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Since beginning of the human race, people have evolved tools and energy sources to power these tools to meet the requirements for making the life more easier and enjoyable. In the early stage of mankind, tools were made of stone for the item being made. When iron tools were invented, desirable metals and more sophisticated articles could be produced. In twentieth century products were made from the most durable and consequently, the most unmachinable materials. In an effort to meet the manufacturing challenges created by these materials, tools have now evolved to include materials such as alloy steel, carbide, diamond and ceramics. A similar evolution has taken place with the methods used to power our tools. Initially, tools were powered by muscles; either human or animal. However as the powers of water, wind, steam and electricity were harnessed, mankind was able to further extend manufacturing capabilities with new machines, greater accuracy and faster machining rates.

Every time new tools, tool materials, and power sources are utilized, the efficiency and capabilities of manufacturers are greatly enhanced. Since 1940’s, a revolution in manufacturing has been taking place that once again allows manufactuers to meet the demands imposed by increasingly sophisticated designs and durable but in many cases nearly unmachinable, materials. In the figure 1.1, Merchant had displayed the gradual increase in strength of material with year wise development of material in aerospace industry. This manufacturing revolution is now, as it has been in the past, centered on the use of new tools and new forms of energy. The result has been the introduction of new manufacturing processes used for material removal, forming and joining, known today as non-traditional manufacturing processes.

The conventional manufacturing processes in use today for material removal primarily rely on electric motors and hard tool materials to perform tasks such as sawing, drilling and broaching. Conventional forming operations are performed with the energy from electric motors, hydraulics and gravity. Likewise, material joining is conventionally accomplished with thermal energy sources such as burning gases and electric arcs.

In contrast, non-traditional manufacturing processes harness energy sources considered unconventional by yesterday’s standards. Material removal can now be accomplished with electrochemical reaction, high temperature plasmas and high-velocity jets of liquids and abrasives. Materials that in the past have been extremely difficult to form, are now formed with magnetic fields, explosives and the shock waves from powerful electric sparks. Materialjoining capabilities have been expanded with the use of high-frequency sound waves and beams of electrons and coherent light. During the last 55 years, over 20 different non-traditional manufacturing processes have been invented and successfully implemented into production. Classification of Unconventional Manufacturing Process:-

The non-conventional manufacturing processes are not affected by hardness, toughness or brittleness of material and can produce any intricate shape on any workpiece material by suitable control over the various physical parameters of the processes. The non-conventional manufacturing processes may be classified on the basis of type of energy namely, mechanical, electrical, chemical, thermal or magnetic, apply to the workpiece directly and have the desired shape transformation or material removal from the work surface by using different scientific mechanism. Thus, these non-conventional processes can be classified into various groups according to the basic requirements which are as follows : (i) Type of energy required, namely, mechanical, electrical, chemical etc. (ii) Basic mechanism involved in the processes, like erosion, ionic dissolution, vaporisation etc. (iii) Source of immediate energy required for material removal, namely, hydrostatic pressure, high current density, high voltage, ionised material, etc. (iv) Medium for transfer of those energies, like high velocity particles, electrolyte, electron, hot gases, etc. On the basis of above requirements, the various processes may be classified as shown in table.

Conventional Machining VS Non-Conventional Machining:Conventional machining usually involves changing the shape of a workpiece using an implement made of a harder material. Using conventional methods to machine hard metals and alloys means increased demand of time and energy and therefore increases in costs; in some cases conventional machining may not be feasible. Conventional machining also costs in terms of tool wear and in loss of quality in the product owing to induced residual stresses during manufacture. With ever increasing demand for manufactured goods of hard alloys and metals, such as Inconel 718 or titanium, more interest has gravitated to non-conventional machining methods. Conventional machining can be defined as a process using mechanical (motion) energy. Nonconventional machining utilises other forms of energy. The three main forms of energy used in non-conventional machining processes are as follows : • Thermal energy

• Chemical energy • Electrical energy One example of machining using thermal energy is laser. Thermal methods have many advantages over conventional machining, but there are a few of disadvantages. • Inconel 718, titanium and other hard metals and alloys have a very high melting point. Using thermal methods will require high energy input for these materials. • Concentrating heat onto any material greatly affects its microstructure and will normally cause cracking, which may not be desirable. • Safety requirements for thermal methods, especially laser, are demanding in terms of time and cost. • Machining large areas or many surfaces at the same time using thermal methods is not normally possible. The methods using electrical energy are electrodischarge machining (EDM) and anodic machining (AM), which are similar in practice. EDM, often refered to as spark erosion, uses pulsed voltage to remove material from a workpiece and a non-conductive medium to clear the debris. Because the medium is electrically inert the tool is a direct reverse of the workpiece and no complicated tool design criteria are required. But the shock of spark erosion can affect the microstructure on the surface of the workpiece. Also, EDM has a lower material removal rate than AM. The chemicals used in AM are non-toxic and the energy required is less than other nonconventional machining processes. It has no effect on the microstructure of the workpiece. The electrolyte can even be common sea water, enabling AM to be used in a sub-sea capacity. The hardness and thermal resistivity of the workpiece material do not matter therefore hard metals and alloys can be machined using tools made from softer materials. The only disadvantage is that tool design is a little more complex than that of EDM, but software is being developed to make this easier. The controllability, environmental versatility, speed, safety and absence of change in workpiece microstructure make AM a competitive manufacturing process. Introduction:Modern machining methods are also named as non-conventional machining methods. These methods form a group of processes which removes excess material by various techniques involving mechanical, thermal, electrical chemical energy or combination of these energies. There is no cutting of metal with the help of metallic tool having sharp cutting edge. The major reasons of development and popularity of modern machining methods are listed below.

(a) Need of machine newly developed metals and non-metals having some special properties like high strength, high hardness and high toughness. A material possing the above mentioned properties are difficult to be machined by the conventional machining methods. (b) Sometimes it is required to produce complex part geometries that cannot be produced by following conventional machining techniques. Non-conventional machining methods also provide very good quality of surface finish which may also be an encouragement to these methods. There can be a very long list of non-conventional machining methods. These methods can be classified as the basis of their base principle of working. Objectives After studying this unit, you should be able to understand
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introduction of modern machining methods and their difference with conventional machining methods, different classification criteria of modern machining methods and their classifications, and working principle, process details, applications and advantages and disadvantages machining.

Principle of Working of Energy:The principle of working is the base of type of energy used to remove the material. Classification along with the principle of working is described below. Use of Mechanical Energy Mechanical energy is used for removing material from workpiece. In this process, cutting tool with sharp edge is not used but material is removed by the abrasive action of high velocity of stream of hard, tiny abrasive particles. The particles are kept vibrating with very high velocity and ultra high frequency to remove the material. Electrical Energy In this category of non-traditional machining electrical energy is used in the form of electrochemical energy or electro-heat energy to erode the material or to melt and vapourized it respectively. Electrochemical machining, electroplating or electro discharge machining are the examples work on this principle. Use of Thermal Energy According to this principle heat is generated by electrical energy. The generated thermal energy is focused to a very small portion of workpiece. This heat is utilized in melting and evaporating of metal. The example based o this principle is electric discharge machining.

Use of Chemical Energy According to this principle of working chemicals are used to erode material from the workpiece. Selection of a chemical depends upon the workpiece material. Example of this type of machining is electrochemical machining. The dame principle can also be applied in reversed way in the process of electrochemical plating. Non-Conventional Mnachining Process:There can be one more way of classification of the non-conventional machining processes which is mechanisms of metal removal. Abrasion and Shear When small and hard metallic particles are made vibrating against the workpiece to be machined, the material is removed by shear action and abrasion. These phenomenon take place in case of ultrasonic machining. Chemical Ablation and Ionic Dissolution This is the dissolution of workpiece material into electrolyte solution (chemical) which takes place atom by atom. This happens in case electrochemical machining. Vapourization by Spark Erosion Concentrated heat is focused at a point of the workpiece by electric spark which melts and evaporates the workpiece material like electric discharge machining and LBM. Electro -Discharge Machining (EDM):It is also known as spark erosion machining or spark machining. Material of workpiece removed due to erosion caused by electric spark. Working principle is described below. Working Principle of Electric Discharge Machining:Electric discharge machining process is carried out in presence of dielectric fluid which creates path for discharge. When potential difference is created across the two surfaces of die electric fluid, it gets ionized. An electric spark/discharge is generated across the two terminals. The potential difference is developed by a pulsating direct current power supply connected across the two terminals. One of the terminal is positive terminal given to workpiece and tool is made negative terminal. Two third of the total heat generated is generated at positive terminal so workpiece is generally given positive polarity. The discharge develops at the location where two terminals are very close. So tool helps in focusing the discharge or intensity of generated heat at the point of metal removal.

Application of focused heat raise the temperature of workpiece locally at a point, this way two metal is melted and evaporated. Electric Discharge Machining Process Details:The working principle and process of EDM is explained with the help of line diagram in Figure. The process details and components are explained below serially.

Line Diagram Indicating Working Principle and Process Details of EDM

Base and Container:A container of non-conducting, transparent material is used for carrying out EDM. The container is filled with dielectric solution. A base to keep workpiece is installed at the bottom of container. The base is made of conducting material and given positive polarity. Tool:Tool is given negative polarity. It is made of electrically conducting material line brass, copper or tungeten. The tool material selected should be easy to machine, high wear resistant. Tool is made slightly under size for inside machining and over sized for cut side machining. Tool is designed and manufactured according to the geometry to be machined. Dielectric Solution:Dielectric solution is a liquid which should be electrically conductive. This solution provides two main functions, firstly it drive away the chips and prevents their sticking to workpiece and tool. It enhance the intensity of discharge after getting ionized and so accelerates metal removal rate.

