The welding of aluminium and its alloys

Water jet cutting

Water jet cutting uses an abrasive powder introduced into a very high - pressure and velocity water jet and is capable of cutting both metallic and non-metallic materials essentially by a process of erosion. Water velocity is in the region of 2500 km/h (1600 mph) and water pressure between 2000 bar (30000psi) and 4000 bar (60000 psi). One of the most important uses of water jet cutting is the roughing out of parts prior to finish machining. The great advantage that water jet cutting has over the laser or plasma-arc is that no heat is used in the process. There are therefore no heat affected zones and no thermal distortion. Parts can be cut very accurately and closely nested, resulting in material savings. Cut part tolerances are very small, simplifying the task of fitting up for welding.

Although aluminium up to 450 mm in thickness can be cut using the process, the limitations with water jet cutting are the cutting speed, which may be only a quarter the speed of a laser cut component, particularly in thin sections. The other limitation is the bevel or taper of the cut face which may be twice that of laser cutting, some 25% of the nozzle diameter or around 0.2 mm at the optimum cutting speed. The bevel can be reduced by slowing the cutting speed with the penalty of an increased cost.

The welding of aluminium and its alloys

Alloy designations: wrought products

Table A.4 BS EN BS EN Old BS/DTD Temperature (°C) numerical chemical number designation designation Liquidus Solidus IVIdUng range Al 99.99 1 660 660 0 AW-1080A Al 99.8 1A AW-1070A …

Principal alloy designations: cast products

Table A.3 BS EN numerical designation BS EN chemical designation Old BS number ANSI designation Temperature (°C) Liquidus Solidus Melting range Al 99.5 LM0 640 658 18 AC-46100 Al Si10Cu2Fe …

Physical, mechanical and chemical properties at 20°C

Table A.2 Property Aluminium Iron Nickel Copper Titanium Crystal structure FCC BCC FCC FCC HCP Density (gm/cm3) 2.7 7.85 8.9 8.93 4.5 Melting point (°C) 660 1536 1455 1083 1670 …

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