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This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation aimed at studying the applicability of waterjet machining to reinforced plastics. Representative samples of plastics over a wide range of matrices and fibers of various thicknesses were chosen. The machined samples were studied under a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for surface characteristics. Some samples were measured for roughness using a stylus profilometer and later non-contact laser holography for confirmation. The SEM study revealed that under conditions of excessive cutting speed, high stand-off distance, low water pressure, small nozzle diameter, which are considered nonoptimum, the surfaces displayed signs of fiber debonding, pull-out, matrix chipping, and delamination. Roughness readings revealed that surface quality improves with larger-diameter nozzles and at low machining speeds.
Research assistant, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL
Stock #: CTR10523J