Modelling the cutting process and cutting performance in abrasive waterjet machining with controlled nozzle oscillation

Xu, Shunli (2006) Modelling the cutting process and cutting performance in abrasive waterjet machining with controlled nozzle oscillation. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Abrasive waterjet (AWJ) cutting is one of the most recently developed manufacturing technologies. It is superior to many other cutting techniques in processing various materials, particularly in processing difficult-to-cut materials. This technology is being increasingly used in various industries. However, its cutting capability in terms of the depth of jet penetration and kerf quality is the major obstruction limiting its further applications. More work is required to fully understand the cutting process and cutting mechanism, and to optimise cutting performance.

This thesis presents a comprehensive study on the controlled nozzle oscillation technique aiming at increasing the cutting performance in AWJ machining. In order to understand the current state and development in AWJ cutting, an extensive literature review is carried out. It has found that the reported studies on controlled nozzle oscillation cutting are primarily about the use of large oscillation angles of 10 degrees or more. Nozzle oscillation in the cutting plane with such large oscillation angles results in theoretical geometrical errors on the component profile in contouring. No published attempt has been found on the study of oscillation cutting under small angles although it is a common application in practice. Particularly, there is no reported research on the integration of nozzle oscillation technique into AWJ multipass cutting, which is expected to significantly enhance the cutting performance.

An experimental investigation is first undertaken to study the major cutting performance measures in AWJ single pass cutting of an 87% alumina ceramic with controlled nozzle oscillation at small angles. The trends and characteristics of cutting performance quantities with respect to the process parameters as well as the science behind which nozzle oscillation affects the cutting performance have been analysed. It has been shown that as with oscillation cutting at large angles, oscillation at small angles can have an equally significant impact on the cutting performance. When the optimum cutting parameters are used for both nozzle oscillation and normal cutting, the former can statistically increase the depth of cut by 23% and smooth depth of cut by 30.8%, and reduce kerf surface roughness by 11.7% and kerf taper by 54%. It has also been found that if the cutting parameters are not selected properly, nozzle oscillation can reduce some major cutting performance measures.

In order to correctly select the process parameters and to optimise the cutting process, the mathematical models for major cutting performance measures have then been developed. The predictive models for the depth of cut in both normal cutting and oscillation cutting are developed by using a dimensional analysis technique. Mathematical models for other major cutting performance measures are also developed with the aid of empirical approach. These mathematical models are verified both qualitatively and quantitatively based on the experimental data. The assessment reveals that the developed models conform well to the experimental results and can provide an effective means for the optimum selection of process variables in AWJ cutting with nozzle oscillation.

A further experimental investigation of AWJ cutting of alumina ceramics is carried out in order to study the application of AWJ oscillation technique in multipass cutting. While high nozzle traverse speed with multipass can achieve overall better cutting performance than low traverse speed with single pass in the same elapsed time, it has been found that the different combination of nozzle traverse speed with the number of passes significantly affects cutting process. Optimum combination of nozzle traverse speed with the number of passes is determined to achieve maximum depth of cut. It has also demonstrated that the multipass cutting with low nozzle traverse speed in the first pass and a comparatively high traverse speed for the following passes is a sensible choice for a small kerf taper requirement. When nozzle oscillation is incorporated into multipass cutting, it can greatly increase the depth of cut and reduce kerf taper. The predictive models for the depth of cut in both multipass normal cutting and multipass oscillation cutting are finally developed. With the help of dimensional analysis, the models of the incremental cutting depth for individual pass are derived based on the developed depth of cut models for single pass cutting. The models of depth of cut for a multipass cutting operation are then established by the sum of the incremental cutting depth from each pass. A numerical analysis has verified the models and demonstrated the adequacy of the models' predictions. The models provide an essential basis for the development of optimization strategies for the effective use of the AWJ cutting technology when the multipass cutting technique is used with controlled nozzle oscillation.

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ID Code: 16237
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Bell, John & Ma, Lin
Keywords: abrasive waterjet cutting, nozzle oscillation, experimental design and data analysis, cutting performance, kerf characteristics, mathematical modelling, dimensional analysis, model verification
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Shunli Xu
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:59
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:40

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