Power Supply:A DC power supply is used, 50 V to 450 V is applied. Due to ionization of dielectric solution an electrical breakdown occurs. The electric discharge so caused directly impinges on the surface of workpiece. It takes only a few micro seconds to complete the cycle and remove the material. The circuit cam be adjusted for auto off after pre-decided time interval. Tool Feed Mechanism:In case of EDM, feeding the tool means controlling gap between workpiece and the tool. This gap is maintained and controlled with the help of servo mechanism. To maintain a constant gap throughout the operation tool is moved towards the machining zone very slowly. The movement speed is towards the machining zone very slowly. The movement speed is maintained by the help of gear and rack and pinion arrangement. The servo system senses the change in gap due to metal removal and immediately corrects it by moving the tool accordingly. The spark gap normally varies from 0.005 mm to 0.50 mm. Workpiece and Machined Geometry:The important point for workpiece is that any material which is electrical conductor can be machined through this process, whatever be the hardness of the same. The geometry which is to be machined into the workpiece decides the shape and size of the tool. Application of Electric Discharge Machining:This process is highly economical for machining of very hard material as tool wear is independent of hardness of workpiece material. It is very useful in tool manufacturing. It is also used for broach making, making holes with straight or curved axes, and for making complicated cavities which cannot be produced by conventional machining operations. EDM is widely used for die making as complex cavities are to be made in the die making. However, it is capable to do all operations that can be done by conventional machining. Advantages of EDM:(a) This process is very much economical for machining very hard material. (b) Maintains high degree of dimensional accuracy so it is recommended for tool and die making. (c) Complicated geometries can be produced which are very difficult otherwise. (d) Highly delicate sections and weak materials can also be processed without nay risk of their distortion, because in this process tool never applies direct pressure on the workpiece. (e) Fine holes can be drilled easily and accurately.

(f) Appreciably high value of MRRR can be achieved as compared to other non-conventional machining processes. Disadvantages and Limitations of EDM Process:There are some limitations of EDM process as listed below : (a) This process cannot be applied on very large sized workpieces as size of workpiece is constrained by the size of set up. (b) Electrically non-conducting materials cannot be processed by EDM. (c) Due to the application of very high temperature at the machining zone, there are chances of distortion of workpiece in case of this sections. (d) EDM process is not capable to produce sharp corners. (e) MRR achieved in EDM process is considerably lower than the MRR in case of conventional machining process so it cannot be taken as an alternative to conventional machining processes at all. Wire Cut Electric Discharge Machining (WCEDM):This is a special type of electric discharge machining that uses a small diameter wire as a cutting tool on the work. Working a principle of wire cut electric discharge machining is same as that of electric discharge machining. Process Details of WCEDM:Process details of WCEDM are almost similar to EDM with slight difference. The details of the process are indicated in the line diagram shown in Figure. Its major difference of process details with EDM process details are described below.

Tool Details:The tool used in WCEDM process is a small diameter wire as the electrode to cut narrow kerf in the workpiece. During the process of cutting the wire is continuously advanced between a supply spoil and wire collector. This continuous feeding of wire makes the machined geometry insensitive to distortion of tool due to its erosion. Material of wire can be brass, copper, tungsten or any other suitable material to make EDM tool. Normally, wire diameter ranges from 0.076 to 0.30 mm depending upon the width of kerf.

Line Diagram for Process Details of Working of Wire Cut Electric Discharge Machining

Tool Feed Mechanism:Two type of movements are generally given to the total (wire). One is continuous feed from wire supply spoal to wire collector. Other is movement of the whole wire feeding system, and wire along the kerf to be cut into the workpiece. Both movements are accomplished with ultra accuracy and pre-determined speed with the help of numerical control mechanism. Dielectric Fluid and Spray Mechanism:Like EDM process dielectric fluid is continuously sprayed to the machining zone. This fluid is applied by nozzles directed at the tool work interface or workpiece is submerged in the dielectric fluid container. Rest of the process details in case of WCEDM process are same as that in case of EDM process. Application of WCEDM:WCEDM is similar to hand saw operation in applications with good precision. It is used to make narrow kerf with sharp corners. It does not impose any force to workpiece so used for very delicated and thin workpieces. It is considered ideal for making components for stamping dies. It is also used to make intricate shapes in punch, dies and other tools. Advantages of WCEDM:Advantages are listed below :

(a) Accuracy and precision of dimensions are of very good quality. (b) No force is experienced by the workpiece. (c) Hardness and toughness of workpiece do not create problems in machining operation. Disadvantages and Limitations of WCEDM:The major disadvantages of this process are that only electrically conducting materials can machined. This process is costly so recommended for use specifically at limited operations. Ultrasonic Machining (USM):Ultrasonic machining (USM) is one of the non-traditional machining process. Working principle of this process resembles with conventional and metal cutting as in this process abrasives contained in a slurry are driven at high velocity against the workpiece by a tool vibrating at low amplitude and high frequency. Amplitude is kept of the order of 0.07 mm and frequency is maintained at approximately 20,000 Hz. The workpiece material is removed in the form of extremely small chips. Normally very hard particle dust is included in the slurry like, Al 2O2, silicon carbide, boron carbide or diamond dust. Working principle of USM is same as that of conventional machining that is material of workpiece is removed by continuous abrasive action of hard particles vibrating in the slurry. Abrasive slurry acts as a multipoint cutting tool and does the similar action as done by a cutting edge. Process Details:USM process is indicated in line diagram shown in Figure. Details of the process are discussed below.

Details of USM Process

Abrasive Slurry:Abrasive slurry consists of dust of very hard particles. It is filled into the machining zone. Abrasive slurry can be recycled with the help of pump. Workpiece:Workpiece of hard and brittle material can be machined by USM. Workpiece is clamped on the fixture I the setup. Cutting Tool:Tool of USM does not do the cutting directly but it vibrates with small amplitude and high frequency. So it is suitable to name the tool as vibrating tool rather than cutting tool. The tool is made of relatively soft material and used to vibrate abrasive slurry to cut the workpiece material. The tool is attached to the arbor (tool holder) by brazing or mechanical means. Sometimes hollow tools are also used which feed the slurry focusing machining zone.

Ultrasonic Oscillator:This operation uses high frequency electric current which passes to an ultrasonic oscillator and ultrasonic transducer. The function of the transducer is to convert electric energy into mechanical energy developing vibrations into the tool. Feed Mechanism:Tool is fed to the machining zone of workpiece. The tool is shaped as same to the cavity of be produced into the workpiece. The tool is fed to the machining area. The feed rate is maintained equal to the rate of enlargement of the cavity to be produced. Applications of USM:This process is generally applied for the machining of hard and brittle materials like carbides glass, ceramics, precious stones, titanium, etc. It is used for tool making and punch and die making. The workpeice material is normally removed in the form of very find chips so generated surface quality is extremely good. It is widely used for several machining operations like turning, grinding, trepanning and milling, etc. It can make hole of round shape and other shapes. Advantages of USM:Advantages of USM process are listed below : (a) Its main advantage is the workpiece after machining is free from any residual stress as to concentrated force or heat is subject to it during the machining process. (b) Extremely hard and brittle materials can be machined, their machining is very difficult by conventional methods. (c) Very good dimensional accuracy and surface finish can be obtained. (d) Operational cost is low. (e) The process is environmental friendly as it is noiseless and no chemical and heating is used. Disadvantages of USM:The process of USM have some disadvantages and limitations as described below : (a) Its metal removal rate (MRR) is very low and it can not be used for large machining cavities. (b) Its initial setup cost and cost of tool is very high, frequency tool replacement is required as tool wear takes place in this operation. (c) Not recommended for soft and ductile material due to their ductility.

(d) Power consumption is quite high. (e) Slurry may have to be replaced frequently. Chemical Machining Processes (CHM):Chemical machining is one of the non-conventional machining processes where material is removed by bringing it in contact of a strong chemical enchant. There are different chemical machining methods base on this like chemical milling, chemical blanking, photochemical machining, etc. Working Principle of CHM:The main working principle of chemical machining is chemical etching. The part of the workpiece whose material is to be removed, is brought into the contact of chemical called enchant. The metal is removed by the chemical attack of enchant. The method of making contact of metal with the enchant is masking. The portion of workpiece where no material is to be removed, is mashed before chemical etching. Process Details of CHM:Following steps are normally followed in the process of CHM : Cleaning:The first step of the process is a cleaning of workpiece, this is required to ensure that material will be removed uniformly from the surfaces to be processed. Masking:Masking is similar to masking action is any machining operation. This is the action of selecting material that is to be removed and another that is not to be removed. The material which is not to be removed is applied with a protective coating called maskant. This is made of a materials are neoprene, polyvinylchloride, polyethylene or any other polymer. Thinkers of maskent is maintained upto 0.125 mm. The portion of workpiece having no application of maskent is etched during the process of etching. Etching:In this step the material is finally removed. The workpiece is immersed in the enchant where the material of workpiece having no protective coating is removed by the chemical action of enchant. Enchant is selected depending on the workpiece material and rate of material removal; and surface finish required. There is a necessity to ensure that maskant and enchant should be chemically in active. Common enchants are H2SO4, FeCL3, HNO3. Selection of enchant also affects MRR. As in CHM process, MRR is indicated as penetration rates (mm/min).

Demasking:After the process is completed demasking is done. Demasking is an act of removing maskent after machining. Application of CHM:The application and working of CHM process are indicated in Figure, various applications of CHM are discussed below. Chemical Milling:It is widely used in aircraft industry. It is the preparation of complicated geometry on the workpiece using CHM process.

