The University of Rhode Island Waterjet Research Laboratory was established in 1984 with a major equipment grant from Flow Systems, Inc. Since that time, the laboratory has become a first class research center in the field of abrasive waterjet machining for the U.S.A. The lab is the first university waterjet research facility. Methods for cutting, piercing, turning, milling and threading using waterjet technology have been developed at URI. Processes have been developed to optimize machining time, surface quality and tolerance levels. A wide variety of materials have been machined including advanced ceramics, super alloys, composite materials, concrete, rock, asphalt and biomaterials. Former students of the Waterjet Laboratory have gone on to become leaders in the waterjet industry. For example, our graduates are now employed by major waterjet companies including Flow International and Omax.
The URI Waterjet Laboratory is equipped with a Flow Systems 9-XD 55 ksi dual intensifier pump and a Paser-ECL abrasive delivery system. A Flow Systems Bengal cutting system is used for shape cutting. Additional laboratory equipment include a PC based data acquisition system, a force sensor for force feedback control, an ADR-22 Surf-Indicator and metallurgical microscopes. These facilities, combined with the URI Mechanical Engineering Departments’s laboratory and machine shop facilities, are ideally suited for state-of-the-art waterjet machining research.