Wear characterization of abrasive waterjet nozzles and nozzle materials

Madhusarathi Nanduri, University of Rhode Island


Parameters that influence nozzle wear in the abrasive water jet (AWJ) environment were identified and classified into nozzle geometric, AWJ system, and nozzle material categories. Regular and accelerated wear test procedures were developed to study nozzle wear under actual and simulated conditions, respectively. Long term tests, using garnet abrasive, were conducted to validate the accelerated test procedure. In addition to exit diameter growth, two new measures of wear, nozzle weight loss and nozzle bore profiles were shown to be invaluable in characterizing and explaining the phenomena of nozzle wear. By conducting nozzle wear tests, the effects of nozzle geometric, and AWJ system parameters on nozzle wear were systematically investigated. An empirical model was developed for nozzle weight loss rate.^ To understand the response of nozzle materials under varying AWJ system conditions, erosion tests were conducted on samples of typical nozzle materials. The effect of factors such as jet impingement angle, abrasive type, abrasive size, abrasive flow rate, water pressure, traverse speed, and target material was evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy was performed on eroded samples as well as worn nozzles to understand the wear mechanisms. The dominant wear mechanism observed was grain pullout. Erosion models were reviewed and along the lines of classical erosion theories a semi-empirical model, suitable for erosion of nozzle materials under AWJ impact, was developed. The erosion data correlated very well with the developed model.^ Finally, the cutting efficiency of AWJ nozzles was investigated in conjunction with nozzle wear. The cutting efficiency of a nozzle deteriorates as it wears. There is a direct correlation between nozzle wear and cutting efficiency. The operating conditions that produce the most efficient jets also cause the most wear in the nozzle. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Industrial|Engineering, Mechanical|Engineering, Materials Science

Recommended Citation

Madhusarathi Nanduri, "Wear characterization of abrasive waterjet nozzles and nozzle materials" (1997). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9831116.