Application and Working of CHM

Chemical Blanking:In this application cutting is done on sheet metal workpieces. Metal blanks can be cut from very thin sheet metal, this cutting may not be possible by conventional methods. Photochemical Machining:It is used in metal working when close (tight) tolerances and intricate patterns are to be made. This is used to produce intricate circuit designs on semiconductor wafers. Advantages of CHM:Advantages of CHM process are listed below :

(a) Low tooling cost. (b) Multiple machining can be done on a workpiece simultaneously. (c) No application of force so on risk of damage to delicate or low strength workpiece. (d) Complicated shapes/patterns can be machined. (e) Machining of hard and brittle material is possible. Disadvantages and Limitations of CHM:(a) Slower process, very low MRR so high cost of operation. (b) Small thickness of metal can be removed. (c) Sharp corners cannot be prepared. (d) Requires skilled operators. Electrochemical Machining (ECM):Electrochemical machining (ECM) process uses electrical energy in combination with chemical energy to remove the material of workpiece. This works on the principle of reverse of electroplating. Working Principle of ECM:Electrochemical machining removes material of electrically conductor workpiece. The workpiece is made anode of the setup and material is removed by anodic dissolution. Tool is made cathode and kept in close proximity to the workpiece and current is passed through the circuit. Both electrodes are immersed into the electrolyte solution. The working principle and process details are shown in the Figure. This works on the basis of Faraday’s law of electrolysis. The cavity machined is the mirror image of the tool. MRR in this process can easily be calculated according to Faraday’s law. Process Details:Process details of ECM are shown in Figure and described as below :

Working Principle and Process Details of ECM

Workpiece:Workpiece is made anode, electrolyte is pumped between workpiece and the tool. Material of workpiece is removed by anodic dissolution. Only electrically conducting materials can be processed by ECM. Tool:A specially designed and shaped tool is used for ECM, which forms cathode in the ECM setup. The tool is usually made of copper, brass, stainless steel, and it is a mirror image of the desired machined cavity. Proper allowances are given in the tool size to get the dimensional accuracy of the machined surface. Power Supply:DC power source should be used to supply the current. Tool is connected with the negative terminal and workpiece with the positive terminal of the power source. Power supply supplies low voltage (3 to 4 volts) and high current to the circuit. Electrolyte:-

Water is used as base of electrolyte in ECM. Normally water soluble NaCl and NaNO3 are used as electrolyte. Electrolyte facilitates are carrier of dissolved workpiece material. It is recycled by a pump after filtration. Tool Feed Mechanism:Servo motor is used to feed the tool to the machining zone. It is necessary to maintain a constant gap between the workpiece and tool so tool feed rate is kept accordingly while machining. In addition to the above whole process is carried out in a tank filled with electrolyte. The tank is made of transparent plastic which should be non-reactive to the electrolyte. Connecting wires are required to connect electrodes to the power supply. Applications of ECM Process:There are large number of applications of ECMs some other related machining and finishing processes as described below : (a) Electrochemical Grinding : This can also be named as electrochemical debrruing. This is used for anodic dissolution of burrs or roughness a surface to make it smooth. Any conducting material can be machined by this process. The quality of finish largely depends on the quality of finish of the tool. (b) This is applied in internal finishing of surgical needles and also for their sharpening. (c) Machining of hard, brittle, heat resistant materials without any problem. (d) Drilling of small and deeper holes with very good quality of internal surface finish. (e) Machining of cavities and holes of complicated and irregular shapes. (f) It is used for making inclined and blind holes and finishing of conventionally machined surfaces. Advantages of ECM Process:Following are the advantages of ECM process : (a) Machining of hard and brittle material is possible with good quality of surface finish and dimensional accuracy. (b) Complex shapes can also be easily machined. (c) There is almost negligible tool wear so cost of tool making is only one time investment for mass production.

(d) There is no application of force, no direct contact between tool and work and no application of heat so there is no scope of mechanical and thermalresidual stresses in the workpiece. (e) Very close tolerances can be obtained. Disadvantages and Limitations of ECM:There are some disadvantages and limitations of ECM process as listed below : (a) All electricity non-conducting materials can not be machined. (b) Total material and workpiece material should be chemically stable with the electrolyte solution. (c) Designing and making tool is difficult but its life is long so recommended only for mass production. (d) Accurate feed rate of tool is required to be maintained. Laser Beam Machining (LBM):Laser beam have wide industrial applications including some of the machining processes. A laser is an optical transducer that converts electrical energy into a highly coherent light beak. One must know the full name of laser, it stands for “light amplification of stimulated emission of radiation”. Laser being coherent in nature has a specific property, if it is focused by conventional optical lenses can generate high power density. Working Principle of LBM:LBM uses the light energy of a laser beam to remove material by vaporization and ablation. The working principle and the process details (setup) are indicated in Figure. In this process the energy of coherent light beam is focused optically for predecided longer period of time. The beam is pulsed so that the released energy results in an impulse against the work surface that does melting and evaporation. Here the way of metal removing is same as that of EDM process but method of generation of heat is different. The application of heat is very finely focused in case of LBM as compared to EDM. Process Details of LBM:Process details of LBM are shown in line diagram shown in Figure, description of the details is given below.

Working Principle and Process Details of LBM

Laser Tube and Lamp Assembly:This is the main part of LBM setup. It consists of a laser tube, a pair of reflectors, one at each end of the tube, a flash tube or lamp, an amplification source, a power supply unit and a cooling system. This whole setup is fitted inside a enclosure, which carries good quality reflecting surfaces inside. In this setup the flash lamp goes to laser tube, that excites the atoms of the inside media, which absorb the radiation of incoming light energy. This enables the light to travel to and fro between two reflecting mirrors. The partial reflecting mirror does not reflect the total light back and apart of it goes out in the form of a coherent stream of monochromatic light. This highly amplified stream of light is focused on the workpiece with the help of converging lense. The converging lense is also the part of this assembly. Workpiece:The range of workpiece material that can be machined by LBM includes high hardness and strength materials like ceramics, glass to softer materials like plastics, rubber wood, etc. A good workpiece material high light energy absorption power, poor reflectivity, poor thermal conductivity, low specific heat, low melting point and low lotent heat.

Cooling Mechanism:A cooling mechanism circulates coolant in the laser tube assembly to avoid its over heating in long continuous operation. Tool Feed Mechanism:There is no tool used in the LBM process. Focusing laser beam at a pre-decided point in the workpiece serve the purpose of tool. As the requirement of being focused shifts during the operation, its focus point can also be shifted gradually and accordingly by moving the converging lense in a controlled manner. This movement of the converging lense is the tool feed mechanism in LBM process. Applications of LBM:LBM is used to perform different machining operations like drilling, slitting, slotting, scribing operations. It is used for drilling holes of small diameter of the order of 0.025 mm. It is used for very thin stocks. Other applications are listed below : (a) Making complex profiles in thin and hard materials like integrated circuits and printed circuit boards (PCBS). (b) Machining of mechanical components of watches. (c) Smaller machining of very hard material parts. Advantages of LBM:(a) Materials which cannot be machined by conventional methods are machined by LBM. (b) There is no tool so no tool wear. (c) Application of heat is very much focused so rest of the workpiece is least affected by the heat. (d) Drills very find and precise holes and cavities. Disadvantages of LBM:Major disadvantages of LBM process are given below : (a) High capital investment is involved. Operating cost is also high. (b) Recommended for some specific operations only as production rate is very slow.

(c) Cannot be used comfortably for high heat conductivity materials light reflecting materials. (d) Skilled operators are required. Plasma Arc Machining (PAM):Working Principle of PAM:In this process gases are heated and charged to plasma state. Plasma state is the superheated and electrically ionized gases at approximately 5000oC. These gases are directed on the workpiece in the form of high velocity stream. Working principle and process details are shown in Figure.

Working Principle and Process Details of PAM

Process Details of PAM:Details of PAM are described below.

Plasma Gun:Gases are used to create plasma like, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen or mixture of these gases. The plasma gun consists of a tungsten electrode fitted in the chamber. The electrode is given negative polarity and nozzle of the gun is given positive polarity. Supply of gases is maintained into the gun. A strong arc is established between the two terminals anode and cathode. There is a collision between molecules of gas and electrons of the established arc. As a result of this collision gas molecules get ionized and heat is evolved. This hot and ionized gas called plasma is directed to the workpiece with high velocity. The established arc is controlled by the supply rate of gases. Power Supply and Terminals:Power supply (DC) is used to develop two terminals in the plasma gun. A tungsten electrode is inserted to the gun and made cathode and nozzle of the gun is made anode. Heavy potential difference is applied across the electrodes to develop plasma state of gases. Cooling Mechanism:As we know that hot gases continuously comes out of nozzle so there are chances of its over heating. A water jacket is used to surround the nozzle to avoid its overheating. Tooling:There is no direct visible tool used in PAM. Focused spray of ho0t, plasma state gases works as a cutting tool. Workpiece:Workpiece of different materials can be processed by PAM process. These materials are aluminium, magnesium, stainless steels and carbon and alloy steels. All those material which can be processed by LBM can also be processed by PAM process. Applications of PAM:The chief application of this process is profile cutting as controlling movement of spray focus point is easy in case of PAM process. This is also recommended for smaller machining of difficult to machining materials. Advantages of PAM Process:Advantages of PAM are given below : (a) It gives faster production rate. (b) Very hard and brittle metals can be machined.

(c) Small cavities can be machined with good dimensional accuracy. Disadvantages of PAM Process:(a) Its initial cost is very high. (b) The process requires over safety precautions which further enhance the initial cost of the setup. (c) Some of the workpiece materials are very much prone to metallurgical changes on excessive heating so this fact imposes limitations to this process. (d) It is uneconomical for bigger cavities to be machined. Electrodischarge Grinding:Electrodischarge grinding (EDG) removes conductive materials by rapid spark discharges between a rotating tool and workpiece that are separated by a flowing dielectric fluid Fig..

EDG schematic

The spark gap is normally held at 0.013 to 0.075 mm by the servomechanism that controls the motion of the workpiece. The dc power source has capabilities ranging from 30 to 100 A, 2 to 500 kHz, and 30 to 400 V. The conductive wheel, usually made of graphite, rotates at 30 to 180 m/min in a dielectric bath of filtered hydrocarbon oil. The workpiece is usually connected to the positive terminal of the dc power supply. As can be seen from Fig.4, the workpiece is machined using a stream of electric sparks. Each spark discharge melts or vaporizes a small amount of metal from the workpiece surface. Higher machining currents produce faster rates of machining,

rougher finishes, and a deeper heat-affected zone (HAZ) in the workpiece. Less current is used for the production of smoother and less damaged surfaces. Additionally, higher pulse frequencies make smoother surfaces. Wheel wear ranges from 100:1 to 0.1:1 with an average of 3:1 depending upon the current density, workpiece material, wheel material, dielectric, and sharpness of corner details. Material removal rates range from 0.16 to 2.54 cm3/min. Surface finishes in the range of 1.6 to 3.2 micro m Ra are possible.

