Advanced Manufacturing, Electronics and Microsystems: TechConnect Briefs 2015Advanced Manufacturing, Electronics and Microsystems TechConnect Briefs 2015

Advanced Manufacturing Chapter 1

Precision Abrasive-Waterjet Machining of Most Materials from Macro to Micro Scales

P.H.-T. Liu
OMAX Corporation, United States

pp. 39 - 42

Keywords: abrasive-waterjet, meso-micro machining, delicate materials, materials independence, heat-affected zone

Under the support of an NSF SBIR Phase II Grant, OMAX has developed and commercialized micro abrasive-waterjet (uAWJ) technology to broaden its applications toward micro scales. AWJ has several technological and manufacturing merits that are unmatchable by most conventional machine tools. Such merits include several unique ones: •Material independence – machine most materials for a wide range of part thickness and anisotropy from macro to micro scales o Metal, nonmetal, alloy, composite (e.g., FR4, CMC, and fiber-reinforced PEEK) laminate, brittle material (most glass – even partially tempered ones, and silicon wafers) o Most suitable for machining difficult materials such as hardened steel and titanium During SBIR Phase 1 and 2 R&D, several novel processes and apparatus were developed to enable the development and field deployment of AWJ technology (patented/patents pending). The AWJ technology was commercialized by introducing a precision AWJ platform, MicroMAX, in September 2013 (http://www.omax.com/waterjet-cutting/machine/model/micromax). There is considerable demand of the MicroMAX for a wide range of meso-micro machining applications in biomedical, energy related, microelectronic, and other fields. Selected AWJ-machined samples will be presented for various applications with emphasis on AWJ meso-micro machining to demonstrate the versatility and uniqueness of AWJ technology.