Abrasive Waterjet Machining of Engineering Materials

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PREFACE: The manufacturing industry is getting more and more time conscious in the global economy, and the requirement for prototyping and small production batch is increasing. This trend has placed a need for the use of new and advanced technologies to quickly turn the raw materials into useable goods with no time required for tooling. The need for advanced processing technologies is particularly evident for machining advanced materials, such as ceramics and composites, and thermal sensitive materials that find extensive applications and are considered as “difficult-to-machine” by the conventional machining technologies such as the turning and milling processes. Abrasive waterjet (AWJ) machining is found to be one of the advanced technologies that meet these processing requirements due to its various distinct advantages over the other machining technologies. As a relatively new machining process, the AWJ cutting technology is still under flux and development. A large amount of research and development effort has been made to explore its scientific aspects, extend its application domain, and develop new cutting techniques to enhance its cutting performance and the strategies for optimizing the process parameters when machining various engineering materials. This book is an account for these aspects of research and essentially draws from the author’s work. The emphasis of this book is placed on the practical applications of the AWJ machining technology and it contains sufficient details of the fundamental or scientific aspects. It provides a detailed analysis of the effects of the major process parameters on the cutting performance when machining some typical engineering materials as well as the novel cutting techniques for enhancing the cutting performance of this technology. Following a brief introductory chapter is a review on the fundamentals of the AWJ machining process including the material erosion mechanisms and the predictive machining performance models. The jet dynamic characteristics are then described based on a simulation study, which forms the fundamental basis for the understanding of the contents in the rest of the book. This is followed by the chapters on the cutting of some representative engineering materials in both straight-slit cutting and contouring. A critical analysis is then given of the mechanisms of surface striation formation and the various factors that result in the surface striations in AWJ machining. The book is ended with the description of the various techniques that can effectively enhance the cutting performance of AWJ machining. The topics covered merely reflect the purpose of this book and some of the author’s research interests, and do not mean that other aspects are less important. Also the author has not attempted to made review on the large amount of work undertaken by others, and only that closely related to this book is referred to. The book is relevant to researchers as well as postgraduates and final year undergraduates specializing in manufacturing processes. It should also be found particularly useful for industrial practitioners in material processing who are responsible for making the AWJ machining process more efficient. The author wishes to express his sincere gratitude to his students for their contributions to the work. He also wishes to thank his friends and colleagues, Professor Elias Siores and Dr Frank Chen, for their long-term research collaboration.
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Wang, Jun
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UNSW Faculty