Elements of EDG

Removal rate and surface roughness in EDG

Above Fig.shows the relationship between removal rate andsurface roughness in EDG. The corner radius depends on the overcut and ranges from 0.013 to 0.130 mm. Greater voltages permit larger gaps, which makes the process suitable for plunge grinding where ease of dielectric flushing is ensured. Tolerances of 0.005 mm are normal with 0.001 mm possible. The surface finish improves with an increase in pulse frequency and is typically 0.4 to 0.8 micro m Ra. These layers must be removed or modified in case of highly stressed applications. Bellow Fig.shows the main elements of EDG. Abrasive electrodischarge grinding (AEDG) employs the interactive effect of EDE and MA in order to enhance the machining productivity. In the AEDG process the metallic or graphite electrode used in electrodischarge grinding is replaced by a metallic bond grinding wheel. Therefore, electro erosion in addition to the MA action occurs as shown in Figs. An increase in performance measures of the machining process becomes evident when machining super hard materials (plates with synthetic polycrystalline diamond), engineering ceramics, sintered carbides, and metallic composites.

AEDG machining system components

Apart from the above-mentioned effects, the electric discharge causes a considerable decrease in grinding forces, lowers the grinding wheel wear, and provides an effective method for dressing the grinding wheel during the machining process. The relative material removal rate for the EDG and AEDG processes was compared to the material removal rate of the electrodischarge process (under the same conditions). Accordingly, the increase in productivity of the EDG process is attributed to improvements in hydrodynamic conditions of dielectric flow. This improvement results from the Introducing mechanical effects into the AEDG process leads to a further increase in the metal removal rate by about 5 times that of the EDM process and about twice that of the EDG process. As the number of wheel revolutions increases, the effect of abrasive action is also increased. This may be evidence of better utilization of electrical discharge energy. Applications:EDG and AEDG can be used on 1. Steel and carbide at the same time without wheel loading 2. Thin sections on which abrasive wheel pressures might cause distortion 3. Brittle materials or fragile parts on which abrasive materials might cause fracturing 4. Form tools and tungsten carbide throw away bits for which diamond wheel costs would be excessive. Electric Discharge Wire Cutting Process:-

Wire Electric Discharge Machining (Wire EDM) is a special form of EDM that uses a small diameter wire as the electrode to cut a narrow kerf in the work. Wire EDM is illustrated in the figure:

The setup of Wire Electric Discharge Machining (WEDM) process

The workpiece is fed continuously and slowly past the wire in order to achieve the desired cutting path. Numerical control is used to control the work-part motions during cutting. As it cuts, the wire is continuously advanced between a supply spool and a take-up spool to present a fresh electrode of constant diameter to the work. This helps to maintain a constant kerf width during cutting. As in EDM, wire EDM must be carried out in the presence of a dielectric. This is applied by nozzles directed at the tool-work interface as in the figure, or the workpart is submerged in a dielectric bath. Wire diameters range from 0.08 to 0.30 mm, depending on required kerf width. Materials used for the wire include brass, copper, tungsten, and molybdenum. Dielectric fluids include deionized water or oil. As in EDM, an overcut in the range from 0.02 to 0.05 mm exists in wire EDM that makes the kerf larger than the wire diameter. This process is well suited to production of dies for sheet metalworking, cams, etc. Since the kerf is so narrow, it is often possible to fabricate punch and die in a single cut, as illustrated in the figure:

Punch and die fabricated in a single cut by WEDM

Power generator Circuits of EDM:Fig. depicted general nature of voltage pulses used in electro-discharge machining. Different power generators are used in EDM and some are listed below: • Resistance-capacitance type (RC type) Relaxation generator • Rotary impulse type generator • Electronic pulse generator • Hybrid EDM generator

Basic circuits for different types of EDM generators

Mechanism of Material Removal:In EDM, the removal of material is based upon the electrodischarge erosion (EDE) effect of electric sparks occurring between two electrodes that are separated by a dielectric liquid as shown in Fig.

EDM components

Metal removaltakes place as a result of the generation of extremely high temperatures generated by the high-intensity discharges that melt and evaporate the two electrodes. Electrode Material:Electrode material should be such that it would not undergo much tool wear when it is impinged by positive ions. Thus the localised temperature rise has to be less by tailoring or properly choosing its properties or even when temperature increases, there would be less melting. Further, the tool should be easily workable as intricate shaped geometric features are machined in EDM. Thus the basic characteristics of electrode materials are: • High electrical conductivity – electrons are cold emitted more easily and there is less bulk electrical heating • High thermal conductivity – for the same heat load, the local temperature rise would be less due to faster heat conducted to the bulk of the tool and thus less tool wear • Higher density – for the same heat load and same tool wear by weight there would be less volume removal or tool wear and thus less dimensional loss or inaccuracy • High melting point – high melting point leads to less tool wear due to less tool material melting for the same heat load • Easy manufacturability • Cost – cheap The followings are the different electrode materials which are used commonly in the industry: • Graphite • Electrolytic oxygen free copper • Tellurium copper – 99% Cu + 0.5% tellurium • Brass Dielectric Fluid:In EDM, as has been discussed earlier, material removal mainly occurs due to thermal evaporation and melting. As thermal processing is required to be carried out in absence of oxygen so that the process can be controlled and oxidation avoided. Oxidation often leads to poor surface conductivity (electrical) of the workpiece hindering further machining. Hence, dielectric fluid should provide an oxygen free machining environment. Further it should have enough strong dielectric resistance so that it does not breakdown electrically too easily but at the same time ionise when electrons collide with its molecule. Moreover, during sparking it should

be thermally resistant as well. Generally kerosene and deionised water is used as dielectric fluid in EDM. Tap water cannot be used as it ionises too early and thus breakdown due to presence of salts as impurities occur. Dielectric medium is generally flushed around the spark zone. It is also applied through the tool to achieve efficient removal of molten material. Machine Tool Selection of EDM:Material - Metals with a high melting point and good electrical conductivity are usually chosen as tool materials for EDM. Graphite is the most common electrode material since it has fair wear characteristics and is easily machinable and small flush holes can be drilled into graphite electrodes. Copper has good EDM wear and better conductivity. It is generally used for better finishes in the range of 0.5m Ra. Copper tungsten and silver tungsten are used for making deep slots under poor flushing conditions especially in tungsten carbides. It offers high machining rates as well as low electrode wear. Copper graphite is good for cross-sectional electrodes. It has better electrical conductivity than graphite while the corner wear is higher. Brass ensures stable sparking conditions and is normally used for specialized applications such as drilling of small holes where the high electrode wear is acceptable. Electron Beam Machining (EBM):Introduction Electron Beam Machining (EBM) and Laser Beam Machining (LBM) are thermal processes considering the mechanisms of material removal. However electrical energy is used to generate high-energy electrons in case of Electron Beam Machining (EBM) and high-energy coherent photons in case of Laser Beam Machining (LBM). Thus these two processes are often Classified as Electro-Optical-Thermal Processes:There are different jet or beam processes, namely Abrasive Jet, Water Jet etc. These two are mechanical jet processes. There is also thermal jet or beams. A few are oxyacetylene flame, welding arc, plasma flame etc. EBM as well as LBM are such thermal beam processes. Fig. shows the variation in power density vs. the characteristic dimensions of different thermal beam processes. Characteristic length is the diameter over which the beam or flame is active. In case of oxyacetylene flame or welding arc, the characteristic length is in mm to tens of mm and the power density is typically low. Electron Beam may have a characteristic length of tens of microns to mm depending on degree of focusing of the beam. In case of defocused electron beam, power density would be as low as 1 Watt/mm2 . But in case of focused beam the same can be increased to tens of kW/mm2 . Similarly as can be seen in Fig.1, laser beams can be focused over a spot size of 10 – 100 μm with a power density as high as 1 MW/mm2 . Electrical discharge typically provides even higher power density with smaller spot size. EBM and LBM are typically used with higher power density to machine materials. The mechanism of material removal is primarily by melting and rapid vaporisation due to intense heating by the electrons and laser beam respectively.

Process:Electron beam is generated in an electron beam gun. The construction and working principle of the electron beam gun would be discussed in the next section. Electron beam gun provides high velocity electrons over a very small spot size. Electron Beam Machining is required to be carried out in vacuum. Otherwise the electrons would interact with the air molecules, thus they would loose their energy and cutting ability. Thus the workpiece to be machined is located under the electron beam and is kept under vacuum. The high-energy focused electron beam is made to impinge on the workpiece with a spot size of 10 – 100 μm. The kinetic energy of the high velocity electrons is converted to heat energy as the electrons strike the work material. Due to high power density instant melting and vaporisation starts and “melt – vaporisation” front gradually progresses, as shown in Fig.. Finally the molten material, if any at the top of the front, is expelled from the cutting zone by the high vapour pressure at the lower part. Unlike in Electron Beam Welding, the gun in EBM is used in pulsed mode. Holes can be drilled in thin sheets using a single pulse. For thicker plates, multiple pulses would be required. Electron beam can also be manoeuvred using the electromagnetic deflection coils for drilling holes of any shape.

Mechanism of Material Removal in Electron Beam Machining

Equipment:Fig. shows the schematic representation of an electron beam gun, which is the heart of any electron beam machining facility. The basic functions of any electron beam gun are to generate free electrons at the cathode, accelerate them to a sufficiently high velocity and to focus them over a small spot size. Further, the beam needs to be manoeuvred if required by the gun. The cathode as can be seen in Fig is generally made of tungsten or tantalum. Such cathode filaments are heated, often inductively, to a temperature of around 2500 0 C. Such heating leads to thermo-ionic emission of electrons, which is further enhanced by maintaining very low vacuum within the chamber of the electron beam gun. Moreover, this cathode cartridge is highly negatively biased so that the thermo-ionic electrons are strongly repelled away form the cathode. This cathode is often in the form of a cartridge so that it can be changed very quickly to reduce down time in case of failure. Just after the cathode, there is an annular bias grid. A high negative bias is applied to this grid so that the electrons generated by this cathode do not diverge and approach the next element, the annular anode, in the form of a beam. The annular anode now attracts the electron beam and gradually gets accelerated. As they leave the anode section, the electrons may achieve a velocit y as high as half the velocity of light. The nature of biasing just after the cathode controls the flow of electrons and the biased grid is used as a switch to operate the electron beam gun in pulsed mode. After the anode, the electron beam passes through a series of magnetic lenses and apertures. The magnetic lenses shape the beam and try to reduce the divergence. Apertures on the other hand allow only the convergent electrons to pass and capture the divergent low energy electrons from the fringes. This way, the aperture and the magnetic lenses improve the quality of the electron beam. Then the electron beam passes through the final section of the electromagnetic lens and deflection coil. The electromagnetic lens focuses the electron beam to a desired spot. The deflection coil can manoeuvre the electron beam, though by small amount, to improve shape of the machined holes. Generally in between the electron beam gun and the workpiece, which is also under vacuum, there would be a series of slotted rotating discs. Such discs allow the electron beam to pass and machine materials but helpfully prevent metal fumes and vapour generated during machining to reach the gun. Thus it is essential to synchronize the motion of the rotating disc and pulsing of the electron beam gun.

