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Development of adaptive abrasive water jet removal method for hard coatings to replace environmentally dangerous chemical stripping

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Removing hard coatings with abrasive water jet

An abrasive water jet cutting technology has been designed for controlled removal of hard coatings.

Industrial Technologies

Developed by the ABRADE project, the abrasive water jet (AWJ) can be applied to a conventional industrial robot or manipulator. The technology includes an industrial robot or a simple xy manipulator to which a water stripping gripper is attached. The gripper is made up of a water jetting nozzle, a hard coating thickness measuring sensor, a water jet rotation system, together with ultra high pressure water and abrasive attachments. Furthermore, the gripper is flexible and can be altered to different water stripping grippers, nozzles and sensor combinations that have been created for other work pieces and coating combinations. The process is regulated through the robot control unit combined with adaptive feedback from the coating thickness measurements. Feedback can also be obtained from the stripping strategy. Other devices and machinery include the ultra high pressure pump with high pressure pipes, valves and drains, working cabin with safety devices and work piece fixing and handling device. The ABRADE unit is able to remove coatings from complicated shaped components and it requires less manual labour. With the development of an online hard coating thickness measurement device, it is likely that unwanted base material erosion through jetting can be prevented. This can offer an environmentally friendly and cost-effective method for hard coating removal as an alternative to the chemical stripping method.

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