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Navy Clamp May Prove Cutting-Edge for Industry

Clamp Waterjet Cutting Graphic 1


A specialized clamp developed by the Navy for cutting small or lightweight pieces of metal or other materials in waterjet (slat-tabled) cutting machines is now available for licensing by industry.

The offset force clamp firmly holds material, known as the workpiece, as water shoots through it with enough force to slice through eight inches of hard stainless steel.

During the cutting process, water or water with fine powder added is directed downward at a pressure of approximately 60 thousand pounds per square inch at the workpiece. Whatever the force, the small or light workpiece must not move.

“The clamp is inserted between slats of the cutting machine table, then rotated and closed to fasten workpieces securely,” said William Gallagher, the inventor. “The jaws are custom-fabricated and then welded to appropriate off-the-shelf clamping pliers for simplest operation.”

Technology transfer and marketing consultants have completed an analysis to assist NAVAIR Lakehurst with promoting the specialized clamps. There are no apparent limitations to commercializing or manufacturing and distributing the clamps given the presence of sufficient demand.

The invention is routinely used by the inventor on a Flow International Corp. waterjet cutting machine.

“It appears there are no similar items on the market,” Gallagher said. “Alternative items tend to be nut-and-bolt-type and are cumbersome to set up and take down, or are custom made jigs made by individual machine operators.”

Please contact Gaetan Mangano of the Lakehurst Technology Transfer Office at or at 732-323-2899 for questions or commercialization inquiries.

Quick Facts:

  • Clamp is patent-protected and may be licensed
  • Clamp is straight-forward to manufacture
  • Clamp requires no modifications for commercial uses
  • Clamp has fast setup/takedown time
  • Placed into slatted table, rotated and locked
  • Receives workpiece, aligned, ready for cutting

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