RE: Machining of Alumina Plate

From: Billett Mike (
Date: Tue Apr 09 2002 - 10:15:17 EEST

I may be playing devils advocate when I say that my choice would be laser wherever possible. In my experience with both methods, laser and AWJ, the laser has been more accurate, and with a 1/4" thick plate the blind side of the plate may not be as accuratue as the top side when cut. With 0.8" of spacing in between the holes and given the thickness of the plate I don't think that laser would cause any problems.

Another issue to consider is that you get a gray deposit on the edges of the cut when using AWJ, and this will need to be removed if you don't want remnants of the abrasive grit in your component.

I did have some problems once with slag build up on the edges of one batch of adapters we had made with laser cutting, but it turned out to be the parameters in the machine and the operators inability to set them correctly.

We currently use AWJ as the remnants of the abrasive grit are not an issue for my applications, it is also far cheaper for the small runs I do. However, if I had a laser company close by, who could do it for the same price and with the same finish, I would choose laser everytime. But until such a company pops up here I'll be sticking with AWJ.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Edwards []
Sent: den 8 april 2002 20:29
Subject: RE: Machining of Alumina Plate

It can be done with either process, however, for the laser process, the
relatively close proximity of the holes will require some careful
programming to counteract the accumulation of heat.

Abrasive WaterJet (AWJ) would be my choice because there is no heat
involved with the process.

If you don't have a local waterjet house I can recommend:

Industrial Overlay
2910 W. RT 30
Rock Falls, IL 61071
Ask for Jason Near.


Dick Edwards
Project Engineer
GemVision Corporation
706 E. River Drive
Davenport, IA 52803
phone: 563-884-8180 ext. 118
toll free: 800-357-6272
fax: 563-884-8181

>-----Original Message-----
>From: []
>Sent: Monday, April 08, 2002 1:18 PM
>Subject: Machining of Alumina Plate
>I need to make 25 square holes of 0.4 inch size with
>0.8 inch spacing in a 6 inch by 6 inch by 1/4 inch
>thick alumina plate. Does anyone on the list have any
>experience in machining something similar to this
>using a laser or water jet process?
>Al Hastbacka
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