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Abrasive water jet cutting is an extended version of water jet cutting; in which
the water jet
contains abrasive particles such as silicon carbide or aluminium oxide in order to
increase the material removal rate above that of water jet machining.


AWJM uses a low pressure of 4.2 bars to accelerate a large volume of a

water (70 percent) and abrasive (30 percent) mixture with a velocity of 30 m/s to
90 m/s, about 2.5 times the speed of sound. Silicon carbides, corundum (Al2O3),
and glass beads of grain size 10 to 150 m are often used as abrasive materials.
Material removal

Dimensional Tolerances
Surface Finish

An abrasive water jet cuts through

356.6-mm-thick slabs of concrete or
76.6-mm-thick tool steel plates at 38
mm/min in a single pass.
+0.13 mm
The produced surface roughness
ranges between 3.8 and 6.4 micro

The general domain of parameters in entrained type AWJ machining system is given
Orifice Sapphires 0.1 to 0.3 mm
Focussing Tube WC 0.8 to 2.4 mm
Pressure 2500 to 4000 bar
Abrasive flow - 0.1 to 1.0 Kg/min
Stand off distance 1 to 2 mm
Machine Impact Angle 60o to 900
Traverse Speed 100 mm/min to 5 m/min
Depth of Cut 1 mm to 250 mm
Abrasive water jet cutting is highly used in aerospace, automotive and
electronics industries.
In aerospace industries, parts such as titanium bodies for military aircrafts,
engine components (aluminium, titanium, heat resistant alloys), aluminium body
parts and interior cabin parts are made using abrasive water jet cutting.

In automotive industries, parts like interior trim (head liners, trunk liners, door
panels) and fibre glass body components and bumpers are made by this process.
Similarly, in electronics industries, circuit boards and cable stripping are made by
abrasive water jet cutting.


A component cut by abrasive water jet cutting is shown in Figure . As it can be

seen, large parts can but cut with very narrow kerf which reduces material
Advantages of abrasive water jet cutting:
No thermal stress occurs
No slag or cutting dross
Precise, multi plane cutting of contours, shapes, and bevels of any angle.
Low cutting forces on workpieces
In most of the cases, no secondary finishing required
Limitations of abrasive water jet cutting:
The major disadvantages of abrasive water jet cutting are high capital cost and
noise levels during operation.