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How to cut carbon fiber

Carbon fiber is a strong material that can be difficult to cut. Fortunately, there are many ways to get the job done a little easier! This blog post will discuss how you can safely and efficiently cut carbon fiber.

Carbon Fiber Cutting 101

Dragonplate’s Carbon Fiber products are easy to cut with the right tools. You can use a band saw, scroll saw, jigsaw, or table saw with a fine-tooth carbide blade. You can also use a CNC router with a carbide bit. For smaller work, a Dremel tool can be used. Once cut, edges can be finished with light sandpaper or a file. We recommend sanding your edges to ensure they are smooth.

Cutting Carbon Fiber with a CNC

Cutting carbon fiber with a CNC machine will give you precise cuts, and the ability to make complex shapes when cutting.

When using a CNC mill or router to cut our carbon fiber sheets, we recommend you use a 1/8″ Burr Style Solid Carbide Downcut Bit. The settings you use to cut carbon fiber will depend on the thickness of the material.

Here are some guidelines when cutting carbon fiber with a CNCmill or router:

When cutting 1/16″ sheets, spindle speed should be 10,000 RPM while cutting 60″ of material per minute.

When cutting 1/32″ sheets, spindle speed should be 10,000 RPM while cutting 70″ of material per minute.

When cutting veneer, spindle speed should be 10,000 RPM while cutting 75″ of material per minute.

Cutting Carbon Fiber with a Water Jet

If you need to cut a large piece or have difficult-to-reach areas that are not accessible by a CNC mill or router, cutting carbon fiber with a water jet may be the next best method. Water jets can get into tight spaces and offer good control over the surface you are cutting.

Our (EconomyPlate/Quasi-isotropic) and uni/twill or twill prepreg plates can be cut with a water jet but this will require some experimentation and/ or experience. The product needs to be adequately supported. The piercing step can lead to delamination. This sometimes can be eliminated by pre-machining the carbon fiber laminate with holes so the water jet does not have to pierce the material at the beginning of cuts.

Cutting Carbon Fiber with a Laser Cutter

We do not recommend using a laser cutter when cutting carbon fiber. The laser will burn the epoxy before it cuts the fibers causing a burned cut line.

Cutting Safety

Always remember to use protective gear when cutting our material. Here are some things to remember when cutting carbon fiber:

Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.

Always wear a dust mask and/or use air filtration to protect against carbon fiber dust.

Always wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves to protect your skin from irritation.

So you determined the best way to accomplish your carbon fiber project is to purchase carbon fiber sheets and cut them yourself. This is certainly a valid option, but there are a few things to know before you begin, to ensure the safest and highest quality cutting job.

Safety First

There are a few risks inherent in cutting carbon fiber sheets. These include:

  • Irritation to skin, eyes, or lungs from fine resin dust particles
  • Splinters
  • Sharp edges along the cut line
  • General risks involved with using high-speed cutting tools
  • Minor risk to equipment due to the electrical conductivity of carbon fiber dust

To minimize these risks, follow a few best practices:

  • Work in a well-ventilated environment.
  • Use extraction equipment to remove the dust as it is produced. This could be as simple as a shop vac, or you could invest in equipment such as a downdraft table.
  • Always wear respiratory protection. Carbon fiber dust isn’t toxic, but the fine dust created by cutting carbon fiber sheets can be an irritant to your lungs.Therefore, it is always best to wear a respirator. Use a dust mask rated as P1 (for occasional use), P2 (to filter finer particles), or even P3 (for the best protection). If you will be cutting carbon fiber sheets extensively, consider investing in a reusable respirator.
  • Protect your skin. Thin edges of carbon fiber sheets can become very sharp when cut, so exercise caution. Additionally, your hands, especially between your fingers, can become quite irritated from fine dust particles. Wearing thin surgical gloves can offer protection. If dust does get on your skin, wash it off using water.
  • Wear eye protection. Any time you are working with power tools, wearing safety glasses or goggles is recommended.

Getting Ready

When selecting tools to cut carbon fiber sheets, consider that the cutting surface of the tool should be as fine as possible. Course cutting surfaces can splinter, fracture, or chip the carbon fiber sheet. The best blades for this purpose will have a fine grit on the cutting edge rather than teeth. If you do opt for a tool with cutting teeth rather than an abrasive edge, the teeth should be as fine as possible, such as tools designed for metalworking rather woodcutting. Be aware that cutting carbon fiber sheets will create more wear and tear on your cutting blades than other projects.

When preparing to cut your carbon fiber sheets, always mark your cut first, and then cut slightly wide of that mark. This allows room to sand the carbon fiber sheet back slightly to remove any chips or splinters that might occur, ensuring a smooth, accurate edge.

Use a cutting surface such as wood or high-density foam block to rest your carbon fiber sheet on, allowing the cut piece to fall to the worksurface below.

Cutting Carbon Fiber Sheets

There are a variety of basic tools that work well for cutting carbon fiber sheets. Here are a few options:

  • Hacksaw: A metal hacksaw fitted with a fine-grit blade works well for straight cuts on prepreg carbon fiber sheets.
  • Dremel tool: For more complicated shapes, a Dremel or similar rotary tool fitted with a tungsten carbide wheel is a great option.
  • Drill: If you need to cut a piece from the interior of a carbon fiber sheet, use an electric drill fitted with a metalworking bit to create a pilot hole.
  • Rod saw: Once you drill the pilot hole, use a rod saw with an appropriate blade to make the cut. Open the rod saw, thread the blade through the pilot hole, then screw the saw back together and make your cuts.
  • Angle grinder: An angle grinder will cut a bigger job very quickly. This option is best for cutting straight lines very quickly and smoothly. Because it goes so fast, it is easier to make a mistake, though, so exercise caution.
  • Jigsaw: A jigsaw fitted with a tungsten carbide blade is a great tool for making curved, profiled, or intricate cuts.

Finishing Beautifully

There are a few steps you can take after you’ve finished cutting your carbon fiber sheets to give the cut edges your product a final polish:

  • Purchase or make a sanding block to sand the edges. Start with coarse sandpaper to smooth rough edges and chips, and then move to 200-grit sandpaper to smooth the edges. You can even finish up with a 240- or even 400-grit sandpaper to polish the edges to a gloss.
  • To get inside detailed areas or corners, use a square, flat, or round metalworking file, depending on the area you’re trying to reach.
  • To really smooth the insides of cut corners of your carbon fiber sheet, try rolling up 120-grit wet/dry sandpaper. As with the sanding block, you can then move to finer-grit sandpaper for a smooth polished finish.

In most cases, sanding or filing is all you need to do to create a beautiful edge on your cut carbon fiber sheet. However, if your product will be exposed to a harsher environment, such as a marine environment, you can mix a two-part epoxy laminating resin to seal the edges. Look for wording such as “epoxy coating resin” on the product label. Such a coating will cure with a clean, hard finish that can then be wiped with a lint-free cloth to give a glossy, smooth, sealed edge to your cut carbon fiber sheet.

