Low Cost Precision Waterjet Machining of Grid Fins

Period of Performance: 05/30/2008 - 05/30/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ormond, LLC
4718 B Street Northwest, Suite 104
Auburn, WA 98001
Principal Investigator


Novel waterjet machining techniques are proposed to reduce the costs of grid fin manufacturing by 80% over conventional waterjets. Waterjets are well suited to the task of machining fins because they are a cold cutting process that will not cause thermal damage to the thin webs, they can achieve the tight tolerances and small corner radii and can be used on a wide range of candidate materials. The approach taken in this proposal is to use new wear resistant nozzles and develop an advanced cutting compensation model to increase the cutting speed by a factor of 5 to 7 times over existing waterjetting methods. Ormond has already demonstrated considerable cost savings over electric discharge machining by waterjetting the large fins used on the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) program. The new techniques will enable substantial additional savings as well as the capability to machine contoured webs for supersonic fin applications. Ormond will team with Dynetics, the leader in grid fin design and development, to achieve the program goals.