Machining of hard-to-cut materials to a high degree of accuracy and surface quality is one of the most critical operations when fabricating different state-of-the-art engineered components. Abrasive waterjet machining (AWJM) is one of the non-conventional technologies, which is increasingly gaining a reputation for machining hard-to-cut materials. Despite many phenomenological investigations, the dynamic characteristics of the abrasive waterjet and physical interactions with the machined surface have not been thoroughly investigated in the context of understanding the machining process. The kerf geometry has been associated with several abrasive waterjet input parameters, but its characteristics have remained speculative among many researchers. In the present study, the governing equations of two-phase abrasive waterjet flow and the interaction with the material surface are developed and numerically simulated. With the help of precisely developed user-defined functions (UDF), the material removal process has been investigated. The dynamic jet characteristics and erosion rate are correlated to help characterize the kerf geometry. The proposed modelling approach is within the acceptable level of accuracy (< 5 %) when compared to experimental data. The results show that the jet dynamic characteristics and abrasive particle size significantly affect the kerf geometry and the material removal rate. The present findings not only provide a technical understanding of the AWJM process but also provide requisite guidelines in achieving high-precision machining of hard-to-cut materials.

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