Polishing freeform surfaces made easier with new ultra-precision technology
Prof. Benny Cheung, Head of PolyU’s State Key Laboratory of Ultra-precision Machining Technology, has developed a novel curvature-adaptive multi-jet polishing (MJP) technology.
“Surface polishing can improve a product’s functionality and aesthetics. However, the process can be time consuming, labour intensive and error prone when polishing curved designs or surface.”
Prof. Benny Cheung (third from left)
Multi-jet polishing works wonders
The research team has developed the multi-jet nozzles and a computerised system to automate the polishing process. The machine can automatically adjust the fluid pressure and processing time of each jet according to the shape, variation of curvature and surface polishing requirements of a product.
This greatly enhances the efficiency and accuracy of surface polishing for high-value-added products with different kinds of freeform surfaces, such as compound lenses in 3D imaging, head-up display lenses used in automotive, optical components for augmented reality and virtual reality headsets, artificial joints, aeroplane turbine blades and many others with complex geometric shapes.
High efficiency, low cost
Currently, Fluid Jet Polishing (FJP) is used in polishing components with complex shapes or curved surfaces. The costly FJP machine pumps abrasive particles and water through a nozzle towards a target surface. The single jet nozzle limits its efficiency and the technology has only been used to process small sized surfaces.
With multi-jet nozzles, the limitations of FJP have been overcome. In addition, the production cost of a MJP machine is only about two-thirds of the cost of the FJP machine. It can also be integrated into polishing machines or robotic arms, and this will further lower the cost.
The research team plans to further improve this technology by developing apparatus fit for plugging in 3-dimensional (3D) printers, so as to enhance the efficiency of post-process finishing of 3D-printed complex components.
You may also like
Plaudits for novel inventions
PolyU innovations clinched “Global Innovation Awards” at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo 2019 (TechConnect). As the world’s largest multi-sector event to promote development and commercialisation of inventions, TechConnect...
Students honoured with prestigious Fulbright grants
Doctoral students Chen Qi-qi and Wang Shan-shan received grants under the Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Research Scholar Award Programme to undertake academic research at universities or research institutes in the United States. Jointly organised by the...
Professor awarded for helping workers stay cool in the heat
How can construction workers keep cool while working under hot and humid weather conditions for long hours? Developed by a team led by Prof. Albert Chan of the Department of Building and Real Estate, a cooling vest and a standard of heat stress...