Water Jet trimming system by Flow is applied to B777X composites parts

2015-08-18

 

Flow is the one of the very famous water jet suppliers.

http://www.flowwaterjet.com/ja-JP

 

 

The 5 axis water jet machines will be applied for the trimming process of FRP parts of B777X.

 

http://aipaerospace.com/abrasive-waterjet-focal-point-rotary

 

Flow is now the member of American Industrial Partners (AIP) and their mail role is the area of machining.

 

http://www.flowwaterjet.com/en/whats-new/press-releases/press/Flow-Acquired-by-AIP.aspx

 

 

AIP history was referenced from the site below;

 

http://aipaerospace.com/about-us

 

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(Referenced story)

In November, 2012, American Industrial Partners (AIP) acquired five U.S. operating aerospace subsidiaries: Coast Composites, Global Tooling Systems, Odyssey Industries, and Texstars from Hampson Industries plc. and formed AIP Aerospace, LLC. (AIP Aerospace).

In September 23, 2014 – AIPA announced the formation of a new company, Ascent Aerospace. Combining Assembly Line integration and Factory Automation with AIPA’s heritage Tooling businesses, Ascent Aerospace furnishes turn-key solutions from one vertically integrated organization.

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It should be reasonable to create the total customized system by the wide range of the different companies because such kind of the service should have the business advantage from the customer's view points.

 

It also indicated that the current manufacturing companies need to do their best to respond the customers' requests as much as possible to continue their buisiness.

 

 

 

The applied range of the water jet system from Flow is getting wider.

 

The main reasons of the advances of the water jet systems are;

 

– The machining accuracy improvement

 

– The axis increase

 

 

The video of the water jet from Flow can be watched below.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpDpnmyYraQ

 

 

The machining accuracy was improved as much as possible, for example, the chain configuration was modified to move the machine smoothly.

 

Now the gate type machine is the trend in Flow though they showed robot arm type products mainly.

 

 

 

Trimming is actually the one of the most important processes in FRP parts production manufacturing process.

 

The mold die design , especially optimizing the parting line, minimize the burrs during FRP molding, but this means resin flow limitation which leads to the resin rich or material starvation simultaneously.

 

The stop position of the dies would be an idea to make the burrs thin, yet molded FRP parts would tend to be thicker because we can't use lower tolerance range by the mold die designed position.

 

 

They are the reasons why the burr would be meaningful for proper FRP molding process, and high speed trimming process by the water jet will be the very strong choice for FRP molding production.

 

You may not know it but "Trimming" would often take longer time "Molding" for FRPs.

 

 

The water jet characters like the free from dusts and processing heat may have the advantage in FRP trimming process.

 

 

Some engineers in FRP industries questioned that;

 

"Does water have the negative impacts on FRP properties?"

 

My answer is;

 

"Basically no issues but organic reinforced fiber like aramid would be applied carefully."

 

If the matrix resins are monomer or origomer, water would have an impact on the functional groups. But there is little water impact on polymer properties after curing.

 

By contrast, what is the important point which we need to pay attention?

 

The first point is;

 

"Water jet machining like is basically STRAIGHT, though a few of axes are available."

 

So, the FRP forming die should be designed to let trimming easy by water jet. Water is better to be injected horizontally as possible.

 

Also, initial water jet may make the larger hole than original path line width. Water jet needs to be installed out of the actual path route to avoid the larger hole damage.

 

 

Another point is the consumption of abrasive grains and the wear of the nozzles. High pressure and speed water with abrasive grains enables us to cut many materials but the grain mixed water wear the nozzle too. It leads to the increase of the inner diameter of the nozzle and the decrease of the accuracy.

 

Therefore, the maintenance of the nozzle is necessary to keep its inner diameter proper to keep the machining or trimming tolerance.

 

Some ideas regarding trimming by water jet may be useful for the readers, I hope.

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