Abrasive Flow Machining

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AFM works on many different metal materials including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, brass, cast iron, titanium and nickel alloys as well as thermoplastics. The automotive, aerospace, food processing, pharmaceutical, medical, molding, marine and electronic industries use this finishing operation on a number of different products. Read Moreā€¦

Abrasive Flow Machining Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM) is a secondary water jet machining process used to smooth, polish, radius, and remove cracks and burrs from hard to reach or internal surfaces of machinery, parts and products. It uses a polymer resin and abrasive materials, which are called media, in water under pressure to reach bends, cavities and edges.
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Leading Manufacturers

Jackson, MI  |  517-783-1550

As a full-service waterjet machining center, RTD Manufacturing uses waterjet cutting in the manufacture of our products. Besides waterjet cutting, we also use EDM wire cutting; detail and manual machining; CNC machining plus production drill and tap. We have prototype manufacturing to offer as well.

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RTD Manufacturing, Inc. $$$

Columbus, OH  |  800-783-7875

Since 1983, Sterling Process Engineering and Services, Inc. has provided dependable service to customers in a variety of industries, including dairy processing, food processing, pharmaceutical, beverage processing, chemical, biofuel, and more. Through our process and mechanical engineering services and stainless steel fabrication, we offer piping, conveyors, tanks, as well as many others.

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Sterling Process Engineering & Services, Inc. $$$

Pequot Lakes, MN  |  218-568-5052

Precision Waterjet Concepts features 5-axis waterjet cutting for true three dimensional cutting along with 2-axis waterjet cutting. We cut stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steels, alloys, and specialty materials such as security glass, carbon fiber, and foam. Precision Waterjet Concepts can handle intricate, complex cuts on virtually any material for any industry. Our innovative craftsmen can manufacture parts with exceptional edge and structural quality. We are proudly ISO9001:2015 certified.

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Precision Waterjet Concepts Inc. $$$

Erie, PA  |  814-838-8681

Since its 1913 inception, The Warren Company, family owned and operated, has become a prominent full steel service warehouse and fabrication facility, including waterjet cutting and laser cutting capabilities. Carbon, tool & stainless steel, alloys, aluminum, copper, brass and plastic materials stocked in many forms.

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The Warren Company $$$

Seattle, WA  |  206-466-1252

We provide top of the line water jet cutting here at West Coast Waterjet. We are ISO 9001:2008 certified and our experts have a wide experience of waterjet cutting for a wide variety of industries. Our services are for virtually any material and we will work with you every step of the way. Please give us a call today to learn more information!

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West Coast Waterjet $$$
placeholder image RTD Manufacturing, Inc. Sterling Process Engineering & Services, Inc. Precision Waterjet Concepts Inc. The Warren Company West Coast Waterjet

Internal combustion engines in aircraft and automotive vehicles that use AFM to improve fuel economy, semiconductor equipment, surgical instruments, molds and dies for metal, glass and plastic product forming also often undergo abrasive flow machining to create shiny, smooth and even internal surfaces. The abrasive media and water that erode the product surface are forced through the cavity by a hydraulic system, which can have one or two-way flow directions.

The abrasive action created by AFM happens when the work piece, the product to undergo machining, is clamped between two media cylinders, one at the top and one at the bottom. The process is fully automated and computer controlled, thus greatly reducing labor costs, which are high if the process is manual because it is so time consuming and tedious.

The hydraulic system starts at the bottom cylinder, and the water and media mix is shot at high speeds and pressure through the work piece. The water flow is either linear or comes out of both cylinders at the same time, thus decreasing the erosion process time. A temperature-controlled cooling jacket is used to keep temperatures consistent during the manufacturing process.


AFM may be customized for specific results or when working with certain materials by using different grit sizes and types of resin and media, different viscosity and high or low flow rates and pressure. These factors are all determined by the material properties of the product being eroded, the desired finish and time constraints. Many abrasive flow machines are able to process many parts at once; they can also process multiple cavities and spaces of a single product.

Abrasive Flow Machining Informational Video