The Micro Abrasive Jet (MAJ) machining process erodes the target material by use of fine abrasive particles blasted at a high velocity.
This process allows for very precise and accurate control of material removal rate. Non-machined areas are covered using a protective mask created by a photolithography step.
The material removal mechanism is based on propagation and intersection of cracks generated by the impact of abrasive particles on the brittle materials.
Applications of abrasive machining include:
- Shallow depth cut on ceramic materials
- Trenches for micro-medical applications
- Mesas to reduce the surface area of chuck and other semiconductor components
- Reference cavities for pressure sensors
- Thru-holes for air and chemical flow
- Cavities for mechanical locations
- Minimal tooling cost
- Quick turnaround for prototyping and development work
- Feature sizes down to 100µm and featured depths to just a few microns are possible
- Feature location and dimensional tolerances down to +/-25 microns are possible
- Multiple features can be machined in one operation
- Very high pattern densities are possible
- Features can be of any 2D shape: square, round, designed shapes, and connected channels
- Masks are made directly out of CAD files reducing the risk of pattern error
- The process generates no heat and does not change the material properties of the work-piece
- Process works well with metalized parts
- Unlike vertical side walls produced by ultrasonic machining, abrasive blasting machined features have tapered sidewalls ranging from 18 to 26˚, depending on several factors
- Maximum aspect ratio to 3:1 (Thickness:Diameter)