Carbon Fiber is a composite material that combines lightness with extreme strength and rigidity.
Its applications are varied such as in : the marine industry (boats, yachts, etc.), frames and superstructures of Grand Prix Cars and Motorcycles, bicycles, tennis rackets, skis, snowboards, etc.,
More importantly it is now used in special applications in the construction industry for the production of futuristic architecture.
The intrinsic characteristics of carbon fiber make this material very difficult to cut and work with.
Therefore special tools and equipment are necessary.
When cutting Carbon Fiber with the use of a common angle grinder you can use a Montolit electroplated diamond blade with very exposed diamonds such as the ED series dry cut blade.

How to cut carbon fiber

This disc is specifically designed to ensure fast and accurate cuts without any chipping and its main features are the type and size of diamond used in it’s make up.
The suggested minimum speed of rotation is 10,000 rpm
This disc is available in various diameters from 115 mm to 350 mm. The blade size required depends on the size of the object to be processed.
With the same ED series blade, in addition to cutting carbon fiber, you can also cut fiber glass and marble with excellent results.

NB. Dry cutting creates dust so it is advisable to use a vacuum cleaner attached directly to the housing of the grinder.

Comprehensive video tutorial into the safety considerations and the best techniques and practices for cutting and shaping carbon fibre sheet, tube and parts (like a bike seatpost). We look at what safety gear is recommended and then what results you can expect from a range of different tools. Once we’ve cut the edges we also take a quick look at sealing cut edges.

In the video you’ll find answers to the following commonly asked questions:

  • Is Cutting Carbon Fibre Safe?
  • Is Carbon Fibre Toxic or Dangerous?
  • What respirator or dust mask do I need when cutting carbon fibre?
  • What’s the best way to cut down a carbon fiber seatpost or handlebars?
  • How do I cut and shape carbon fibre sheet to make my own parts?
  • How do professionals trim carbon fibre parts?
  • Do I need to seal cut edges on a carbon fibre part?
  • Can I cut carbon fibre with a hacksaw, Dremel, rodsaw, jigsaw, grinder etc.?

This How to Cut Carbon Fibre Sheet, Tube and Parts Video Tutorial will take you through the techniques and steps to assist you in getting the best results in your project.

TUTORIAL BREAKDOWN

How to cut carbon fiber

1. Composition

Carbon Fibre is a composite material made up from cured resin and carbon fibre reinforcement. Both these materials have their own risks and considerations which will be covered in the following section.

How to cut carbon fiber

2. Safety information

Our cutting advice section will demonstrate the use of a Hacksaw, Dremel Cutting Wheel, Junior Rodsaw, Angle Grinder and a Jigsaw using various blades on carbon fibre sheet and parts. You will also learn how to cut Carbon Fibre Tube and a Carbon Fibre Seat Post using a rotational cutting technique with power tools and hand tools.

How to cut carbon fiber

3. Different cutting tools

Great finishes can be achieved on cut carbon fibre sheet, tube and parts by using sanding blocks, files, metal working tools and wet and dry abrasive paper – working through the grits to achieve the finish required.

How to cut carbon fiber

4. Cutting carbon fibre tube

Our cutting advice section will demonstrate the use of a Hacksaw, Dremel Cutting Wheel, Junior Rodsaw, Angle Grinder and a Jigsaw using various blades on carbon fibre sheet and parts. You will also learn how to cut Carbon Fibre Tube and a Carbon Fibre Seat Post using a rotational cutting technique with power tools and hand tools.

How to cut carbon fiber

5. Shaping and finishing

Great finishes can be achieved on cut carbon fibre sheet, tube and parts by using sanding blocks, files, metal working tools and wet and dry abrasive paper – working through the grits to achieve the finish required.

How to cut carbon fiber

6. Sealing cut edges

In some circumstances it is beneficial to protect cut edges and this can be achieved easily by using epoxy resin and a lint free wipe to apply a thin coating of resin to the cut edge.

DISCUSSION ( 10 )

Please share any questions or comments you may have about this video tutorial.

How to cut carbon fiber

I’ve been making carbon fiber rings for 3-4 years now as a maker. I’ve made over 10,000 carbon fiber rings by hand myself. I’ve taught 4 people to do it and helped give advice to countless others. Carbon fiber rings is what I do. It’s all I do. I love it. It’s my life. I’m pretty good at it at this point. Okay, you get it, I’ll stop hammering that part home that I’ve got some experience.

Here’s the thing. I know some very experienced ring makers that struggle with machining carbon fiber. It’s not the same as metal. It’s not like wood or resin. First, I’ll explain how to cut it, then I’ll explain what to look for and how to know what you’re doing wrong if you’re still having trouble. I’m going to add some pictures at a later date.

Here’s the bullet pointed version first of how to turn carbon fiber rings but most of the information applies to other machining techniques too.

  • Turn fast. I spin at 2500 rpm which is as fast as my little mini lathes (I have 4) will go.
  • No autofeed. Don’t use autofeed, it cuts too fast. Manual feed.
  • Shallow cuts. I try to never take off more than .5mm. It’s more than possible to cut deeper, but start slow.
  • Use water. Water helps with cooling carbon. If the carbon is too hot to touch, it’s too hot.
  • sharp bits. make sure to use sharp bits.
  • Holesaw. Use diamond holesaws or abrasive holesaws. Use water while cutting
  • Sanding. Wet sand. Wet sand. Wet sand. start with 80-120 grit and end around 1000-2000 grit and use a polish compound. Mother’s mag/alum polish works well. Clay bars work well too.

Okay so here’s the deal with carbon fiber and why I suggest cutting this way. Carbon fiber is a temperamental material to work with as a maker. Carbon fiber can be made with different resins and different forming techniques that lend itself to a variety of ways to cut it. It’s safe to assume that you’re turning a plate that was infused or went through a wet layup with epoxy resin that is crystal clear. There’s wonderful tooling resins out there that handle heat better, but they tend to look less attractive on the finished product as tooling resin isn’t clear. This is why I order from http://carbonwaves.com/ typically. I know a decent amount about his raw plate construction and it’s always consistent. I’ll talk more about that later.

Carbon fiber itself acts as an inductor. It absorbs heat. It’s black and when you cut, it causes friction that heats the material up. When it gets too hot, the resins start to break down and liquify. The resin soaked up by the individual fibers will be the last to break down so it will retain its shape for a while, but eventually it will completely delaminate and at that point the carbon looks like it has exploded. Before this happens, you can see that between the fibers and layers of tow of carbon fiber, that there are little pockets. Usually like a long diamond shape but only .25mm wide and maybe .5mm long. Usually smaller than that, but with heavier fabric you’ll find bigger voids. That is because the resin liquified and is now gone. You’ve overheated the carbon. It’s savable by tinting your resin with carbon dust and reapplying it into those voids, but if it’s too bad, it’ll never look the same again. This happens when you holesaw with metal cutting blades, or when you use a dull cutter, or dry sanding, or cutting too deep or too fast, or not using water. There’s tons of reasons for this to happen.