Electron Beam Gun Introduction The fact that electric arc could operate was known for over a 100 years. The first ever underwater welding was carried out by British Admiralty – Dockyard for sealing leaking ship rivets below the water line. Underwater welding is an important tool for underwater fabrication works. In 1946, special waterproof electrodes were developed in Holland by ‘Van der Willingen’. In recent years the number of offshore structures including oil drilling rigs, pipelines, platforms are being installed significantly. Some of these structures will experience failures of its elements during normal usage and during unpredicted occurrences like storms, collisions. Any repair method will require the use of underwater welding Classification Underwater welding can be classified as

1) Wet Welding 2) Dry Welding In wet welding the welding is performed underwater, directly exposed to the wet environment. In dry welding, a dry chamber is created near the area to be welded and the welder does the job by staying inside the chamber. Wet Welding Wet Welding indicates that welding is performed underwater, directly exposed to the wet environment. A special electrode is used and welding is carried out manually just as one does in open air welding. The increased freedom of movement makes wet welding the most effective, efficient and economical method. Welding power supply is located on the surface with connection to the diver/welder via cables and hoses. In wet welding MMA Power Supply Polarity : -ve polarity (manual metal used arc welding) : is used. DC

When DC is used with +ve polarity, electrolysis will take place and cause rapid deterioration of any metallic components in the electrode holder. For wet welding AC is not used on account of electrical safety and difficulty in maintaining an arc underwater.

The power source should be a direct current machine rated at 300 or 400 amperes. Motor generator welding machines are most often used for underwater welding in the wet. The welding machine frame must be grounded to the ship. The welding circuit must include a positive type of switch, usually a knife switch operated on the surface and commanded by the welder-diver. The knife switch in the electrode circuit must be capable of breaking the full welding current and is

used for safety reasons. The welding power should be connected to the electrode holder only during welding. Direct current with electrode negative (straight polarity) is used. Special welding electrode holders with extra insulation against the water are used. The underwater welding electrode holder utilizes a twist type head for gripping the electrode. It accommodates two sizes of electrodes. The electrode types used conform to AWS E6013 classification. The electrodes must be waterproofed. All connections must be thoroughly insulated so that the water cannot come in contact with the metal parts. If the insulation does leak, seawater will come in contact with the metal conductor and part of the current will leak away and will not be available at the arc. In addition, there will be rapid deterioration of the copper cable at the point of the leak. Principle of operation of Wet Welding The process of underwater wet welding takes in the following manner: The work to be welded is connected to one side of an electric circuit, and a metal electrode to the other side. These two parts of the circuit are brought together, and then separated slightly. The electric current jumps the gap and causes a sustained spark (arc), which melts the bare metal, forming a weld pool. At the same time, the tip of electrode melts, and metal droplets are projected into the weld pool. During this operation, the flux covering the electrode melts to provide a shielding gas, which is used to stabilize the arc column and shield the transfer metal. The arc burns in a cavity formed inside the flux covering, which is designed to burn slower than the metal barrel of the electrode. Developments in Under Water Welding Wet welding has been used as an underwater welding technique for a long time and is still being used. With recent acceleration in the construction of offshore structures underwater welding has assumed increased importance. This has led to the development of alternative welding methods like friction welding, explosive welding, and stud welding. Sufficient literature is not available of these processes. Scope for further developments Wet MMA is still being used for underwater repairs, but the quality of wet welds is poor and are prone to hydrogen cracking. Dry Hyperbaric welds are better in quality than wet welds. Present trend is towards automation. THOR – 1 (TIG Hyperbaric Orbital Robot) is developed where diver performs pipefitting, installs the trac and orbital head on the pipe and the rest process is automated. Developments of diverless Hyperbaric welding system is an even greater challenge calling for annexe developments like pipe preparation and aligning, automatic electrode and wire reel changing functions, using a robot arm installed. This is in testing stage in deep waters. Explosive and friction welding are also to be tested in deep waters.

Hyperbaric Welding (dry welding) Hyperbaric welding is carried out in chamber sealed around the structure o be welded. The chamber is filled with a gas (commonly helium containing 0.5 bar of oxygen) at the prevailing pressure. The habitat is sealed onto the pipeline and filled with a breathable mixture of helium and oxygen, at or slightly above the ambient pressure at which the welding is to take place. This method produces high-quality weld joints that meet Xray and code requirements. The gas tungsten arc welding process is employed for this process. The area under the floor of the Habitat is open to water. Thus the welding is done in the dry but at the hydrostatic pressure of the sea water surrounding the Habitat. Risks Involved There is a risk to the welder/diver of electric shock. Precautions include achieving adequate electrical insulation of the welding equipment, shutting off the electricity supply immediately the arc is extinguished, and limiting the open-circuit voltage of MMA (SMA) welding sets. Secondly, hydrogen and oxygen are produced by the arc in wet welding. Precautions must be taken to avoid the build-up of pockets of gas, which are potentially explosive. The other main area of risk is to the life or health of the welder/diver from nitrogen introduced into the blood steam during exposure to air at increased pressure. Precautions include the provision of an emergency air or gas supply, stand-by divers, and decompression chambers to avoid nitrogen narcosis following rapid surfacing after saturation diving. For the structures being welded by wet underwater welding, inspection following welding may be more difficult than for welds deposited in air. Assuring the integrity of such underwater welds may be more difficult, and there is a risk that defects may remain undetected. Advantages of Dry Welding 1) Welder/Diver Safety – Welding is performed in a chamber, immune to ocean currents and marine animals. The warm, dry habitat is well illuminated and has its own environmental control system (ECS). 2) Good Quality Welds – This method has ability to produce welds of quality comparable to open air welds because water is no longer present to quench the weld and H2 level is much lower than wet welds. 3) Surface Monitoring – Joint preparation, pipe alignment, NDT inspection, etc. are monitored visually. 4) Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) – NDT is also facilitated by the dry habitat environment. Disadvantages of Dry Welding

1) The habitat welding requires large quantities of complex equipment and much support equipment on the surface. The chamber is extremely complex. 2) Cost of habitat welding is extremely high and increases with depth. Work depth has an effect on habitat welding. At greater depths, the arc constricts and corresponding higher voltages are required. The process is costly – a $ 80000 charge for a single weld job. One cannot use the same chamber for another job, if it is a different one. Advantages of Wet Welding Wet underwater MMA welding has now been widely used for many years in the repair of offshore platforms. The benefits of wet welding are: 1) The versatility and low cost of wet welding makes this method highly desirable. 2) Other benefits include the speed. With which the operation is carried out. 3) It is less costly compared to dry welding. 4) The welder can reach portions of offshore structures that could not be welded using other methods. 5) No enclosures are needed and no time is lost building. Readily available standard welding machine and equipments are used. The equipment needed for mobilization of a wet welded job is minimal. Disadvantages of Wet Welding Although wet welding is widely used for underwater fabrication works, it suffers from the following drawbacks: 1) There is rapid quenching of the weld metal by the surrounding water. Although quenching increases the tensile strength of the weld, it decreases the ductility and impact strength of the weldment and increases porosity and hardness. 2) Hydrogen Embrittlement – Large amount of hydrogen is present in the weld region, resulting from the dissociation of the water vapour in the arc region. The H2 dissolves in the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) and the weld metal, which causes Embrittlement, cracks and microscopic fissures. Cracks can grow and may result in catastrophic failure of the structure. 3) Another disadvantage is poor visibility. The welder some times is not able to weld properly. Introduction

The plasma welding process was introduced to the welding industry in 1964 as a method of bringing better control to the arc welding process in lower current ranges. Today, plasma retains the original advantages it brought to industry by providing an advanced level of control and accuracy to produce high quality welds in miniature or precision applications and to provide long electrode life for high production requirements. The plasma process is equally suited to manual and automatic applications. It has been used in a variety of operations ranging from high volume welding of strip metal, to precision welding of surgical instruments, to automatic repair of jet engine blades, to the manual welding of kitchen equipment for the food and dairy industry. Plasma arc welding (PAW) Plasma arc welding (PAW) is a process of joining of metals, produced by heating with a constricted arc between an electrode and the work piece (transfer arc) or the electrode and the constricting nozzle (non transfer arc). Shielding is obtained from the hot ionized gas issuing from the orifice, which may be supplemented by an auxiliary source of shielding gas.

Transferred arcprocessproduces plasma jet of high energy density and may be used for high speed welding and cutting of Ceramics, steels, Aluminum alloys, Copper alloys, Titanium alloys, Nickel alloys. Non-transferred arcprocessproduces plasma of relatively low energy density. It is used for welding of various metals and for plasmaspraying(coating). Equipment: (1) Power source:- A constant current drooping characteristic power source supplying the dc welding current is required. It should have an open circuit voltage of 80 volts and have a duty cycle of 60 percent.

(2) Welding torch:- The welding torch for plasma arc welding is similar in appearance to a gas tungsten arc torch but it is more complex. (a) All plasma torches are water cooled, even the lowest-current range torch. This is because the arc is contained inside a chamber in the torch where it generates considerable heat.During thenon transferred period, the arc will be struck between the nozzle or tip with the orifice and the tungsten electrode.

