Study on kerf characteristics and surface integrity based on physical energy model during abrasive waterjet cutting of thick CFRP laminates


Abrasive waterjet machining was an effective method for cutting CFRP materials in various industries, while machining defects are inevitably observed especially for thick CFRP laminates due to the inherent characteristics of waterjet. In this work, a full factorial experimental array was employed totally involving 18 trials when using abrasive waterjet to cut CFRP laminate up to 10.0 mm thick. The influence of process parameters including hydraulic pressure, traverse speed, and stand-off distance on jet energy was deeply analyzed and the power-to-speed ratio (Ė/u) parameter was obtained, which was combined with the physical energy model of abrasive waterjet based on the energy method. The influence of process parameters on kerf characteristics/surface integrity and the mechanism of defects were further analyzed. Various surface defects along thickness direction were observed and corresponding mechanisms were investigated. Results showed that higher hydraulic pressure, lower traverse speed, and stand-off distance within in the selected range were preferred to obtain better surface quality. From the perspective of power-to-speed ratio (Ė/u), the surface roughness decreased rapidly up to ~ 68% with Ė/u increased from 20,000 to 40,000 J/m. When it exceeded 40,000 J/m, the downward trend gradually reduced and even became stable in the case of high stand-off distance. The level of kerf width generally increased with the increase of Ė/u irrespective of stand-off distance.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14

Data availability

Not applicable.


  1. 1.

    Liu X, Liang Z, Wen G, Yuan X (2019) Waterjet machining and research developments: a review. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 102:1257–1335.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Fleischer J, Teti R, Lanza G, Mativenga P, Möhring HC, Caggiano A (2018) Composite materials parts manufacturing. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 67(2):603–626.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Long X, Ruan X, Liu Q, Chen Z, Xue S, Wu Z (2017) Numerical investigation on the internal flow and the particle movement in the abrasive waterjet nozzle. Powder Technol 314:635–640.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Valíček J, Hloch S, Kozak D (2009) Surface geometric parameters proposal for the advanced control of abrasive waterjet technology. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 41:323–328.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Li M, Huang M, Chen Y, Gong P, Yang X (2019) Effects of processing parameters on kerf characteristics and surface integrity following abrasive waterjet slotting of Ti6Al4V/CFRP stacks. J Manuf Process 42:82–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Li M, Huang M, Chen Y, Kai W, Yang X (2019) Experimental study on hole characteristics and surface integrity following abrasive waterjet drilling of Ti6Al4V/CFRP hybrid stacks. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 104:4779–4789.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Kartal F (2017) A review of the current state of abrasive water-jet turning machining method. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 88:495–505.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Chen L, Siores E, Wong WCK (1998) Optimising abrasive waterjet cutting of ceramic materials. J Mater Process Technol 74(1–3):251–254.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Shanmugam DK, Wang J, Liu H (2008) Minimisation of kerf tapers in abrasive waterjet machining of alumina ceramics using a compensation technique. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 48(14):1527–1534.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Lemma E, Chen L, Siorcs E, Wang J (2002) Optimising the AWJ cutting process of ductile materials using nozzle oscillation technique. Int J Mach Tool Manu 42(7):781–789.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Hlaváč LM (2009) Investigation of the abrasive water jet trajectory curvature inside the kerf. J Mater Process Technol 209(8):4154–4161.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Wang S, Zhang S, Wu Y, Yang F (2017) A key parameter to characterize the kerf profile error generated by abrasive water-jet. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 90:1265–1275.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Zeng J, Henning A (2009) Kerf characterization in abrasive waterjet cutting. Proceedings of WJTA American Waterjet Conference and Expo, August 18–20, 2009 Houston, Texas

  14. 14.

    Azmir MA, Ahsan AK (2008) Investigation on glass/epoxy composite surfaces machined by abrasive water jet machining. J Mater Process Technol 198(1):122–128.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Azmir MA, Ahsan AK (2009) A study of abrasive water jet machining process on glass/epoxy composite laminate. J Mater Process Technol 209(20):6168–6173.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Unde PD, Gayakwad MD, Patil NG, Pawade RS, Thakur DG, Brahmankar PK (2015) Experimental investigations into abrasive waterjet machining of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. J Compos:971596.

  17. 17.

    Shanmugam DK, Masood SH (2009) An investigation on kerf characteristics in abrasive waterjet cutting of layered composites. J Mater Process Technol 209(8):3887–3893.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Schwartzentruber J, Papini M, Spelt JK (2018) Characterizing and modelling delamination of carbon-fiber epoxy laminates during abrasive waterjet cutting. Compos A Appl Sci 112:299–314.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Wang J (2007) Predictive depth of jet penetration models for abrasive waterjet cutting of alumina ceramics. Int J Mech Sci 49(3):306–316.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Wang J (2009) A new model for predicting the depth of cut in abrasive waterjet contouring of alumina ceramics. J Mater Process Technol 209(5):2314–2320.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Li M, Huang M, Yang X, Li S, Wei K (2018) Experimental study on hole quality and its impact on tensile behavior following pure and abrasive waterjet cutting of plain woven CFRP laminates. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 99(9–12):2481–2490.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Bridgeman PW (1931) The physics of high pressure. Chap. VII. George Bell & Sons, London

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Hoogstrate AM (2000) Towards high-definition abrasive waterjet cutting - a model-based approach to plan small-batch cutting operations of advanced materials by high-pressure abrasive waterjets. (Ph.D. Thesis) TU Delft, The Netherlands

Download references


This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51905163, 51875188) and the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province (2019JJ50053).

Author information




M Li: conceptualization, investigation, funding acquisition, and writing—original draft and editing; X Lin: methodology, data collection, and writing—original draft; X Yang: funding acquisition and writing—reviewing and editing; H Wu: methodology, investigation, and writing—review and editing; X Meng: supervision and writing—review and editing.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Xujing Yang or Hao Wu.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

Not applicable.

Consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent to publish

Not applicable.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Li, M., Lin, X., Yang, X. et al. Study on kerf characteristics and surface integrity based on physical energy model during abrasive waterjet cutting of thick CFRP laminates. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 113, 73–85 (2021).

Download citation


  • Abrasive waterjet
  • Kerf characteristics
  • Surface integrity
  • CFRP