Finally is your choice of carbon fiber. Cheap carbon will turn like cheap carbon. If it wasn’t infused properly, you may find voids, or the lamination process wasn’t effective enough and the carbon will delaminate no matter what you do. I use http://carbonwaves.com/ almost exclusively because of the quality of carbon fiber he offers. It never has voids. Voids are the death of a cosmetic carbon fiber maker and can cause more overheating/delamination problems. Plus, who doesn’t like luxury grade, designer carbon fiber that looks better than almost anything out there.

Reasons your carbon fiber fails from overheating.

  • dull bits. use sharp bits always. I use the triangle cutters.
  • no water. the carbon got too hot, use cooling. Lots of water.
  • holesaw not cutting or getting too hot. Use diamond holesaws or abrasive (60-100 grit) holesaws. Use water. Cut slow. Use a drill press with a strong motor. my drill press is a 15 amp drill press and I have it set to spin at 2250 rpm.
  • cutting too fast. If you’re cutting too deep to fast, it can over heat. Don’t cut so aggressively. Cut passively. lol.
  • Autofeed. Turn autofeed off unless you want to do each pass at like .25mm or less.
  • Sanding. Don’t sand dry. Use water and wet sand. Automotive sandpaper does wonders.
  • Touch your carbon often. Touch your carbon after each pass until you get the hang of it. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot.
  • Turning speed. Don’t turn slow. I turn at 2500. That’s as fast as my lathe goes and I don’t ever feel like I need it to go faster and I never slow it down. I actually bypassed the potentiometer on one of my lathes so that it just goes 2500 rpm or it’s off. There’s no in between.

Okay next, fiberglass/carbon hybrid fabrics. Designer carbon fiber is fun because it has colors, glow, and other things infused right into the plates. I order a ton of stuff with metallic fiberglass and hybrid carbon/fiberglass. The main difference in using those materials is that those materials tend to heat up quickly, delaminated a tad faster but they cut like butter. You can definitely tell the difference in strength of the fibers between carbon fiber and fiberglass. Fiberglass cuts like a dream. So easy and effortless. Carbon fiber feels like it pushes back. It takes more finesse. It’s really fun to feel and it really makes you appreciate the invention of carbon fiber itself even more. That being said, the only thing to worry about with fiberglass variations is that they do delaminate easier, though they don’t explode like carbon. They just delaminate. In many situations you can relaminate them back together with some epoxy and a solid vice clamp. When cutting fiberglass and carbon/glass hybrid fabrics, use water and don’t cut too quick even though the fiberglass will let you.

So to recap. cutting carbon is tricky but it’s fun. Go slow but turn fast and use water. water for every stage. If you have any questions. Fill out the contact form and give me an ask. Happy to help. Happy turning.

How to cut carbon fiber

Machining carbon fiber is becoming a more common practice in the aerospace and automotive industries. Also more popular than ever due to the material’s longevity, lightweight composition, and corrosion-resistant nature.

As an ideal mechanical testing material, industry experts must understand the ins and outs of carbon fiber machining.

Read on to learn how to address the specific challenges and techniques used for working with this material.

Machining Carbon Fiber

As practical applications of composite materials like carbon fiber substantially grow, manufacturing these materials is becoming more common.

Carbon fiber machining requires more flexibility than working with other materials. As a handmade composite, different solutions present themselves when cutting, milling, tooling, and drilling. As a handmade product, carbon fiber requires precision and expertise to successfully address the unique challenges which come with cutting and milling carbon fiber.

Milling

Typically, machining carbon fiber requires routing. Also, milled with standard metal machining methods.

Higher spindle speeds and lower feed rates are required for proper milling. Adjusted feed rates minimize heat generation. Lower heat is desirable to avoid damaging the carbon fiber.

If a quicker feed rate is needed, but the use of coolant is not allowed, controlling the tool path and tool can handle the heat. Minimizing fractures within the composite and abrasion tool, special tooling will be required.

Cutting

Cutting carbon fiber is an abrasive process. The machines will be regularly monitored avoiding degradation cut quality.

If you know how to cut carbon fiber sheets, then you are aware of the various types and shapes of cutters, depending on what you are machining carbon fiber for.

When cutting carbon fiber, cutters come from carbide or polycrystalline diamond (PCD). PCD is more common and offers more wear resistance but comes at a higher cost.

Diamond coatings on carbon fiber cutting machines allow for cost-effective precision and heat management. Waterjets are also a good option for cutting carbon fiber and the regulation of any heat generated.

Drilling

Machining carbon fiber with a drill is more challenging than milling carbon fiber. It generates conductive dust that can infiltrate and short out electronics. This dust is also a skin irritant, so a mask and gloves are best practice in carbon fiber machining.

Drilling speed is the biggest factor in dust generation. To avoid splintering or delaminating layers of material when machining, special drill bits can help eliminate any potential issues. Another solution for dust containment is the use of a waterjet carbon fiber cutting machine, as the particles end up trapped in the water.

Working with Quality Carbon Fiber

Machining carbon fiber requires high-quality composite materials which will withstand industrial demands. SMI Composites has an unmatched commitment to quality.

Our materials hold up under the demands of any aeronautic or automotive project. Be sure to read more of our content for industry-specific knowledge.

Hello,
I’ve got a 2mm thick plate of carbon fiber from hobbycity. I want to make a camera box for my Cularis and was wondering what a good way to get clean cuts would be. My idea so far was to get a band saw, cover the cut in masking tape, and keep it wet during the cut. Will this work well?

I have some money available for this project and need good results but I’m not quite ready to buy CNC equipment. Speaking of which, is a CNC router what I’d want to make great cutouts? I want the carbon fiber pieces cut with tabs so they all fit together like a puzzle.

Also what about cutting a nice hole for the camera lens? Would a drill press work well.

Thanks for the advice guys!

Fine tooth Bandsaws, holesaws and drills work with carbon but the cutting edge will not last long. Abrasives seem best. I use a rotary tool like Dremel or die grinder to cut close with abrasive disk, then hand sand with sanding block or table disk sander to final dimension.

I use a Dremel reinforced cutoff wheel under running water. To avoid electric shock, I use the Dremel power extension (pictured), which can operate fully submerged if needed. The use block sanders to straighten the lines and clean-up the curves, also under running water.

Images

Right. You want to keep the parts cool also. If you try to use fine grit sandpaper on a sanding drum or something, the part will get hot and gum-up edges. This will leave poor finished cut sides.