(b) The torch utilizes the 2 percent thoriated tungsten electrode similar to that used for gas tungsten welding. (3) Control console:- A control console is required for plasma arc welding. The plasma arc torches are designed to connect to the control console rather than the power source. The console includes a power source for the pilot arc, delay timing systems for transferring from the pilot arc to the transferred arc, and water and gas valves and separate flow meters for the plasma gas and the shielding gas. The console is usually connected to the power source. The high-frequency generator is used to initiate the pilot arc. Principles of Operation The plasma arc welding process is normally compared to the gas tungsten arc process. But in the TIG-process, the arc is burning free and unchanneled, whereas in the plasma-arc system, the arc is necked by an additional water-cooled plasma-nozzle. Aplasma gas – almostalways 100 % argon –flows between thetungsten electrode andthe plasma nozzle. The welding process involves heating a gas called plasma to an extremely high temperature and then ionizing it such that it becomes electrically conductive. The plasma is used to transfer an electric arc called pilot arc to a work piece which burns between thetungsten electrode and the plasma nozzle. By forcing the plasma gas and arc through a constricted orificethe metal, which is to be welded is melted by the extreme heat of the arc. The weld pool is protected by the shielding gas, flowing between the outershielding gas nozzle and the plasma nozzle. As shielding gas pure argon-rich gas-mixtures with hydrogen or helium are used.

The high temperature of the plasma or constricted arc and the high velocity plasma jet provide an increased heat transfer rate over gas tungsten arc weldingwhen using thesame current. This results in faster welding speeds and deeper weld penetration. This method of operation is used for welding extremely thin material and for welding multi pass groove and welds and fillet welds.

Uses & Applications Plasma arc welding machine is used for several purposes and in various fields. The common application areas of the machine are: 1. Single runs autogenous and multi-run circumferential pipe welding. 2. In tube mill applications. 3. Welding cryogenic, aerospace and high temperature corrosion resistant alloys. 4. Nuclear submarine pipe system (non-nuclear sections, sub assemblies). 5. Welding steel rocket motor cases. 6. Welding of stainless steel tubes (thickness 2.6 to 6.3 mm). 7. Welding of carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel, copper, brass, monel, inconel, aluminium, titanium, etc. 8. Welding titanium plates up to 8 mm thickness.

9. Welding nickel and high nickel alloys. 10. or melting, high melting point metals. 11. Plasma torch can be applied to spraying, welding and cutting of difficult to cut metals and alloys. Plasma Arc Machining (PAM) Plasma-arc machining (PAM) employs a high-velocity jet of high-temperature gas to melt and displace material in its path called PAM, this is a method of cutting metal with a plasma-arc, or tungsten inert-gas-arc, torch. The torch produces a high velocity jet of high-temperature ionized gas called plasma that cuts by melting and removing material from the work piece. Temperatures in the plasma zone range from 20,000° to 50,000° F (11,000° to 28,000° C). It is used as an alternative to oxyfuel-gas cutting, employing an electric arc at very high temperatures to melt and vaporize the metal. Equipment: A plasma arc cutting torch has four components:
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The electrode carries the negative charge from the power supply. The swirl ring spins the plasma gas to create a swirling flow pattern. The nozzle constricts the gas flow and increases the arc energy density. The shield channels the flow of shielding gas and protects the nozzle from metal spatter.

Principle of operation PAM is a thermal cutting process that uses a constricted jet of high-temperature plasma gas to melt and separate metal. The plasma arc is formed between a negatively charged electrode inside the torch and a positively charged work piece. Heat from the transferred arc rapidly melts the metal, and the high-velocity gas jet expels the molten material from the cut. Applications The materials cut by PAM are generally those that are difficult to cut by any other means, such as stainless steels and aluminum alloys. It has an accuracy of about 0.008". Plasma Arc Cutting Plasma arc cutting employs an extremely high-temperature, high-velocity, constricted arc between an electrode contained within the torch and the piece to be cut. The arc is concentrated by a nozzle onto a small area of the workpiece. The metal is continuously melted by the intense heat of the arc and then removed by the jetlike gas stream issuing from the torch nozzle. Because plasma arc cutting does not depend on a chemical reaction between the gas and the work metal, because the process relies on heat generated from an arc between the torch electrode and the workpiece, and because it generates very high temperatures (28,000 °C, or 50,000 °F, compared to 3000 °C, or 5500 °F, for oxyfuel), the transferred arc cutting mode can be used on almost any material that conducts electricity, including those that are resistant to oxyfuel gas cutting. Using the nontransferred arc method, nonmetallic objects such as rubber, plastic, styrofoam, and wood can be cut with a good quality surface to within 0.50 to 0.75 mm (0.020 to 0.030 in.) tolerances. The past decade has seen a great increase in use of plasma arc cutting, because of its high cutting speed (Fig.). The process increases the productivity of cutting machines over oxyfuel gas cutting without increasing space or machinery requirements.

Operating Principles and Parameters The basic plasma arc cutting torch is similar in design to that of a plasma arc welding torch. For welding, a plasma gas jet of low velocity is used to melt base and filler metals together in the joint (see the article "Plasma Arc Welding" in Welding, Brazing, and Soldering, Volume 6 of the ASM Handbook). For the cutting of metals, increased gas flows create a high-velocity plasma gas jet that is used to melt the metal and blow it away to form a kerf. The basic design and terminology for a plasma arc cutting torch are shown in Fig.

Components of a plasma arc cutting torch. All plasma arc torches constrict the arc by passing it through an orifice as it travels away from the electrode and toward the workpiece. As the orifice gas passes through the arc, it is heated rapidly to high temperature, expands, and accelerates as it passes through the constricting orifice. The intensity and velocity of the arc plasma gas are determined by such variables as the type of orifice gas and its entrance pressure, constricting orifice shape and diameter, and the plasma energy density on the work. The basic plasma arc cutting circuitry is shown in Fig.. The process operates on direct current, straight polarity (dcsp), electrode negative, with a constricted transferred arc. In the transferred arc mode, an arc is struck between the electrode in the torch and the workpiece. The arc is initiated by a pilot arc between the electrode and the constricting nozzle. The nozzle is connected to ground (positive) through a current-limiting resistor and a pilot arc relay contact. The pilot arc is initiated by a high-frequency generator connected to the electrode and nozzle. The welding power supply then maintains this low current arc inside the torch. Ionized orifice gas from the pilot arc is blown through the constricting nozzle orifice. This forms a low-resistance path to ignite the main arc between the electrode and the workpiece. When the main arc ignites, the pilot arc relay may be opened automatically to avoid unnecessary heating of the constricting nozzle.

Plasma arc cutting was originally developed for severing nonferrous metals using inert gases. Modifications of the process and equipment to allow the use of oxygen or compressed air in the orifice gas permitted the cutting of carbon and alloy steel with improved cutting speeds and a cut quality similar to that obtained with oxyfuel cutting. Because the plasma constricting nozzle is exposed to the high plasma flame temperatures (estimated at 10,000 to 14,000 °C, or 18,000 to 25,000 °F), the nozzle is sometimes made of water-cooled copper. In addition, the torch should be designed to produce a boundary layer of gas between the plasma and the nozzle.

Several process variations are used to improve the plasma arc cutting quality for particular applications. They are generally applicable to materials in the 3 to 38 mm ( 1/8 to1(1/2) in.) thickness range, depending on the current rating of the plasma machine. Auxiliary shielding in the form of gas or water is used to improve cutting quality. Applications The ECG process is particularly effective for 1. Machining parts made from difficult-to-cut materials, such as sintered carbides, creepresisting (Inconel, Nimonic) alloys, titanium alloys, and metallic composites. 2. Applications similar to milling, grinding, cutting off, sawing, and tool and cutter sharpening. 3. Production of tungsten carbide cutting tools, fragile parts, and thin walled tubes. 4. Removal of fatigue cracks from steel structures under seawater. In such an application holes about 25 mm in diameter, in steel 12 to 25 mm thick, have been produced by ECG at the ends of fatigue cracks to stop further development of the cracks and to enable the removal of specimens for metallurgical inspection. 5. Producing specimens for metal fatigue and tensile tests. 6. Machining of carbides and a variety of high-strength alloys. The process is not adapted to cavity sinking, and therefore it is unsuitable for the die-making industry. Advantages and disadvantages Advantages
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Absence of work hardening Elimination of grinding burrs Absence of distortion of thin fragile or thermosensitive parts Good surface quality Production of narrow tolerances Longer grinding wheel life

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Higher capital cost than conventional machines Process limited to electrically conductive materials Corrosive nature of electrolyte Requires disposal and filtering of electrolyte Electrochemical Honing Introduction

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Electrochemical honing (ECH) combines the high removal characteristics of ECD and MA of conventional honing. The process has much higher removal rates than either conventional honing or internal cylindrical grinding. In ECH the cathodic tool is similar to the conventional honing tool, with several rows of small holes to enable the electrolyte to be introduced directly to the interelectrode gap. The electrolyte provides electrons through the ionization process, acts as a coolant, and flushes away chips that are sheared off by MA and metal sludge that results from ECD action. The majority of material is removed by the ECD phase, while the abrading stones remove enough metal to generate a round, straight, geometrically true cylinder. During machining, the MA removes the surface oxides that are formed on the work surface by the dissolution process. The removal of such oxides enhances further the ECD phase as it presents a fresh surface for further electrolytic dissolution. Sodium nitrate solution (240 g/L) is used instead of the more corrosive sodium chloride (120g/L) or acid electrolytes. An electrolyte temperature of 38°C, pressure of 1000 kPa, and flow rate of 95 L/min can be used. ECH employs dc current at a gap voltage of 6 to 30 V, which ensures a current density of 465 A/cm2 . Improper electrolyte distribution in the machining gap may lead to geometrical errors in the produced bore. Process characteristics The machining system shown in Fig.8 employs a reciprocating abrasive stone (with metallic bond) carried on a spindle, which is made cathodic and separated from the workpiece by a rapidly flowing electrolyte. In such an arrangement, the abrasive stones are used to maintain the gap size of 0.076 to 0.250 mm and, moreover, depassivate the machining surface due to the ECD phase occurring through the bond. A different tooling system (Fig.) can be used where the cathodic tool carries nonconductive honing sticks that are responsible for the MA. The machine spindle that rotates and reciprocates is responsible for the ECD process. The material removal rate for ECH is 3 to 5 times faster than that of conventional honing and 4 times faster than that of internal cylindrical grinding. Tolerances in the range of ±0.003 mm are achievable, while surface roughnesses in the range of 0.2 to 0.8 μm Ra are possible. To control the surface roughness, MA is allowed to continue for a few seconds after the current has been turned off. Such a method leaves a light compressive residual stress in the surface. The surface finish generated by the ECH process is the conventional cross-hatched cut surface that is accepted and used for sealing and load-bearing surfaces. However, for stress-free surfaces and geometrically accurate bores, the last few seconds of MAaction should be allowed for the pure ECD process

ECH schematic

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 ECH machining system components Applications As a result of the rotating and reciprocating honing motions, the process markedly reduces the errors in roundness through the rotary motion. Moreover, through tool reciprocation both taper and waviness errors are also reduced as shown in Fig.10. Because of the light stone pressure used, heat distortion is avoided. The presence of the ECD phase introduces no stresses and automatically deburrs the part. ECH can be used for hard and conductive materials that are susceptible to heat and distortion. The process can tackle pinion gears of high-alloy steel as well as holes in cast tool steel components. Hone forming (HF) is an application that combines the honing and electro deposition processes. It is used to simultaneously abrade the work surface and deposit metal. In some of its basic principles the method is the reversal of ECH.

