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Water jet maching Using a jet of water to cut a sht of metal may sound impossibe, but it is actually based

on a pincipl we learn ealy in our lives. A simple example of this is when a finge is put over part of a tap, the steam of water flows with higher pressure so theat it washes away mud far more effectively, giving a jet cleaned item. In scientific terms, if the jet of water is diected at a target in such a way that, on stiking the surface, the high velocity flow is virtually stopped, then mot of the kinetic energy of the water is converted into prssure energy. in fact, in th first few milliseconds after the initial impact of the jet on the target, bfore the lateral flow of water is initiatd, a transient pressure a much as thre times the normal stagnation pressure, may be generated. rosion occurs if the local fluid pressures exced the strength of the bond binding together the materials making up th targt. in other words, li!uid jet cutting rmoves material primarily by the mechanical action of a high vlocity stream impinging on a small area. whereby its pressure exceeds the flow pressure of the material being cut. over the past three decas, due to th potential for reducing dust an associat ha"ards whil cutting coal or rock, a number of studis using li!uid jets hav bn mad of thse matrials. farmr an using li!ud jets hav bn made of thse materials. #armer an attewell reported the results of water jet impinging on sandtone. the system used a pulsed jet with velocity up to $%% m&s, and the effects of velocity on peneration were repored. a study by 'rook and summers considered continuous water jet impinging on sand stone targets. (he effects of varying stan off distances at pressures up to )* +,&m* were reported for jets with and without a polymr addtive. -ulsed watr jets have been used in rock excavation and maching aluminium and lead. #ran" has reported the importance of improved coherence of the li!uid jet and has given the results of using th li!uid jet with the addition of a polymer. (he use of a li!uid jet for cutting materials other than coal or rock has also been studied by several researchers. .utting capability at pressures up to /%,%%% atm was reported for a wid variety of target materials, including woo, lead, rubber, aluminium, copper and steel. A more recent study has been reported by ,eusen and 0a'rush on the effecteveness of material removal as a function of no""le inlet pressure and no""le to target distance. jet cutting !uipment A pressure source 1pump2 an a no""le to form the jet are the fundamental items in any jet cutting system. 3ther accessories include tubing and their fittings and valves. (hese are discussed briefly.

1/2 -ump -ressuring a li!uid to the /$%%45%%% +,&m* range is usually accomplished either by direct mechanical drive applied to a small iamter plunger or by an intensifier where an intermediate pressure fluid drives a large area piston, which in turn, rives a small ram which pumps the cutting fluid. At these pressures, fatigue failure of the mechanical components can limit the life of the e!uipment. 6ome solutions hav ben foun for sealing problems, one solution is to allow high pressure seals to be changed !uickly by making them easily avaliable7 this means that the intensifier is out of commission for the least possible time. (he reciprocating ram can be surround by a long, close fitting sleeve. With correct deign and pecision manufacture, the fluid leakage through this clearance seal can b as low as * per cent of the rated delivery of the unit at pressure of 8% k,&cm*. 1*2 (ubing 4 9igh pressure tubing used to transport fluid from one system component to another is thick walled, with the ratio of the outside to inside diameter at least $ and sometimes as high as /%. (he tubing may be made from a solid stainless steel wall or a composite wall with stainless steel inside and carbon steel as a jacket. (ubing may be used to constrain fluids at pressure greater than the yield stress of the tube material by the use of a process known as autofrettaging or self hoopping. 182 tube fitting 4 A metal to metal line contact is the usual techni!ue for achieving a fluid seal in high pressure tube fitting, accomplished by rawing a xone shape into a rounded socket. (h cone may be machined directly onto the tubbing or a cone shaped insert may be used. At the highest pressures, the replaceable cone design is the most workable. 152 :alves 4 +ost high pressure valves are of the needle type. the main flow passag is controlled by a cone shape on the end of the needle fixed into a seat. A gland seal is usually re!uired to eliminate leaks along the stem. 1$2 ,o""les 4 ,o""les meant to convert the high pressure li!uid to a high velocity jet present a severe challenge to the designe. #or minimum erosion, the no""le material should be extremely hard. yet, to allow the formation of a smooth contour, the material should be ductile and easily machinable. ,o""les made of sintered diamond or sapphire are available and they can be used as inserts in a steel holder that provides the needed strength and ductility. ;iamond, tungsten carbide and steels have also been used successfully for making !uality no""les.