Abrasive-Waterjet Machining of Isogrid Structures
Final rept. 14 May-13 Nov 1990
QUEST INTEGRATED INC KENT WA
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An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the feasibility of machining isogrid structures with abrasive-waterjets AWJs. The main objective was to mill isogrid patterns in surfaces with accurate depth control using an AWJ. Three different approaches using AWJs were tested linear cutting of isogrid patterns for diffusion bonding, milling with conventional AWJ nozzles, and milling with a single-angled rotary AWJ nozzle. It was shown that pocket milling with conventional AWJs is the most feasible of those tested. The milling can be done internally on preformed aluminum tubes, and the AWJ can also be used on materials other than aluminum. Accurate depth control can be achieved at high productivity rates. As an example, it is projected that a 48-inch- diameter skirt 12 inches high could be milled with an isogrid pattern in 6.3 hours. Milled isogrid patterns can be controlled to 0.001 inch, and thin walls of less than 0.025 inch are achievable. Milling isogrid patterns with conventional AWJs could be very economical, but additional development efforts are required to optimize the milling process and to demonstrate the milling of prototype parts.
- Fabrication Metallurgy