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ECH effects on bore errors.

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According to the Metals Handbook (1989), this method is used in case of salvaging parts that became out-of-tolerance and reconditioning worn surfaces by metal deposition and abrasion of the new deposited layers. Electrochemical Deburring When machining metal components, it is necessary to cross-drill holes to interconnect bores. Hydraulic valve bodies are a typical example where many drilled passages are used to direct the fluid flow. The intersection of these bores creates burrs, which must be removed (Fig.) to avoid the possibility of them breaking off and severely damaging the system.

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Burrs formed at intersections of holes

In this method, burrs are hit by 2760°C blast of heat for milliseconds, which burns them away, leaving everything else including threads, dimensions, surface finish, and the physical properties of the part intact. Parts subjected to TEM should be cleaned of oil and metal chips to avoid the formation of carbon smut or the vaporization of chips. Burrs can be removed using several other methods including vibratory and barrel finishing, tumbling, water blasting, and the applicationof ultrasound and abrasive slurry. Abrasive flow machining (AFM) provides a reliable and accurate method of deburring for the aerospace and medical industries. AFM can reach inaccessible areas and machine multiple holes, slots, or edges in one operation. It was originally devised in the 1950s for deburring of hydraulic valve spools and bodies and polishing of extrusion dies. The drawbacks of these methods include lack of reliability, low metal removal rates, and contamination of surfaces with grit.

Hole deburring.

In electrochemical deburring (ECDB), the anodic part to be deburred is placed in a fixture, which positions the cathodic electrode in close proximity to the burrs. The electrolyte is then directed, under pressure, to the gap between the cathodic deburring

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tool and the burr. On the application of the machining current, the burr dissolves forming a controlled radius. Since the gap between the burr and the electrode is minimal, burrs are removed at high current densities. ECDB, therefore, changes the dimensions of the part by removing burrs leaving a controlled radius. Figure 8 shows a typical EC hole deburring arrangement. ECDB can be applied to gears, spline shafts, milled components, drilled holes, and punched blanks. The process is particularly efficient for hydraulic system components such as spools, and sleeves of fluid distributors. Mechanism of Deburring Faraday’s laws of electrolysis dictate how the metal is removed by ECDB. The deburring speed may be as high as 400 to 500 mm/min. ECDB using a rotating and feeding tool electrode (Fig.) enhances the deburring process by creating turbulent flow in the inter electrode gap. The spindle rotation is reversed to increase the electrolyte turbulence. Normal cycle times for deburring reported by Brown (1998) are between 30 to 45 s after which the spindle is retracted and the part is removed. In simple deburring when the tool is placed over the workpiece, a burr height of 0.5 mm can be removed to a radius of 0.05 to 0.2 mm leaving a maximum surface roughness of 2 to 4 μm.

Electrochemical deburring using a rotating tool.

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When burrs are removed from intersections of passages in housing, the electrolyte is directed and maintained under a pressure of 0.3 to 0.5 MPa using a special tool. That tool has as many working areas as practical so that several intersections are deburred at a time. Proper tool insulation guarantees the flow of current in areas nearby the burr. The deburring tool should also have a similar contour of the work part thus leaving a 0.1 to 0.3 mm inter electrode gap. Moreover the tool tip should overlap the machined area by 1.5 to 2 mm in order to produce a proper radius. The choice of the electrolyte plays an important role in the deburring process. Abrasive Jet Machining Introduction

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In abrasive jet machining (AJM) a focused stream of abrasive grains of Al2O3 or SiC carried by high-pressure gas or air at a high velocity is made to impinge on the work surface through a nozzle of 0.3- to 0.5-mm diameter. The process differs from sandblasting (SB) in that AJM has smaller diameter abrasives and a more finely controlled delivery system. The workpiece material is removed by the mechanical abrasion (MA) action of the high-velocity abrasive particles. AJM machining is best suited for machining holes in super hard materials. It is typically used to cut, clean, peen, deburr, deflash, and etch glass, ceramics, or hard metals. Principle and Machining system In the machining system shown in Fig., a gas (nitrogen, CO2, or air) is supplied under a pressure of 2 to 8 kg/cm2. Oxygen should never be used because it causes a violent chemical reaction with workpiece chips or abrasives.

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Abrasive Machining System

After filtration and regulation, the gas is passed through a mixing chamber that contains abrasive particles and vibrates at 50 Hz. From the mixing chamber, the gas, along with the entrained abrasive particles (10–40 μm), passes through a 0.45-mm-diameter tungsten carbidenozzle at a speed of 150 to 300 m/s. Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and silicon carbide powders are used for heavy cleaning, cutting, and deburring. Magnesium carbonate is recommended for use in light cleaning and etching, while sodium bicarbonate is used for fine cleaning and the cutting of soft materials. Commercial-grade powders are not suitable because their sizes are not well classified. They may contain silica dust, which can be a health hazard. It is not practical to reuse the abrasive powder because contaminations and worn grit will cause a decline of the machining rate. The abrasive powder feed rate is controlled by the amplitude of vibrations in the mixing chamber. The nozzle standoff distance is 0.81 mm. The relative motion between the workpiece and the nozzle is manually or automatically controlled using cam drives, pantographs, tracer mechanisms, or using computer control according to the cut geometry required. Masks of copper, glass, or rubber may be used to concentrate the jet stream of abrasive particles to a confined location on the workpiece. Intricate and precise shapes can be produced by using masks with

corresponding contours. Dust removal equipment is incorporated to protect the environment. Material Removal Rate Mechanism

Material Removal Process

As shown in Fig., the abrasive particles from the nozzle follow parallel paths for a short distance and then the abrasive jet flares outward likea narrow cone. When the sharp-edged abrasive particles of Al2O3 or SiC hit a brittle and fragile material at high speed, tiny brittle fractures are created from which small particles dislodge. The lodged out particles are carried away by the air or gas. The material removal rate VRR, is given by,

Where K = N = number of abrasive particles impacting/unit da = mean diameter of abrasive particles, ra = density of abrasive particles, Hw = hardness number of the work n = speed of abrasive particles, m/s

constant area μm kg/mm3 material

The material removal rate, cut accuracy, surface roughness, and nozzle wear are influenced by the size and distance of the nozzle; composition, strength, size, and shape of abrasives; flow rate; and composition, pressure, and velocity of the carrier gas. The material removal rate is mainly dependent on the flow rate and size of abrasives. Larger grain sizes produce greater removal rates. At a particular pressure, the volumetric removal rate increases with the abrasive flow rate up to an optimum value and then decreases with any further increase in flow rate. This is due to the fact that the mass flow rate of the gas decreases with an increase in the abrasive flow rate and hence the mixing ratio increases causing a decrease in the removal rate because of the decreasing energy available for material removal.

The typical material removal rate is 16.4 mm3/min when cutting glass. Cutting rates for metals vary from 1.6 to 4.1 mm3/min. For harder ceramics, cutting rates are about 50 percent higher than those for glass. The minimum width of cut can be 0.13 mm. Tolerances are typically +/0.13 mm with +/- 0.05 mm possible using good fixation and motion control. The produced surface has a random or matte texture. Surface roughnesses of 0.2 to 1.5 μm using 10 and 50 μm particles, respectively, can be attained. Taper is present in deep cuts. High nozzle pressures result in a greater removal rate, but the nozzle life is decreased. Applications 1. Drilling holes, cutting slots, cleaning hard surfaces, deburring, polishing, and radiusing 2. Deburring of cross holes, slots, and threads in small precision parts that require a burrfree finish, such as hydraulic valves, aircraft fuel systems, and medical appliances 3. Machining intricate shapes or holes in sensitive, brittle, thin, or difficult-to-machine materials 4. Insulation stripping and wire cleaning without affecting the conductor 5. Micro-deburring of hypodermic needles 6. Frosting glass and trimming of circuit boards, hybrid circuit resistors, capacitors,silicon, and gallium 7. Removal of films and delicate cleaning of irregular surfaces because the abrasive stream is able to follow contours Advantages and limitations of AJM Advantages
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Because AJM is a cool machining process, it is best suited for machining brittle andheatsensitive materials like glass, quartz, sapphire, and ceramics. The process is used for machining super alloys and refractory materials. It is not reactive with any workpiece material. No tool changes are required. Intricate parts of sharp corners can be machined. The machined materials do not experience hardening. No initial hole is required for starting the operation as required by wire EDM. Material utilization is high. It can machine thin materials.


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The removal rate is slow. Stray cutting can’t be avoided (low accuracy of •}0.1 mm). The tapering effect may occur especially when drilling in metals. The abrasive may get impeded in the work surface. Suitable dust-collecting systems should be provided. Soft materials can’t be machined by the process. Silica dust may be a health hazard. Ordinary shop air should be filtered to remove moisture and oil. Water Jet Machining Introduction The key element in water jet machining (WJM) is a water jet, which travels at velocities as high as 900 m/s (approximately Mach 3). When the stream strikes a workpiece surface, the erosive force of water removes the material rapidly. The water, in this case, acts like a saw and cuts a narrow groove in the workpiece material. Working Principle and Equipments Used Figure shows the WJM system and the main parts of which it is composed. 1. Hydraulic pump. The hydraulic pump is powered from a 30- kilowatt (kW) electric motor and supplies oil at pressures as high as 117 bars in order to drive a reciprocating plunger pump termed an intensifier. The hydraulic pump offers complete flexibility for water jet cutting and cleaning applications. It also supports single or multiple cutting stations for increased machining productivity.

