Composites Lab Adds Waterjet Cutter

08 January 2009

The Composites & Advanced Materials Lab at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University has extended its machining capabilities with the addition of a 4’ by 4’ WaterjetPRO cutting table.

The abrasive waterjet cutting system includes a 30-horsepower pump that pressurizes water up to 60,000 pounds per square inch, with UltraPierce Vacuum Assist technology for cutting brittle and laminated materials like composites, and a state-of-the-art CNC controller that allows a virtually unlimited choice of CAD/CAM or nesting programs.

“The waterjet cutting system will be primarily used for coupon preparation in most of our material qualification programs, as we transition away from a labor-intensive process to a more efficient way of cutting test coupons out of composite test panels,” said Kim-Leng Poon, manager of the Composites Lab Machine Shop.

“It will also be used to facilitate some of our in-house test fixture fabrication and modification. This is a great add-on to our lab in terms of machining capabilities.”

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