"Graphite-epoxy composites are being widely used in many aerospace and structural applications because of their properties: which include lighter weight, higher strength to weight ratio and a greater flexibility in design. However, the inherent anisotropy of these composites makes it difficult to machine them using conventional methods. To overcome the major issues that develop with conventional machining such as fiber pull out, delamination, heat generation and high tooling costs, an effort is herein made to study abrasive waterjet machining of composites. An abrasive waterjet is used to cut 1" thick graphite epoxy composites based on baseline data obtained from the cutting of 1/4" thick material. The objective of this project is to study the surface roughness of the cut surface with a focus on demonstrating the benefits of using higher pressures for cutting composites. The effects of major cutting parameters: jet pressure, traverse speed, abrasive feed rate and cutting head size are studied at different levels. Statistical analysis of the experimental data provides an understanding of the effect of the process parameters on surface roughness. Additionally, the effect of these parameters on the taper angle of the cut is studied. The data is analyzed to obtain a set of process parameters that optimize the cutting of 1" thick graphite-epoxy composite. The statistical analysis is used to validate the experimental data. Costs involved in the cutting process are investigated in term of abrasive consumed to better understand and illustrate the practical benefits of using higher pressures. It is demonstrated that, as pressure increased, ultra-high pressure waterjets produced a better surface quality at a faster traverse rate with lower costs"--Abstract, page iii.
Summers, David A.
Liou, Frank W.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology. Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies
KMT Waterjet Systems Inc.
Missouri University of Science and Technology
viii, 111 pages
© 2014 Aiswarya Choppali, All rights reserved.
Thesis - Open Access
Water jet cutting
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Electronic OCLC #
Link to Catalog Record
Choppali, Aiswarya, "Performance analysis of cutting graphite-epoxy composite using a 90,000 PSI abrasive waterjet" (2014). Masters Theses. 7581.