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Schematic illustration of WJM system

2. Intensifier The intensifier accepts the water at low pressure (typically 4 bar) and expels it, through an accumulator, at higher pressures of 3800 bar. The intensifier converts the energy from the low-pressure hydraulic fluid into ultrahigh-pressure water. The hydraulic system provides fluid power to a reciprocating piston in the intensifier center section. Alimit switch, located at each end of the piston travel, signals the electronic controls to shift the directional control valve and reverses the piston direction. The intensifier assembly, wit h a plunger on each side of the piston, generates pressure in both directions. As one side of the intensifier is in the inlet stroke, the opposite side is generating ultrahigh-pressure

output. During the plunger inlet stroke, filtered water enters the high-pressure cylinder through the check value assembly. After the plunger reverses direction, the water is compressed and exits at ultrahigh pressure.
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3. Accumulator The accumulator maintains the continuous flow of the high-pressure water and eliminates pressure fluctuations. It relies on the compressibility of water (12 percent at 3800 bar) in order to maintain a uniform discharge pressure and water jet velocity, when the intensifier piston changes its direction. 4. High-pressure tubing. High-pressure tubing transports pressurized water to the cutting head. Typical tube diameters are 6 to 14 mm. The equipment allows for flexible movement of the cutting head. The cutting action is controlled either manually or through a remote-control valve specially designed for this purpose. 5. Jet cutting nozzle

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The nozzle provides a coherent water jet stream for optimum cutting of low-density, soft material that is considered un machinable by conventional methods. Nozzles are normally made from synthetic sapphire. About 200 h of operation are expected from a nozzle, which becomes damaged by particles of dirt and the accumulation of mineral deposits on the orifice due to erosive water hardness. A longer nozzle life can be obtained through multistage filtration, which removes undesired solids of size greater than 0.45 μm. The compact design of the water jet cutting head promotes integration with motion control systems ranging from two-axis (XY) tables to sophisticated multi axis robotic installations.
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6. Catcher The catcher acts as a reservoir for collecting the machining debris entrained in the water jet. Moreover, it reduces the noise levels [105 decibels (dB)] associated with the reduction in the velocity of the water jet from Mach 3 to subsonic levels.

Process parameters 1. Jet nozzle. The standoff distance, is the gap between the jet nozzle (0.1–0.3 mm diameter) and the workpiece (2.5–6 mm).However for materials used in printed circuit boards, it may be increased to 13 to 19 mm. For a nozzle of 0.12-mm diameter and cutting rate of 1.1 millimeters per second (mm/s), McGeough (1988) reported the decrease of the depth of cut at a larger standoff distance. When cutting fiber-reinforced plastics, reports showed that the increase in machining rate and use of the small nozzle diameter increased the width of the damaged layer. 2. Jet fluid.

Typical pressures reported by McGeough (1988) are 150 to 1000 MPa, which provide 8 to 80 kW of power. For a given nozzle diameter, the increase in pressure allows more power to be used in the machining process, which in turn increases the depth of the cut. Jet velocities range

between 540 to 1400 m/s. WJM terminology

The quality of cutting improves at higher pressures by widening the diameter of the jet and by lowering the traverse speed. Under such conditions, materials of greater thicknesses and densities can be cut. Moreover, the larger the pump pressure, the greater will be the depth of the cut. The fluid used must possess low viscosity to minimize the energy losses and be noncorrosive, nontoxic, common, and inexpensive. Water is commonly used for cutting alloy steels. Alcohol is used for cutting meat, while cooking oils are recommended for cutting frozen foods. Figure 4 summarizes different parameters affecting the performance of WJM.

3. Target material. Brittle materials will fracture, while ductile ones will cut well. Material thicknesses range from 0.8 to 25 mm or more. Table 2 shows the cutting rates for different material thicknesses. Applications WJM is used on metals, paper, cloth, leather, rubber, plastics, food, and ceramics. It is a versatile and cost-effective cutting process that can be used as an alternative to traditional machining methods. It completely eliminates heat-affected zones, toxic fumes, recast layers, work hardening, and thermal stresses. It is the most flexible and effective cleaning Advantages and disadvantages of WJM Advantages

It has multidirectional cutting capacity.

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No heat is produced. Cuts can be started at any location without the need for predrilled holes. Wetting of the workpiece material is minimal. There is no deflection to the rest of the workpiece. The burr produced is minimal. The tool does not wear and, therefore, does not need sharpening. The process is environmentally safe. Hazardous airborne dust contamination and waste disposal problems that are common when using other cleaning methods are eliminated. There is multiple head processing. Simple fixturing eliminates costly and complicated tooling, which reduces turnaround time and lowers the cost. Grinding and polishing are eliminated, reducing secondary operation costs. The narrow kerf allows tight nesting when multiple parts are cut from a single blank. It is ideal for roughing out material for near net shape. It is ideal for laser reflective materials such as copper and aluminum. It allows for more accurate cutting of soft material. It cuts through very thick material such as 383 mm in titanium and 307 mm in Inconel.

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Hourly rates are relatively high. It is not suitable for mass production because of high maintenance requirements. Abrasive Water Jet Machining Introduction WJM is suitable for cutting plastics, foods, rubber insulation, automotive carpeting and headliners, and most textiles. Harder materials such as glass, ceramics, concrete, and tough composites can be cut by adding abrasives to the water jet during abrasive water jet machining (AWJM), which was first developed in 1974 to clean metal prior to surface treatment of the metal. The addition of abrasives to the water jet enhanced the material removal rate and produced cutting speeds between 51 and 460 mm/min. Generally, AWJM cuts 10 times faster than the conventional machining methods of composite materials. Zheng et al. (2002) claimed that the abrasive water jet is hundreds, if not thousands, of times more powerful than the pure water jet. AWJM uses a low pressure of 4.2 bar to accelerate a large volume of a water (70 percent) and abrasive (30 percent) mixture up to a velocity of 30 m/s. Silicon carbides, corundum, and glass beads of grain size 10 to 150 μm are often used as abrasive materials (Fig.).

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AWJM elements

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Using such a method, burrs of 0.35 mm height and 0.02 mm width left in steel component after grinding are removed by the erosive effect of the abrasives while water acts as an abrasive carrier that dampens its impact effect on the surface. The introduction of compressed air to the water jet enhances the deburring action. Equipments Used In AWJM, the water jet stream accelerates abrasive particles, not the water, to cause the material removal. After the pure water jet is created, abrasives are added using either the injection or suspension methods shown in Fig.. The important parameters of the abrasives are the material structure and hardness, the mechanical behavior, grain shape, grain size, and distribution.

Injection and suspension jets

The basic machining system of AWJM incorporates the following elements.
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Water delivery Abrasive hopper and feeder Intensifier Filters Mixing chamber Cutting nozzles Catcher

Process capabilities Typical process variables include pressure, nozzle diameter, standoff distance, abrasive type, grit number, and workpiece feed rate. Abrasive water jet cuts through 356.6 mm thick slabs of concrete or 76.6-mm-thick tool steel plates at 38 mm/min in a single pass. The produced surface roughness ranges between 3.8 and 6.4 μm, while tolerances of +/- 0.13 mm are obtainable. Repeatability of +/-0.04 mm, squareness of 0.043 mm/m, and straightness of 0.05 mm per axis are expected. Foundry sands are frequently used for cutting of gates and risers. However, garnet, which is the most common abrasive material, is 30 percent more effective than sand. During machining of glass a cutting rate of 16.4 mm3/min is achieved, which is 4 to 6 times that for metals. Surface roughness depends on the workpiece material, grit size, and type of abrasives. A material with a high removal rate produces large surface roughness. For this reason, fine grains are used for machining soft metals to obtain the same roughness as hard ones. The decrease of surface roughness, at a smaller grain size, is related to the reduced depth of cut and the undeformed chip cross section. In addition the larger the number of grains per unit slurry volume, the more that fall on a unit surface area. A carrier liquid consisting of water with anticorrosive additives has a much greater density than air. This contributes to higher acceleration of the grains with a consequent higher grain speed and increased metal removal rate. Moreover, the carrier liquid spreads over the surface filling its cavities and forming a film that impedes the striking action of the grains. Bulges and the tops of surface irregularities are the first to be affected, and the surface quality improves. Kaczmarek (1976) showed that the use of water air jet permits one to obtain, on average, a roughness number higher by one, as compared with the effect of an air jet. In highspeed WJM of Inconel, Hashish (1992) concluded that the roughness increases at higher feed rates as well as at lower slurry flow rates. Advanced water jet and AWJ machines are now available where the computer loads a computeraided design (CAD) drawing from another system. The computer determines the starting and end points and the sequence of operations. The operator then enters the material type and tool offset data. The computer determines the feed rate and performs cutting. Other machining systems operate with a modem and CAD/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) capabilities that permits transfer from CATIA, AUTOCAD, IGES, and DXF formats. The computer runs a program that determines, in seconds, how to minimize the waste when cutting from blocks or plates.

Application The applications and materials, which are generally machined using WJ and AWJ, are given below: • Paint removal • Cleaning • Cutting soft materials • Cutting frozen meat • Textile, Leather industry • Mass Immunization • Surgery • Peening • Cutting • Pocket Milling • Drilling • Turning • Nuclear Plant Dismantling

Materials • • • Ti • • • Metal • Ceramic • • Stone • • • Metal • Glass Fibre Metal Laminates Non-ferrous alloys, Matrix Matrix – Reinforced Polymer Steels alloys alloys Polymers Honeycombs Composite Composite Concrete Granite Wood plastics Laminates


The cutting ability of water jet machining can be improved drastically by adding hard and sharp abrasive particles into the water jet. Thus, WJM is typically used to cut so called “softer” and “easy-to-machine” materials like thin sheets and foils, non-ferrous metallic alloys, wood, textiles, honeycomb, polymers, frozen meat, leather etc, but the domain of “harder and “difficultto- machine” materials like thick plates of steels, aluminium and other commercial materials, metal matrix and ceramic matrix composites, reinforced plastics, layered composites etc are reserved for AWJM.