Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - (M.S.)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

E. S. Geskin

Second Advisor

Zhiming Ji

Third Advisor

R. S. Sodhi


This work was concerned with the application of ice powder for material processing. Material cutting and surface cleaning were also studied. As a result, innovative cleaning and etching technology was pioneered. The corresponding technology was designed and demonstrated.

The study involved investigation of water freezing, crushing of generated ice, ice transportation, formation of ice water and ice air streams and, finally, use of this stream for material cutting and cleaning. The theoretical work included investigation of the phase change in water and ice formation, effect of ice temperature on particles behavior and entrainment of ice particles by the water stream. Finite element modeling was used for investigation of particle entrainment process. The theoretical study was based on the examination of available information about ice behavior.

The experimental study of the second mode of icejet formation involved design and construction of apparatus for generation of ice powder, formation of ice water and ice air streams and the use of these streams for cutting and cleaning. Six different devices for powder production were tested and an acceptable devise design was selected. A conventional nozzle head was used for formation of abrasive water jet in our experiment. Ice powder was supplied as the conventional abrasive materials. The obtained jet was used for cutting various metal samples. The feasibility of cutting steel, titanium, and other materials using ice as abrasive was demonstrated. However process productivity was low. Finite element analysis showed that only small portion of ice particles survive in the course of jet formation and in order to enhance process productivity it is necessary to prevent melting of the particles.

Conventional gun for sand blasting was used for formation of ice air jet. The generated jet was used for various cleaning and decoating operations. The experiments involved removal of heavy conductive grease from an electronic board, emulsion from a photo film, and paint from CD-ROM, etc.

The performed study demonstrated the feasibility of the use of the water ice as an abrasive material. Thus, such environmentally hostile technology as sand blasting can be replaced by green ice based processing. The feasibility of the use of ice as a machining tool and thus, formation of green machining technology was demonstrated.