coking towers on a live Egyptian refinery in Alexandria;
  • Sinking a barge in the Thames for CrossRail by opening the hull where there was a potential gas risk;
  • Cutting a new logo in travertine for an exact fit at the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon on site – with no dust;
  • De-commissioned surplus military body armour for the British Army following withdrawal from Afghanistan;

Cut a superb granite cross for St Martin’s Church in London.

Call us on 01502 714143 for expert ‘cold cutting’ of your part in any material. Ask for a free test cut.

Picture: Cut path from Aquablast ABWJ robot cutting nozzle

Cut path from Aquablast ABWJ robot cutting nozzle

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65mm wall thickness contactor tower “cold cut” and safely removed from southern North Sea gas platform

UHP intensifier pumps

Our UHP intensifier pumps (diesel-driven ‘rigsafe’ standard – or electric) are pressure compensated and can detect faults such as a blocked jet and stop pumping within milliseconds; no blow-off valves or burst discs required  — an inherently safer system compared to high water volume, lower pressure equipment.

In tanks, the system can be configured to cut double bottoms and angled for circumferential cuts on annular plates; any plate cut size can be requested according to client requirements;

TrackCut© can climb a 25-degree incline or operate in wet, slippery conditions if needed – especially useful for safe dismantling of collapsed or distorted floating roofs.

All Aquablast crews working in hazardous areas have currently (2023) at least five years experience both on and offshore and carry all appropriate training and safety certificates.

Picture: 65mm wall thickness contactor tower “cold cut” and safely removed from southern North Sea gas platform.

Tank Door Sheet Openings

Aquablast’s BendiTrack© and CutterBug© UHP cutting nozzle carriers are magnetically or pneumatically attached to vertical tank walls for rapid creation of easy maintenance access into above-ground storage tanks.

This system is designed to use the same hydraulic power packs and UHP pumpsets as the robotic TrackCut© package and the entire spread can be mobilised to site on a single vehicle. Up to four application tools can be run simultaneously.

Operating crews typically comprise only two to four men depending on the size of tank.

Picture: Contactor Tower base section awaiting removal after 65mm abrasive cold cuts

Contactor Tower base section awaiting removal after 65mm abrasive cold cuts
Heavywall Pipe Cold Cutting

Pipe Cutting

ABWJ (Abrasive Waterjet Cold Cutting) is a cost-effective process and often the only practical and safe solution where volatile atmospheres prevent the issue of hot work permits. 

Aquablast’s abrasive waterjets are remote-controlled and held rigidly in position by our TrackCut©, BendiTrack© or CutterBug© transport units at stand-off distance usually between 5-10mm.

Call 01502 714143 to benefit from over 30 years of cold cutting expertise.

Picture: Heavywall Pipe Cold Cutting

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Aquablast excel in delivering novel and safe ultra-high pressure (UHP) water jetting services.


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