Abrasive waterjet machining of three-dimensional structures from bulk metallic glasses and comparison with other techniques


Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are a promising class of engineering materials, but they can be difficult to machine due to high hardness and a metastable structure. Crystallization due to machining can have negative effects, such as a decreased load-bearing capacity of fabricated parts, and thus should be avoided. Here, a Zr-based BMG was machined using abrasive waterjet (AWJ), electrical discharge, ns-pulsed laser engraving, and conventional dry-milling techniques. Characterization of the processed material indicated that AWJ preserves the amorphous phase and provides the combination of speed and flexibility required to rapidly fabricate small three-dimensional parts, while the other techniques did not achieve these goals. As proof-of-principle, a screw, similar to an orthopedic implant, was rapidly machined from the BMG using AWJ.

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V. Wessels and J.F. Löffler thank Erwin Fischer and Beatrice Wegmann for help with preparation of the amorphous samples.

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Correspondence to Jörg F. Löffler.

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Wessels, V., Grigoryev, A., Dold, C. et al. Abrasive waterjet machining of three-dimensional structures from bulk metallic glasses and comparison with other techniques. Journal of Materials Research 27, 1187–1192 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2012.36

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