Categories: General
      Date: Oct 22, 2010
     Title: A Fly On The Wall - Cutting The Intricacies Of A Dragonfly's Wings With Water; Cleanly And Precisely
Settled on the wall of the Royal Plaza, West Street, Sheffield, the enormous emperor dragonfly adds a regal touch to the luxury development.  An impressive public sculpture, made from water jet cut stainless steel...

Settled on the wall of the Royal Plaza, West Street, Sheffield, the enormous emperor dragonfly adds a regal touch to the luxury development.  An impressive public sculpture, made from water jet cut stainless steel, it was designed and crafted to compliment the overall aesthetics of the building that boasts among its many features - ornate stainless steel balustrades and balconies.  Created by Johnny White, renowned for his public and kinetic sculptures, the dragonfly was commissioned by Gleeson Contractors to increase the profile and attractiveness of the development.

The manufacture of the dragonfly presented some technical difficulties that had to be overcome.  Dragonfly wings are by design very fine and delicate.  To take this intricacy across to the finished sculpture a method or process had to be used that would allow cuts of less that 2mm apart in 3 mm sheet stainless steel to be made without distortion.

After considering various processes Johnny decided that waterjet cutting was the best solution and commissioned Control Waterjet Cutting, a Chesterfield based company.  Commenting on waterjet cutting Johnny said, “We settled on waterjet cutting because of its ability to produce very find cuts in thin material without distorting the material due to heat being generated.  This is very useful as it means we can use the process for developing the most complex designs.  In addition it leaves softer edges that are more aesthetically pleasing with the added bonus that they do not have to be de-burred. “

Responding to Johnny’s observations, Clare Smith, Managing Director of Control Waterjet Cutting, said, “Because the material is cut using erosion rather than burning there is no heat generated.  This and the control we can achieve through our software enabled us to cut the very fine detail in the dragonfly wings.

Johnny continued, “Waterjet cutting is a relatively new process with many advantages.  I have been using other cutting processes for the past ten years but have moved to waterjet cutting because of the quality finish and degree of control it offers.”  “ When cutting aluminium there is also the added benefit that the cut edge is not porous so a good seal is achieved when it is anodised”, added Johnny.

For further information please call Ian Macpherson, Sales Manager of Control Waterjet Cutting, on 01246 284000.