To achieve the goals the technical approach must be as follows:
-design-optimization of (a) the jet cutting system, (b) the cutting head, and (c) the ceramic nozzles
-improvement of B4C-based ceramics and development of a boron carbide injection moulding/sintering process for mass production of dense ceramic nozzles
-testing of the ceramic nozzles: (a) on a new test cell; (b) in field.
New boron carbide based ceramics were developed and the fabrication technology for ceramic AWJ-nozzles via the injection molding/sintering/post HIPing route was optimized.
The rate of erosion caused by abrasive particle impact on dense plates of B4C-,B4C/TiB2-, and SiC-ceramics was measured using an abrasive water jet (AWJ) at different impingement angles. Finally wear resistance of B4C based ceramics in comparison to hardmetal was evaluated by determining the life of AWJ nozzles made from these materials.
Boron carbide outperforms hardmetal as AWJ nozzle material especially under conditions using very hard abrasives like alumina. The combination B4C-nozzle/Al2O3-abrasive, can be economically used for difficult cutting jobs, especially for cutting of very hard and tough work-piece materials like high technology ceramics, cermets and hardmetals.