During the past several decades, the water jet cutting concept has developed from a novel concept into a well-accepted machine cutting tool. With the addition of abrasive particles and the improvement of high pressure pumps, the water jet stream is currently capable of cutting through metal, concrete, and composite materials. Water jet systems have been utilized at a wide range of different pressures. Research performed at Brigham Young University has revealed that low pressure water jets have the ability to cut human teeth. Experiments have shown that when abrasive particles are added to the water jet stream, an greater amount of tooth material can be removed at lower input pressures. Many different methods have been proposed to entrain and suspend particles in a high pressure water jet system. The abrasive particles can be entrained before the water is pressurized, while the water is being pressurized, or after the water jets stream exits the pressurized system. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, keeping abrasive particles homogeneously entrained and suspended in a water jet stream has proven to be difficult. Research at Brigham Young University has encountered similar problems. Researchers are attemping to place abrasive particles in a low pressure water jet stream, but have not been able to maintain a suspended homogeneous slurry. It is the objective of this research to investigate and suggest several possible methods to entrain and suspend abrasive particles into a low pressure water jet system intended for a dental cutting application. A broad review of methods to entrain abrasives in high pressure water jet systems was performed. A list of methods and concepts as possible solutions to entrain abrasives in a low pressure system has been generated. Product design principles were applied to screen, score, and rank these generated concepts to narrow down the list to the most viable concepts for BYU's low pressure dental water jet. Several tests and experiments were also performed to validate the suggested concepts and to provide useful information for future research. It is anticpated that one or more of these methods will be applicable for the proposed dental application as well as other similar applications.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





entrain, suspend, abrasive particles, low pressure, water jet, waterjet