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Micro Abrasive Wwaterjet Machining

Micro Abrasive Waterjet Machining with the OMAX MicroMAX

Around the globe, machines and their components are becoming smaller and lighter. The demand for high precision parts from advanced materials with quick turnaround time is growing. OMAX Corporation has answered this demand with the development of the latest generation MicroMAX® abrasive waterjet.

To cut material, an abrasive waterjet accelerates water to a high velocity jetstream and then pulls fine abrasive into that jetstream. The high pressure water is forced through a tiny orifice within a nozzle. The nozzle is precisely positioned and moved over work material and the abrasive erodes the material.

Abrasive waterjet machining is a cold cutting process and creates no heat-affected zones (HAZ), therefore, it doesn't change the material properties or leave heat-hardened edges. Waterjets can cut virtually any material, metal and nonmetal, from carbon fiber to copper, glass to granite, titanium to tungsten and practically anything in between.

In recent years, senior scientist Dr. Peter Liu of OMAX Corporation has pioneered advancements in the area of micro abrasive waterjet technology. Under a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, Liu's research and development culminated in a commercially available machine, the MicroMAX JetMachining® Center. The MicroMAX was named a finalist in the 2016 R&D 100 Awards and OMAX has earned the prestigious Tibbetts Award for outstanding technological innovation. OMAX Corporation has continued to improve on the MicroMAX since it's introduction to the market, making it more versatile, more convenient, and more precise. The latest release, OMAX's MicroMAX Gen 2, is the industry's most precise abrasive waterjet, capable of a positioning accuracy of less than five microns, while retaining all the advantages of abrasive waterjet machining.

Some of the world's leading high-tech companies and institutions have chosen the MicroMAX for work ranging from prototyping to production because of its accuracy and ease of use. In today's manufacturing world, micromachining abrasive waterjets are being used by medical companies to produce titanium implants, by artisan jewelry makers to cut precious metals, by semiconductor manufacturers, the aerospace industry and Universities. The market demand for the U.S. made MicroMAX has steadily increased since its introduction. One of the most exciting applications, recently collaborated with NASA JPL, was the fabrication of prototype micro spine flexures for asteroid gripping tools through the Asteroid Red reacted Mission (ARM).

The MicroMAX is adept at machining complex geometries with tight tolerances in delicate materials, and also in non-conductive and reflective materials that are difficult to cut with other high-precision machining processes, such as laser and wire EDM. Abrasive waterjet machining has proven to be significantly faster than wire EDM which uses multiple passes, and also solid-state lasers which must be pulsed at high-frequency to minimize heat-induced damage.

The MicroMAX has a small footprint and will fit well on any manufacturing floor or prototyping lab. The latest generation machine has been engineered for improved ergonomics and minimal environmental.

Contributing to the ultra-high accuracy of the MicroMAX is OMAX's proprietary linear traction drive system that uses optical encoders to provide 0.1 micron positioning accuracy. Protective bellows seal off all precision components inside the MicroMAX. The cutting table is mounted on a set of vibration isolators to minimize transmission of external vibration from the floor. A tank cooling package allows the control of the water temperature to within a couple degrees, helping to avoid any dimentional changes in the material as it's being machined.

A mobile work station with easy-to-use controller software provides the machine operator with convenient set-up and monitoring capability. The latest generation MicroMAX is compatible with the OMAX Solids Removal System so garnet can be removed without taking off the enclosure and draining the tank.

Is the MicroMAX the right product for you? Call us today and we can do a test cut to show you how the MicroMAX handles your part geometries and your material.

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