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Abrasive Jet Machining (AJM) Principles

In abrasive jet machining process, a focused steam of abrasive particles (of size 10 to 40
microns) carried by high pressure gas or air at a velocity of about 150 to 300 m/sec is made to
impinge on the work surface through a nozzle, and the work material is removed by erosion by
the high velocity abrasive particles. The inside diameter (ID) of the nozzle through which
abrasive particles flow is about 0.18 to 0.80 mm and the stand-off distance (i.e. distance
between nozzle tip and workpiece) is kept about 0.3 to 20.0 mm. The process can be easily
controlled to vary the metal removal rate which depends on flow rate and size of abrasive
particles. This process is best suited for machining super alloys and refractory type of materials,
and also machining thin sections of hard materials and making intricate hard holes. The cutting
action is cool because the carrier gas serves as coolant.

When an abrasive particle (like Al2O3 or SiC) having sharp edges hits a brittle and fragile
material with a high speed, it makes dent into the material and lodges a small particle from it by
a tiny brittle fracture. The lodged out or wear particle is carried away by the air or gas. The
operating elements in AJM are abrasive, carrier gas and the nozzle as schematically shown in the
following Figure

The distance between the nozzle tip and the work surface has great influence on the diameter of cut, its shape
and size and also rate of material removal. The following Figure shows the variation in the diameter of cut with
change in the stand off distance (SOD). It is evident that the SOD changes the abrasive particles spreads (i.e.
covers wider area) on the work surface and consequently increases the diameter of the cut.

Setup for AJM:

It consists of gas supply system (compressor), filter, pressure regulator, mixing chamber, nozzle assembly and
the work holding device. In the mixing chamber, the abrasive is allowed to flow into the gas stream. The mixing
ratio is generally controlled by a vibrator. The particle and gas mixture comes out of the nozzle inside the
machining chamber of the machine tool unit. The feed motion can be given either to the work holding device or
to the nozzle.

Abrasive Jet Machining (AJM) Advantages:

This process is quite suitable for machining brittle, heat resistant and fragile materials like,
glass, ceramic, germanium, mica etc.

It can be utilized for cutting, drilling, polishing, deburring, cleaning etc. of the materials.

The depth of damage to the surface is very little.

Holes of intricate shapes could be produced efficiently.

The surface machined can have good finish (by controlling the grain size mainly).

AJM Disadvantages:

The materials removal rate is low. For example, for glass, it is 0.0164 cm3/min.

The tapering of hole especially, when the depth of the hole is more, becomes almost

A dust collecting chamber is a basic requirement to prevent atmospheric pollution to

cause health hazards.

The abrasive particles may remain embedded in the work surface.

Abrasive particles cannot be reused.

AJM Applications:

Abrasive jet machining is best suited for machining brittle and heat sensitive materials
like glass, quartz, sapphire, ceramics etc,

It is used for drilling holes, cutting slots, cleaning hard surfaces, deburring, polishing etc.

Factors affecting AJM:

1. Carrier gas
2. Type of particles
3. Nozzle

Water Jet Machining (WJM) :

Water Jets alone (without abrasives) can be used for cutting. Thin jets of high pressure and high velocity
have been used to cut materials such wood, coal, textiles, rocks, concrete, asbestos. The mechanism of
material removal rate is by erosion. When high pressure water jet emerges of a nozzle, it attains a large
kinetic energy.
High velocity jet strikes the work piece, its kinetic energy is converted into pressure energy including high
stresses in the work material. When the induced stress exceeds the ultimate shear stress of the material,
rupture takes place.

Construction of Water Jet Machining (WJM):

The apparatus of water jet machining consists of the following components:
1. Reservoir/(fluid supply): It is used for storing water that is to be used in the machining
2. Pump: It pumps the water from the reservoir.
3. Intensifier: It is connected to the pump. It pressurizes the water acquired from the pump
to a desired level.
4. Accumulator: It is used for temporarily storing the pressurized water. It is connected to
the flow regulator through a control valve.
5. Control Valve: It controls the direction and pressure of pressurized water that is to be
supplied to the nozzle.
6. Flow regulator: It is used to regulate the flow of water.
7. Nozzle: It renders the pressurized water as a water jet at high velocity.

Advantages of Water Jet Machining (WJM):

1. Water jet machining is a relatively fast process.
2. It prevents the formation of heat affected zones on the workpiece.
3. It automatically cleans the surface of the workpiece.
4. WJM has excellent precision. Tolerances of the order of 0.005 can be obtained.
5. It does not produce any hazardous gas.
6. It is eco-friendly.

Disadvantages of Water Jet Machining:

1. Only soft materials can be machined.
2. Very thick materials cannot be easily machined.
3. Initial investment is high.

Applications of Water Jet Machining:

1. Water jet machining is used to cut thin non-metallic sheets.
2. It is used to cut rubber, wood, ceramics and many other soft materials.
3. It is used for machining circuit boards.
4. It is used in food industry.

Ultrasonic machining

What is ultrasonic machining?

USM is a mechanical material removal process in which the material is removed by
repetitive impact of abrasive particles carried in liquid medium on to the work surface,
by a shaped tool, Vibrating at ultrasonic frequency.

What are the advantages of USM ?

1. High accuracy and good surface finish
2. No heat generation during machining
3. Capability of drilling circular and non-circular holes in very hardmaterials.
4. No thermal effects on mechanical work piece.
5. Non-conductive materials can be machined.

What are the Disadvantages of USM?

(1) Tool wear

(2) Frequent turning is required

(3) Low material removal rate.
(4) Not economical for soft materials.
(5) Not suitable for heavy stock removal.

What are the applications of USM?

(1) Almost all the material can be machined except some soft materials.
(2) Diamond, Tungsten, Tungsten carbide, and synthetic ruby can be successfully
(3) USM can be used for drilling, grinding, profiling, coining, threading and even for
(4) For preparing wire drawing dies and tool room items.
(5) Used in jewellery for shaping jewels
(6) Drilling of screw threads and curved holes in brittle materials.

What are the components of USM?

(1) Ultrasonic transducer
(2) Concentrator
(3) Tool
(4) Abrasive slurry
(5) Abrasive feed mechanism
(6) Tool feed mechanism

What is ultrasonic transducer?

The device used for converting any type of energy into ultrasonic wavers or vibration
is called ultrasonic transducer.

Write short noted on piezoelectric crystals?

Piezoelectric crystals are used foe inducing ultrasonic vibrations since they posses the
capability of changing their dimensions to the given electrical energy or in other
sense they have the capability converting electrical energy into mechanical
11. What is abrasive Slurry?
The abrasive slurry is nothing but a mixture of abrasive grains and the carrier fluid,
generally water.

What are the characteristics of carrier fluid?

(1) Good wetting characteristic
(2) High thermal conductivity
(3) Non-toxic and non-corrosive.
(4) Should have low viscosity.

What are the functions of Carrier Fluid?

(1) Act as a coolant.
(2) Act as an acoustic bond between the work piece and the tool.
(3) Helps efficient transfer of energy.
(4) Act as medium to carry the abrasive machined materials and worm abrasives

What are the major variables that controls the

metal removal rate in USM?
Tool oscillation, impact force, abrasive size