Anyone have experience or knowledge of the CNC routers on ebay? Found a cheap one here.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sable-2015-CNC-ROUTER-ENGRAVER-mill-PCBs-engraving_W0QQitemZ190315172158QQcmdZViewItemQQptZ LH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2c4fab113e&_trksid=p32 86.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12|66%3A2|39%3A1|72%3A120 5|240%3A1318|301%3A0|293%3A1|294%3A50

Anyone have experience or knowledge of the CNC routers on ebay? Found a cheap one here.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sable-2015-CNC-ROUTER-ENGRAVER-mill-PCBs-engraving_W0QQitemZ190315172158QQcmdZViewItemQQptZ LH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2c4fab113e&_trksid=p32 86.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12|66%3A2|39%3A1|72%3A120 5|240%3A1318|301%3A0|293%3A1|294%3A50

That unit still requires a driver board ($100-$150)), router/mini-mill ($100-200), power supply ($40), a computer to run it (typically requires a parallel port – lap tops often don’t supply enough voltage to operate the card), CAM/controller software ($200), CAD software, and dust collection system (a must unless you like dust covering everything in sight).

You are going to go through bits pretty quickly if you are trying to cut carbon plate. Most CNC cut carbon plate is done with water.

I have had real good success using a dremel tool with a diamond cutting disk.

WARNING:
The dust is a known carcinogen. Wear a dust mask if you are going to try cutting this way.

The dust from carbon tubes, rods or dry fibers is NOT A CARCINOGEN
It is carbon and we are a carbon-based lifeform.
The epoxy, when cured, is also NOT A CARCINOGEN . If uncured, epoxy resins do contain a mess of harmful chemicals and solvents.

“Carcinogen” means “causing cancer”. The dust is inert to our bodies and therefore can have no possible chemical reaction.

HOWEVER, carbon dust will have the same effect on your lungs as coal dust from mining. Since the human body does not recognize carbon fibers as “foreign”, it will not remove the dust from your lungs and you could contract black-lung disease or other forms of obstructive emphysema. So wear a good particulate mask, or use a good HEPA-filtered vacuum system to gather the dust away from yourself and others.

See, I used big red letters also, but I know what I’m talking about, since I work with the materials everyday.

Realy? I guess that simply using the material makes you an expert on the subject?

My knowledge came from a medical doctor friend that was watching me cut a rod for a plane I was making him and made the statement that the dust is a carcinogen ( Hence my warning above ) because of the chemicals that are used in its manufacture and that I should be sure not to breathe in the dust.
Being that I know he spent at least six or more years studying to get his medical degree, I tend to take his suggestions at face value and act on that knowledge. If a doctor believes that the dust is a medical concern and thought enough to warn me, I think I’ll take his advice over that of someone who simply “works” with the material.

The OP is free to take whoever’s advice he wishes to.

I don’t believe it is a carcinogen, but you definitely don’t want to breath it in, any dust with fine particals like that are not good to breath in.

The method I use, other than using my uncles dremel when I can, is to wrap the spot in tape, and then cut it with a fine toothed saw, the tape helps with splintering.

Last time I checked, doctors weren’t even briefed on the specifics of Carbon Fiber and it’s relation to the human physiology. Most doctors are trained to regurgitate info they find in books and then scare people into taking care of themselves, as that has become entirely necessary in our dumbed down society. Saying that it’s carcinogenic scares the crap out of people moreso that saying “That could be bad for you with prolonged exposure.” I once met a doctor that said my Aunt had a mild case of pneumonia. 9 months later she died, riddled with cancer that stemmed from her lungs. Just because they have a diploma doesn’t mean they know EVERYTHING. I’ve NEVER seen an MSDS in a doctor’s office. But I can tell you what Naptha does to your liver BECAUSE I WORK WITH IT EVERYDAY, and have had to read the MSDS on the stuff. With that said, here’s an excerpt from the OSHA MSDS on CF:

Carcinogenicty: No component known to be present in this product and is
at > 0.1% is presently listed as a carcinogen by IARC
or OSHA unless other wise noted.

To sum this all up, wear a face mask, just to be safe. You never know when your doctor may have been treating someone with swine flu, and forgot to wash his hands.

CF dust does not cause cancer, carlsoti is right on that one.

The dust is dangerous and can cause problems in your lungs. Dust masks are your friend.

I usually use a very fine bit razor saw and wrap the tube in tape. Sometimes I use scotch, sometimes masking.

Small fine tooth hobby saw, when almost to the point of cutting through, use light pressure. If it still splinters, use tape.

Not a carcinogen.

Doctors usually don’t know anything about foreign objects in the body unless specialized in the field.

The doc was right thought in saying you don’t want dust from any material including foam, balsa, carbon, fiberglass, etc in your lungs.

Wrapping with masking tape and cutting thru it with a small file or hobby saw keeps from splitting.

dip the end in epoxy is there’s stress on the end to keep from splitting.

I work with carbon fiber materials at a large medical school. Trust me. Doctors know alot about a little and little about alot.

We keep the MSDS on everything. CF is alot safer than Fiberglass ever was.

It is easy to pull individual strands of carbon fiber while cutting. Here is an easy fix that will help keep your carbon fiber strait and without annoying pulls in the cloth. This tip will help the finished job look cleaner and more professional.

Below is an example of a carbon twill. The material has been rolled out flat, on a clean table. You will find that the cloth can twist. Try to make the cloth square before cutting. Use a corner of a table or a builders square as a guide.

Lay out your rectangle. I have pre-cut my peel-ply to the length and width of the decks shape. This works well as a guide for cutting the carbon. Make sure your cut piece is larger by a couple of inches than what you are laminating it to.

Apply masking tape to the areas where you want to cut the carbon. The cloth in the photo below has sewn kevlar on the outside edge. No need to tape over this.

Once taped it should look like this.

Using a long strait edge and a very sharp utility knife. Cut along the middle of the tape. Make sure you cut all the way through the tape and cloth.

Once cut the remaining tape holds the carbon cloth from twisting and prevents pulls in the material. Do not remove the tape while laminating.

Forums › Mountain Bike Forum › How to Cut Carbon Fiber Handlebars

I feel like this question has been asked here before but I couldn’t find the answer.

What is the best way to cut carbon fiber handlebars? My first thought was to use a pipe cutter since it should give me a clean cut but the vice side of the cutter seemed to crush the carbon on either side of the cut. A hacksaw seems like the next best solution but it’s tough to get a straight cut (maybe I need to use a saw guide?). Are power tools an option?

Some carbon bars aren’t made to be cut and you’ll void any warranty. Some are thicker in the ‘clamping’ areas (like where the brakes mount, lock on grips, etc) so if you cut them you’ll move all the clamps inward, and possible off the thicker section.

