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Waterjet Machining

Dr. Lotfi K. Gaafar The American University in Cairo Department of Mechanical Engineering
gaafar@aucegypt.edu (202) 797-5355

Edited by: Eng. Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan

Dr. Lotfi K. Gaafar 2003

Waterjet Evolution
1930s : Mining to remove stone and coal 1960s : Need to cut advanced materials for aerospace industry 1970s : First attempts to employ WaterJet to cut advanced composites for aerospace applications 1980s: First commercial AWJ machines

Dr. Lotfi K. Gaafar 2003

Theory
Forcing a large volume of water through a small orifice in a nozzle causing acceleration of water The extreme pressure of the accelerated water particles develops small cracks due to stream impact The extreme pressure and impact of particles in the following stream cause the small crack to propagate until the material is cut through.

Dr. Lotfi K. Gaafar 2003

Cont. Theory

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Components

Pump Nozzle Orifice Control System

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Components - Pump
50 100 hp electric driven pump Hydraulic Based Operation Pressures Up to 60,000 psi (4000 bar) Smooth Output

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Components - Pump

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Components - Nozzle

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Components - Nozzle

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Components Nozzle

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Components - Orifice
Jewel Orifice : Diamond 0.01 diameter

Garnet Abrasive Particles

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Components Control System

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Materials
The list of materials that a Waterjet system could penetrate is significant. To date, Applications have been used with: Foam, GIO Phenolic, Steel, Armor plating, Urethane, Titanium, Kevlar, Aluminum, Linen Phenolic, Brass, Neoprene, Copper, Stainless Steel, Spectra, Fiberglass, Corrugated Cardboard, Acrylic, Ceramic Tile, Wood, Rubber, Glass, Marble and Granite.

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Surface Characteristics Variables of Cuts


Water jet Pressure Water jet Diameter Abrasive Material Type Abrasive Material Size Abrasive Material Flow Rate Traverse Speed The Cutting Angle
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Advantages
No heat affected zone Stress-free cutting No residual stresses Wide range of materials Environmentally friendly No need for surface finish No tool changing Minimal Fixturing Required
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Cont. Advantages
Faster than any other technique Saves Raw Material Flexible Machining Integration Does Not Need a Starting Hole Ability to Cut in Any Direction

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Disadvantages
Limited number of materials can be cut economically Very thick parts can not be cut with Water Jet Cutting and still hold dimensional accuracy Slower cutting rate compared to both plasma and oxyfuel cutting processes Higher entry cost

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Comparison to Other Methods

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WaterJet vs. Laser


No Heat Affected Zone Can Cut Through Reflective Materials Can Cut Uneven Surfaces Smoothly Environmentally friendly Can Cut Up to 12 in hard materials (Ti, SS) & 24 in Rubber Minimal Heat Affected Zone Reflects on Shiny Surfaces Laser Defracts and Looses its Focus Produces Toxic Fumes Max. Depth 0.5 0.75

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WaterJet vs. WireEDM


Can Cut through any material Limited to Conducting Materials

No Need for a Starting Hole

A Starting Hole is Needed for the Wire

No Heat Affected Zone

Heat Affected Zone

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WaterJet vs. Milling


Excellent Use of Raw Material No Tool Changing Large Amounts of Waste of Raw Material Frequent Tool Changing

No Fixturing Required Fixturing is essential No CleanUp is Required Faster Requires Periodical CleanUp Slow

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Deciding which metal Cutting System is Best


Variables to be considered when making a decision on the right cutting system to use : Cutting speed Edge cleanliness Degree of tolerance required Number and types of metal to be cut Capital investment Operating costs Size of heat affected zone Access to secondary machining processes

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Applications

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Applications

Aerospace

Automotive
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Applications

Food Processing
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Applications

Electronics and PCBs

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Applications

How Accurate We can get

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Applications

Marble Industry

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Applications

Lining
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Applications

Concrete
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Applications

Aluminum
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Applications

Polymers and Composites


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Applications

Steels With Different Thickness


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References
www.mmsonline.com

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