Micro structure manufacturing is needed more in industries than ever before. For this purpose, several micromachining techniques are developed to fabricate 2D and 3D micro structures. Abrasive air-jet (AAJ) micromachining technique has become an attractive technology for the fabrication of microstructures on a wide range of engineering materials due to energy-efficient and unique method for micromachining components made from advanced but difficult-to-machine materials, including glass, ceramics, quartz and silicon which are increasingly selected for constructing modern micro-featured devices.
Huaizhong Li at Griffith University in collaboration with Jun Wang, Ngaiming Kwok, and Guan Heng Yeoh at UNSW Australia and also Thai Nguyen at The University of Sydney in Australia have conducted a research to characterize the abrasive air-jet micromachining process for the features formed on the target material and that depends on various parameters, such as nozzle shape and size, particle size, air pressure and flow rate. Their research work which presents a thorough study on the evolution of micro and blind holes on glass during abrasive air-jet machining is now published in Journal of Manufacturing Processes.
The research team conducted their studies under different practical settings of air pressure, particle mass flow rate and drilling time. A 3D laser measurement microscope was used to characterize the machined hole profiles. Three types of hole surface contours, convex, flat, and concave were used.
The authors shows that under different cutting parameters, the hole shapes exhibit some variations in terms of the bottom surface and the side kerf slope. Within the operating range used, three main types of hole bottom contours were obtained. In addition, the kerf slope varied from steep to gradual. They also found that the evolution of the micro hole contours is caused by the variation of the AJM parameters.
Moreover, at a low flow rate, the hole bottom was formed with a convex shape, which might be attributed to the fact that the distribution of particles at the nozzle center was less than that around the brim. As the particle flow rate increased, the bottom surface evolved from convex to flat or even concave. Furthermore the researchers found that the occurrence of different contour types is strongly affected by the magnitudes of air-jet pressure and particle flow rate. If proper selection of air-jet pressure and the particle flow rate, a desired feature can be fabricated. The study by Huaizhong Li and colleagues will help advance fabricating micro hole using abrasive air-jet micromachining.
Huaizhong Li, Jun Wang, Ngaiming Kwok, Thai Nguyen, and Guan Heng Yeoh. A study of the micro-hole geometry evolution on glass by abrasive air-jet micromachining. Journal of Manufacturing Processes, Volume 31 (2018), Pages 156-161.
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