Hack saw isn’t recommended because it can fray the fibers. You need a friction based cutter, so I would think a powertool could work, something like a cut-off wheel (not a sawzall). Or, get a saw designed for cutting carbon, like this one.

Yeah, my bars have measurement marks every 10mm so I’m guessing the manufacturer knows I’m gonna cut them eventually. 😀

I do have a Dremel tool, I bet there’s a nifty bit out there for cutting carbon fiber…

Yeah, my bars have measurement marks every 10mm so I’m guessing the manufacturer knows I’m gonna cut them eventually. 😀

I do have a Dremel tool, I bet there’s a nifty bit out there for cutting carbon fiber…

Yeah, Dremel should work. Probably don’t need any special bits, so long as it doesn’t have teeth it should be fine. Some bits may wear faster than others…you’re on your own there!

just a hint…
wrap the bars in masking tape before you cut. mark your measurement on the tape and cut right through it. the tape helps keep the fibers from fraying.

This is one of those things that I use the LBS for, They’re sure to have the right tool and lots of practice.

The LBS nearest me has flat rates for common tasks like this and they are all pretty reasonable.

if your near kennesaw i have cutting disk you can use and i dont mind helping you cut them.

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  • Here’s How to Cut, Drill, And Bend Carbon Fiber Panels For Your Next Build

Here’s How to Cut, Drill, And Bend Carbon Fiber Panels For Your Next Build

How to cut carbon fiber

Carbon fiber is expensive. Too expensive for me to screw up and have to throw it away! At $25-30 a square foot, this stuff is pricey. And besides being expensive, it can be challenging to work with if you don’t have the right tools and knowledge. Luckily none of the tools needed to work with carbon fiber sheets on your project are exotic or expensive, and the knowledge is something you should be able to pick up quick enough to keep from wasting a bunch of time and money on ruined carbon panels.

In this video Tim McAmis shows just how to work with the stuff, along with some tricks and tips and a run down of the tools you’ll want to have on hand. I have to say, after watching the video I feel pretty confident that I could use this stuff to build some cool interior pieces without wasting more than about $20 worth of carbon at most.

See what you think.

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Locale: Southern Arizona

I want to shorten a BPL Light Stix, what is the best way to cut the carbon fiber tube?
Peter

A dremel with a cutoff wheel and wrap the tube with tape where you want to cut it. After that, put some expoxy on the ends to seal it. If no dremal, use a very fine hacksaw and tape as well.

Other methods work fine but technically you should only cut carbon fiber with a diamond saw.

Locale: Canadian Rockies

Fibraplex’s repair kit for their carbon poles uses a hacksaw blade and emery board.

Locale: NC Foothills

If you don’t want to DIY, check with an archery supply shop ….. they use hi-speed cutters for shortening CF arrow shafts.

Locale: Southern Arizona

Thanks good ideas.
Peter

Best to wear a dust mask or resperator, eye protection and gloves (latex) the C.F dust is nasty for the lungs and the fibers can get into your eyes, and work there way into your skin. Work it wet if possible.

Locale: Central Texas

Which method did you go with and how were the results? I’m in a similar situation.

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

http://www.harborfreight.com/bench-top-cut-off-saw-42307.html
$25, plus $10 for 3-2″ blades, very thin kerf, cuts up to 2″ o.d., but you might have to rotate the tube for the larger sizes.

Locale: Upper Midwest

I use an arrow saw at home. The HF mini saw above works also, just remember to roll the tube as you cut it.

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

Oops, my mistake. Meant to say HF mini-saw cuts up to 1/2 inch diameter tube, not 2 inch. You can go a little larger by rolling the tube, as Chris H points out. Sorry for the typo.

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How to Cut Carbon Fiber Tubes

  1. Materials Needed:
  2. Cutting Carbon Fiber Tubes:
  3. Choose the right blade for the job: This is the most important part. When cutting composites, it is ideal to use a diamond coated abrasive cut-off blade rather than a toothed blade.
  4. Support the tube:
  5. Clean the edge:

Regarding this, can you cut carbon fiber?

Carbon fiber sheets can be cut with standard tools, ranging from scissors and razor knives for thinner sheets, to abrasive cutting wheels and dremel tools. For cutting many carbon fiber veneer sheets, we recommend the use of carbide tools, abrasive type cutters, or diamond crusted tools.

One may also ask, can I cut a carbon seatpost? The seatpost needs to extend past the bottom of the toptube. Other than that, you’ll be fine. Some cf seatposts have a clamping area. If you cut off the clamping area, you can‘t safely clamp it anymore.

In this way, can you cut carbon fiber with a hacksaw?

Remember that a hacksaw will only cut in a forward direction. Most hacksaws come equipped with a 24 TPI (teeth per inch) blade that will work for most jobs, including cutting a carbon fiber bar or steerer tube, but we highly recommend using a finer 32 TPI blade when sawing a carbon post or steerer.

I want to use a woven carbon fiber tube in cloth form to act as an acoustic absorber in a 40 mm internal diameter pipe. The bad news is that it has to carry a variety of solvent/air mixtures at temperatures up to 80 °C.

When it is cut to length the ends fray horrendously. Now, an obvious way to stop this would be to put some tape around the end. Unfortunately I cannot find a tape that can withstand alcohols, ketones, hydrocarbons and chlorinated hydrocarbons. The solvents are why I am using carbon fiber in the first place. I could move to glass fiber but I expect I would encounter a similar problem.

How can I stop the cut ends of the mat from fraying?

How to cut carbon fiber

How to cut carbon fiber

3 Answers 3

One solution would simply to hem it as you would any other textile if it’s just for the ends of a tube blanket stitch would be easy enough to do by hand and should do the job.

Stitching it like Chris Johns mentioned would be a good solution. Carbon fiber is typically sold in a tow (untwisted bundle of fibers), but with a large gauge needle you might be able to get it to work on a standard sewing machine. There will probably be some fuzz to manage as fibers are broken in the process, but would be much easier than by hand.

It may be a bit more expensive, but a carbon fiber yarn would likely behave much better in the sewing machine. Also Goodfellow carbon fiber yarn.
Reference book: Design and Manufacture of Textile Composites

There are likely a number of contractors that will preform this stitching. Their prices are likely very high, but they may be a good resource if it proves to be more difficult.
Kuka Robotics
LayStitch Technologies

Another option would be to pinch the ends of the carbon fiber fabric between graphite, metal, or other material to mechanically hold it (rivets or other).

Another, less advisable but possible quick fix solution would be Muffler Putty (Exhaust Cement) sold at local auto parts stores.

There is one basic operation employed almost universally throughout the composites manufacturing industry: CNC machining.

How to cut carbon fiber

This compression router from Amamco is used for CNC machining of composites materials.

How to cut carbon fiber

Precorp, wholly owned by Sandvik Coromant, offers several cutting tools designed for use with composite materials. Precorp’s products use polycrystalline diamond (PCD) bonded under high temperature and pressure into carbide blank tools.

