Abrasive waterjet (AWJ) possesses inherent technological and manufacturing advantages unmatched by most machine tools. Recent advancements in AWJ processes have enhanced those merits. Multidisciplinary advancements include process automation, position accuracy, cutting models, range of part dimensions, ergonomics, user and environmental friendliness, feature recognition, and others. Among the technological merits, AWJ is material independent and a cold cutting tool, capable of preserving the structural and chemical integrity of parent materials. For heat sensitive materials, AWJ often cuts over 10 times faster than thermal cutting tools such as lasers and electrode discharge machining. Unlike photochemical etching, AWJ is environmentally friendly, producing no toxic byproducts. Additionally, AWJ requires only a single tool assisted with accessories to qualify for multimode machining; it is cost effective with fast turnaround for small and large lots alike. Recent advancements together with relevant R&D, engineering, and industrial applications will be presented for precision multimode machining from macro to micro scales.
Part of the book: Abrasive Technology