Ice Jet Machining Process – Diagram and Working

Abrasives are used for many applications including cleaning, depainting and cutting operations. There are, however, some applications where the use of abrasives is not possible. These applications include, for example, the processing of meat products and cleaning of sensitive surfaces. An ice jet is a non-destructive, non-abrasive, residue-free, and environmentally friendly way of machining. The ice jet can be used
for either initial or final cleaning, and for numerous critical and non critical cleaning applications in the semiconductor, disk drive, vacuum technologies, surface science, surface analysis, optical, medical, automotive, analytical instrument, and manufacturing industries.
• In Abrasive water Jet Machining process(AWJM) abrasive particles like silicon carbide and aluminum oxide are used for machining.
• Ice jet machining is Derivative of AWJM machining process in which ice particles are used in place of abrasive particles.
• The ice particles can be prepared beforehand using an ice particle generator, stored in a reservoir and then fed to the conventional entrainment based jetting head.
• In AWJ, waste of water is very high as waterjet contains abrasive particles. To reuse the water very complicated water cleaning system has to be employed.
• While in IJ, ice is used instead of Abrasives. So as ice melts into the water, water treatment gets eliminated and we can reuse the water.

Ice Jet Machining Process

In ice jet machining (IJM), the abrasives are changed by ice particles that form the ice jet. Since the hardness of the ice particles are fewer than that of the abrasives, minor material removal rates are expected, compared to AWJM. However, the cost reduction and the good environmental impacts make IJM even better. IJM is used in the food, electronic, medical, and space industries where contamination is impossible.

ice particles are created using either stream freezing (<500 μm) or ice particles supply (>500 μm) into the stream. In the latter case, ice cubes, supplied from an icemaker, are fed to a grinder. Solid CO2 is added to prevent the crushed ice from melting as shown in Fig.

ice jet machining
ice jet machining

The crushed ice is then fed throughout the machining nozzle. Prior to the nozzle the water is also cooled by passing through a coil that is submerged in liquid nitrogen. Geskin et al. (1995) reported a substantial development in the machining characteristics due to the entrapment of ice in the cutting nozzle.

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