How to cut carbon fiber

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Read Next

  • Composites testing as part of a building block approach, Part 2: Upper building block levels
  • The other composites industry supply chain challenge: Talent
  • Plant tour: ATC Manufacturing, Post Falls, Idaho, U.S.

Composites manufacturing facilities are notoriously dynamic, and given the multiple combinations of fiber, resin and manufacturing processes available for making composite parts, no two composites manufacturing facilities are very much alike. That said, there is one basic operation employed almost universally throughout the composites manufacturing industry: CNC machining.

Every composite part, post-mold, requires some sort of finishing, ranging from the drilling of holes to the trimming of excess material. Ironically, particularly given the universality of CNC operations in composites manufacturing, one of the very worst things you can do to a composite part is drill it or cut it. Particular care is required because composites behave differently than metals do when they are drilled and cut. Their stacked-laminate construction makes them susceptible to delamination, fiber breakout and fiber tearing, particularly if cutting tools are worn or dull. Simply put, composites perform most optimally if left whole, but that is often too much to ask.

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So, fabricators are left to do the next-best thing: Drill and cut carefully. Doing so is influenced by a variety of factors, ranging from optimized speeds and feeds to composites-friendly and composites-optimized cutting tools that can withstand the highly abrasive nature of composite materials. Fortunately, the latter are in ample supply at IMTS, if you know where to look. Below are some of the exhibitors featuring cutting tools made specifically for processing carbon-fiber and glass-fiber-composite materials.

In 2008, when Sandvik Coromant (Fair Lawn, New Jersey) acquired Precorp (Spanish Fork, Utah), it inherited what was, arguably, the largest cutting tool product line developed exclusively for composites machining. In the decade since, Sandvik has put its considerable weight behind evolving Precorp ’s products, which uses polycrystalline diamond (PCD) in carbide blanks to fabricate a full line of drills, countersinks and reamers. Sandvik itself also has several products designed for handheld, power-fed and CNC-based composites drilling and cutting. These include the CoroDrill 452 for handheld drilling of carbon fiber, as well as carbon fiber/titanium and carbon fiber/aluminum stacked materials. Power-fed options include the 85 PT series CD10 PCD vein drill for carbon fiber, or the 40DH series for stacked configurations. As important, Sandvik has also developed a database designed to help composites fabricators pick the tool they need based on material and application requirements.

Iscar Metals Inc. (Arlington, Texas) has developed several products to meet a variety of composites machining and drilling needs. Iscar’s material technology is based on diamond-coated carbide. For drilling, the company offers the Sumocham series, designed for use with CNC, robotic or power-feed systems. For milling, Iscar has developed the Multi-Master tool systems with interchangeable heads, featuring a carbide head with brazed PCD tips. Primary applications for this range of tools are orbital milling, edging and ramping down. Also in the milling family, EPX is a line of end mills with opposite cutting-edge directions, intended for machining carbon fiber. Finally, also for milling, is the EPN-F family of solid carbide end mills, which features mill teeth divided into sections.

Amamco (Duncan, South Carolina) offers a line of solid carbide tools for routing and drilling composite materials. Routing products include a compression router, a slow spiral router, a diamond cut router and a special-purpose router. For drilling, Amamco offers the Double Margin drill, the Eight Faceted composite drill, the Diamond Coated (Helical) composite drill, the Straight Flute composite drill, the Short Taper diamond-coated drill, the Single Flute drill and a full line of drill reamers.

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How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

We are going to cut with a circular saw some carbon fiber reinforced epoxy parts.

There is little dust after the cut.

How can we clean them?

Just water? Some additional product?

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

The only type of circular saw blade that should be used to cut a carbon fiber composite is a diamond, or other abrasive type, blade. This should be water cooled during cutting to keep down dust and to avoid degrading the epoxy with too much heat.

Further clean-up can be done with soap and water. Dry as needed, above 100C (typically 120C). This removes water that may have penetrated into the part.

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

Yes, we have a diamond cutter with water cooling.

The parts will be glued afterwards.

So we will use soap (dish soap, maybe good against fat?). No accetone

And use the oven

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

One additional question:

What do you do with the dirty water used to clean the dust?

It has very small carbon chips.

The prepreg manufacturer told me to just pour it away into the drainpipe but I don’t have a good feeling about it

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

No one here has mentioned waterjet cutting. why? Also, after cutting drilling I always specify a brush-coat of laminating (low viscosity) epoxy resin to seal the laminate edges.

FYI. there is a relatively new SAE AIR or ARP for machining and drilling/reaming composites. On Monday I’ll provide that document number/title.

Regards, Wil Taylor
o Trust – But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You ‘believe’ is irrelevant. [“Orion”, Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

RE: How to clean carbon fiber cut parts

Some relevant documents. aircraft composites related. for what they are worth.

SAE.
AIR4844 Composites and Metal Bonding Glossary
AIR4938 Composite and Bonded Structure Technician/Specialist Training Document
AIR5719 Teaching Points for a Class on “Critical Issues in Composite Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul”
AIR5367 Machining of Composite Materials, Components and Structures
ARP5089 COMPOSITE REPAIR NDT/NDI HANDBOOK
PT-200 Damage and Repair of Aerospace Composite Materials

USAF T.O. 1-1-690 GENERAL ADVANCED COMPOSITE REPAIR PROCESSES MANUAL [not readily available]

AGARD-CP-530 Debonding/Delamination of Composites

Regards, Wil Taylor
o Trust – But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You ‘believe’ is irrelevant. [“Orion”, Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

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“SideCut” carbon fiber, sleek and refined texture resembles blackwood grain. The process of making a Fatcarbon “sidecut” is remarkable in many ways. From an impressive stack of carbon fiber layers impregnated with a polymer that goes to each carbon fiber block (that is later cut into smaller pieces) to the amount of force required to consolidate layers together. The visual aspect that shimmers in the sunlight and the benefits that carbon fiber blocks offer: Lightweight, high stiffness flexural strength, impact resistance, dimensional stability under various temperature conditions makes it widely used in many applications, such as knife making, jewelry, watchmaking, machined components for robotics, space and more.

The possibilities

A large variety of blocks thickness makes it perfect for:

  • Robotics and industry. For milling and turning lightweight, durable, and dimensionally stable components.
  • Musical instrument manufacturing and decorating. Carbon fiber offers much greater stiffness and torsional stability than conventional materials which allows making lighter and stiffer stringed instruments.
  • Knifemaking. Excellent material for knife scales, liners, or knife handle inlays, easy to shape on a belt sander and on the CNC or manual mill/router with a carbide tool
  • Architecture & interior design. While interior designer focuses on improving the space efficiency and the functionality, the ascetics are equally important, colored carbon fiber sheets are great for this purpose.
  • Watchmaking. Watertight Fatcarbon composites are a perfect base for watch cases, which will offer not only aesthetics but also lightweight (2.1g/cm3), and durability of the lifetime.

