RAGWORM Water Jet Cutting

RAGWORM® hydro-cutting technology was developed in the Netherlands as a fast, safe, and efficient method for removing worn storage tank bottoms with ultra-high pressure waterjet.  Safe-Cut Services uses and adapts Ragworm to cut storage tank floors, roofs, and side-shell, fiberglass, and concrete, multiple layers of substrates, asphalt, and vessels.

Ragworm is a unique robotic system that uses dual 46,400 psi (3,200 bar) water jets to cut tank walls from their old floors and roofs safely, without the risk of explosion or toxic fumes associated with traditional cutting methods such as oxyacetylene torches.  RAGWORM® is safer and much more efficient than traditional cutting methods.

Ragworm is  5 times faster than cutting with torches and 30 times faster than the standard gouging method, and there is no damage to the tank terp (foundation). Multiple RAGWORM® robots can be set up once in the tank, and other work can be proceeding while they are cutting. This saves time and money.

Ragworm is powered by a 55,000psi (3,800 bar) diesel water jet intensifier pump.  Water consumption is only 4 liters (1 gallon) of water per minute.  Ragworm produces minimal impact on the underlying terp (5cm - 2psi). Each Ragworm robot requires only two operators, one controlling the diesel-generated power-pack water jet intensifier pump located outside the tank, the other operating the cutter unit in the tank.

Ragworm easily cuts through 6 mm (.24") carbon steel at an average of 100 meters (328') per hour.

The system cutting speed has been demonstrated in every project to which it is deployed.  One early job demonstrated Ragworm's efficiency by cutting the complete bottom of a 70 meter (230 feet) diameter tank into plates of 6X2 meters or 19.7X6.6' in just 100 cutting hours, even though 20 percent of the tank was double plated.

The diesel powered intensifier pump produces a flow rate of 15.52 liters (4.1 gallons) per minute and can power two Ragworm cutting machines at the same time.

Safe-Cut creates custom cutting tools for any application and has adapted Ragworm robotic cutting technology to cut fiberglass, and concrete, multiple layers of substrates, asphalt, and vessels.

Ragworm is a fully automated robotic tracked vehicle that deploys two bi-directional abrasive water jet cutting heads simultaneously. It can be used for any large-scale steel plate removal project. Its operation is safe and efficient in a hazardous atmosphere.

The robot enters a storage tank via the standard manway entry and can be rapidly assembled and deployed by a two-man crew. The working environment and air quality in the tank during cutting is cleaner than ever before achieved. The Ragworm system greatly enhances worker safety in confined spaces.

Ragworm waterjet cutting technology is named after a marine worm that lives on the ocean floor and crawls along eating its food with unusually sharp, strong, and lightweight teeth that are unlike bone and tooth enamel. They are not mineralized with calcium, but are formed by a histidine rich protein, with bound zinc ions. It is thought that this material could lead to applications in engineering.  The analogous traits shared by the marine ragworm that occurs in nature and the Ragworm cutting system are obvious.

RAGWORM®'s US patent is US 7,134,938 B2. RAGWORM®'s European patent is 1507630.