There is a quality range of Kevlar scissors and shears that are produced specifically to work with the trending technical fibers that, are utilized in the ever-increasing massive range of products that begin from ballistic protection to automotive, to roofing, through to wind turbines, aerospace, and so on. It was developed together with industry innovators to make sure that maximum performance is attained.

What actually makes excellent scissors?

A quality and excellent pair of scissors will typically be produced from ‘hot forged’ high carbon steel metal, that’s tempered and also hardened. The process that’s utilized to forge that steel in a quality drop hammer functions to really strengthen the steel’s crystal structure. The process of the hardening is one that is controlled scientifically and it gets enhanced much further by tempering. It is this tempering that offers a uniform all-round hardness on the blades of the scissors before it gets ground. Great care is then taken to ensure a complete finish of all surfaces, especially within the bows so that the most maximum comfort of use can be attained.

Selecting the best or most appropriate scissors for your job

Utilizing the most appropriate scissors ensures that any job you are handling becomes safer, easier and a lot more effective. Here are some points that should help you greatly in selecting the most ideal option even when ordering your Kevlar scissors online;

  • Choose the size of scissors that is actually most appropriate for the type of project you will be undertaking. Large scissors are typically utilized for cutting large and huge amounts of materials, scissors that feature long shanks together with short blades are utilized for cutting through materials that are thick, while shard, small scissors are utilized for any projects that demand a high accuracy degree.
  • Utilizing the wrong size of scissors for your project decreases the life expectancy and performance of the scissors and could even deform its pivot.
  • You should always ensure that you go for the largest sized pair of scissors which will be comfortably held by your hands.
  • Certain materials like Kevlar, glass fiber, as well as carbon fiber can be truly challenging to cut when you try using conventional scissors for the cutting. The creation of a particular range enables you to be capable of successfully cutting any of these modern materials via Teflon coating and special machining settings. These scissors feature ten times more cutting life extension or expectation when you compare them to the standard scissors the world has always known.
  • It is not suggested that the amazing scissors should be utilized in cutting both carbon fiber or Kevlar, or glass fiber as users have admitted to a fast performance fall-off. When you have to cut any of the two fibers, you should utilize one scissors exclusively for every one among the fibers.

These are all the tips you need to know concerning how you should choose the most suitable Kevlar scissors for cutting carbon as well as all the other fibers. Using these tips very well will see your scissors lasting for as long as possible.

The thought of sawing into your newly bought carbon fork can seem like a scary prospect but with some straight forward tips you’ll be well equipped to make the cut.

Measuring and cutting your fork steerer tube has two parts, dry assembling of the headset, and deciding where to cut, we’re here to demystify headset parts, measuring (twice) and cutting carbon. Fitting the expanding plug and adjusting the headset is covered HERE

First of all, the headsets we provide with all of our aluminium frames are integrated headsets, this means the bearings sit directly in the frame rather than a pressed in cup, the bearings themselves are held in place by their chamfered outer edges mating with the machined chamfers in the frame’s headtube and being held under compression. Fitting an integrated headset doesn’t require any special tools.

The first time you assemble the headset it’s best not to use any grease or anti seize and dry fit the components. This dry-run is just to find where you need to cut the fork and is a much cleaner job if everything isn’t covered in grease.

Step 1.

Depending on the year and model of your frame, the fork will have either an integrated carbon crown race or will require the use of the supplied split crown race. If the fork crown is flat you’ll need to slide on a split ring crown race.

The larger lower bearing slides onto the steerer tube with the external chamfered edge facing upward.

How to Produce And Cut the Carbon Fiber In TOP-FIRE

    February 01, 2021

How to Produce And Cut the Carbon Fiber In TOP-FIRE

TOP-FIRE has independent carbon fiber processing production and cutting factory.

Main Component Of Hot Melt Prepreg Machine

1.Yarn release mechanism

Mainly complete the laying of the yarn,according to the different gram weight of the prepreg, the number of spindles is also different. The basic requirement is that the output tension of the yarn is relatively stable, and the yarn is arranged uniformly without twisting.

2.Spreading mechanism

Mainlycomplete the yarn uniformity, dispersion, tension adjustment function,this mechanism belongs to the front key equipment of the compound machine.

3.Hot melt unit

Mainly complete the melt impregnation of yarn and resin,the basic requirements are uniform yarn tension, uniform arrangement, uniform resin impregnation, uniform prepreg thickness, uniform yarn distribution, and appearance of yarn without defects such as strands and yarn breaks.

4.Hot plate mechanism

Mainly complete the melt impregnation of resin。Complete further melt impregnation of resin.

5.Coldplate mechanism

It mainly completes the cooling and temperature reduction of the prepreg cloth, and prepares for the release paper.

6.Traction roller mechanism

Finish the traction and rewinding of prepreg,Prepare for release paper peeling.

7.Release paper unwinding mechanism

Mainly complete the laying action of release paper with resin,Unwind passively.

8.Film collection mechanism

Complete the curling action of the peeled PE film,Active curling mechanism.

9.Rewinding mechanism of release paper

Complete the curling action of the release paper peeled from the prepreg, the release paper can be recycled and reused.The mechanism has two sets, which are divided into upper and lower release paper winding.

10.Film release mechanism

Complete the laying action of PE film,to prepare for the crimping of the prepreg, the mechanism has two sets to complete the laying action of the upper and lower PE film.

11.Support unwinding mechanism

Complete the laying action of each type of support cloth.

12.Tow PE film winding mechanism

Complete the curling action of the PE film on the surface of the support cloth.

13.Double station winding mechanism

Complete the curling action of the prepreg.

How to cut carbon fiber

How to cut carbon fiber

You probably don’t think about your car’s wheels that much, but to state the exceedingly obvious they’re an essential part of every car.

They’re also surprisingly heavy, as you’ll know if you’ve ever rotated your tires or had to change to a spare at the side of the road. Heaviness is a quality undesirable for fuel efficiency.

Carbon fiber, however, is light. So could carbon fiber wheels be a match made in heaven, an ideal way of improving the efficiency of future vehicles?

Possibly so, though for the meantime, as demonstrated by Jay Leno in his latest video (via Motor Authority), they’re aimed at improving performance.

Why go lightweight?

The weight of regular wheels has more impact on the car than just its curb weight, though reduce the weight of any component on a car and you work towards a more efficient vehicle.

It’s the properties of a car’s wheels that also influence how the reduced weight of carbon fiber components can bring about improvements.

Firstly, wheels are not “sprung” mass. Sprung mass refers to any part of the vehicle carried by the suspension, but wheels move about on the other end of a vehicle’s suspension.

They and the tires follow the lie of the land, and the lower their weight the easier they’re able to do this.

Carbon fiber wheels have less inertia when they move, hitting a bump and returning to their starting position rather than being launched over it, to however small a degree. This, as you might imagine, is better for ride quality.

But wheels also spin, generating rotational mass.

A spinning mass, as Carbon Revolution’s Brett Gass demonstrates with a gyroscope in the video, is harder to turn. It’s also harder to start and stop, because you’re always fighting against that rotational mass.

The key here is improving that ability to start. Make a wheel light (indeed, making all four wheels light), and it takes less effort to get moving. Less effort to get moving means less fuel or electricity used, increasing mileage and range.

How to cut carbon fiber

Carbon Revolution wheels tested on Jay Leno’s Garage

Other benefits

Carbon fiber structures aren’t just light, but also very stiff and strong–hence their use in racing cars for years. This helps prevent flex under harder cornering, something noted in the video.

While currently expensive–the full set of wheels mounted to the Porsche costs $15,000–improvements in the technology used to make carbon fiber is also bringing down the cost. It may never be as cheap as making aluminum wheels, but its benefits could make it desirable for those really serious about economy.

And while this is subjective, carbon fiber also looks pretty cool.

Few of us are immune to the joys of aesthetics on our vehicles, and those who enjoy making a statement about efficiency as much as they enjoy efficiency itself will no doubt get a kick from running carbon fiber wheels.

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  • Waterjet cutting of carbon fiber?

    I tried cutting some carbon fiber plate on the omax water jet at work but it delaminated pretty bad. I know that water jet cutting of carbon fiber plates is typically the best practice but I have no idea on the pressures needed or feed rates that would work well. So can you wise people give a waterjet newbie some of your knowledge.

    ^ don’t think you will find it is the best practice for most laminated materials!

    You can try with a low pressure piercing attachment but will still likely see delamination. In dedicated shops they have a second head on the machine that drills start holes for each cut. This allows you to effectively edge cut on the lead-in.

    I suppose you could accomplish this without too much work by drilling on a CNC (or with some careful layout work), and then using a corner plate fixture to register the corner of the material to match the tool paths.

    For cutting laminates on waterjet I am using low pressure setting. Starting and ending the cut outside the material helps, as well as pr-drilling. But a lot seems to depend on the material and different batches cut differently. A bit of a gamble.

    I have seen a good number of carbon fiber parts cut on a water jet, and I have never seen any without at least some delamination. The aircraft parts we made were only rough cut then finished by hand. CNC routing with a compression cutter seems to be a good way to do it from what I’ve been told, no experience.

    I assume you are referring to a laminate that was either pressed or bagged in an autoclave to eliminate voids. The delamination occurs either by voids between the layers, too low a resign content, or two much difference between the cured resin structure and the fibers. One other factor, related to voids, can be any lack of affinity of the resign with the surface of the fibers, i.e. coated or not coated.

    Voids in the laminate will allow the jet to disperse, radically if not used with garnet, much like the drilling problem when trying to start without a relief hole. Furthermore, the entrance of the jet into the void is deviated by the sloping of the void wall when entry occurs (speaking in a very general term) and the hydraulic pressure differential between the autoclaved void (low pressure) and the jet (high pressure)for an instant, sucks the jet into the void.

    With respect to low resin content, the sweet spots are at the opposite ends of the content issue. With high resin content and successful autoclaving, the structure will be more consistent and less prone to voids caused by a lack of resin. A very low resin content is can be cut as well since the structure is mostly voids and the dispersion is not trapped. It’s in the middle of the resin content ratio that the problems occur. This is unfortunate because in this mid-zone is where the best strength to weight ratio occurs.

    You can’t do anything about the difference in material properties between the fiber and resin, since in most cases the design calls out the construction. If you have latitude to alter the properties of the resin to more closely match the fiber, i.e. fillers, give it a try. I find in most cases it can result in a composite contrary to the design intent.

    We routinely cut laminates by waterjet, during out initial trials for production tooling (we were a composite shop) but found the process too slow and cumbersome, and just not conducive to our process or product. We tried fine orifice cutting as well as course cutting and with garnet. The caveat here is that our product was considered a very low resin content composite. My gut tells me that in your circumstances, all else being equal you need to increase the inertia of the stream, which only comes from garnet cutting, and void elimination.

    If the composite is not bagged or autoclaved the composite will be riddled with voids and you will not get around the delamination process unless you increase the size of the jet significantly, lower the water pressure, raise the size of the garnet and significantly reduce the resin content.

    This is probably way more than you needed but I hope it gives you some ideas. Unfortunately, as you probably know, composites are a cooky thing and can’t be expected to behave like solid materials, i.e. metal.

    Thanks for listening.

    I cut carbon fiber or garolite or other laminates occasionally. With some materials I have an idea of how far from the pierce it may delaminate with a low pressure pierce, and so for large enough interior cutouts, can put the pierce far enough from the part line that the blowout stays in the waste.

    As mentioned, for perimeter cuts, start off the edge. With a nest of parts with all perimeter cuts, start in the kerf of the previous part.

    For parts where that isn’t enough, I’ll use the toolpath to create a drill template – waterjet a template in mdf or aluminum with holes at all the pierce points, clamp that to the laminate, go to the bridgeport and drill per the template. Use one of said holes to register the start location for the waterjet cut. How much fuss that is depends how small and thus how accurately positioned the holes need to be to ensure they wind up under the pierces.

    You can get accessories to automatically predrill pierce points using a pneumatic drill, or fancy pressure and abrasive flow control to directly pierce without damage, but that’s $$$$$ and maybe not economic for one-offs.

    Our biggest PIA with delaminating on a routine basis is tiny holes in 5xxx aluminum, of all things. Most of our low pressure piercing is for making cleaner aluminum parts.

    Your source for best practices and tips for working with carbon fiber.

    How to cut carbon fiber

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    If you have ever wondered why one piece of carbon fiber might look different from another piece of carbon fiber, you’re not alone. Carbon fiber comes in many different weaves and each one serves a different purpose, and it isn’t just cosmetic. Carbon fibers are made from precursors such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and rayon. The…

    How to cut carbon fiber

    Cutting Carbon Fiber with a Waterjet, Advantages and Disadvantages

    What is a Waterjet? A waterjet uses a pump to create a high pressure (up to 90,000 psi) jet of water that can cut through anything from foam to 8+” steel plate. When cutting through metal or carbon fiber, an abrasive material, such as garnet, is used to aid in the cutting process. (See the…

    Advantages and Cost Factors Of Composite Materials

    Written by Cliff Lester, under the supervision of Dr. Steven R. Nutt, this white paper provides an overview of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP, or carbon fiber) and looks at the advantages when compared to other materials, such as wood or metal, as well as cost factors associated with manufacturing carbon fiber parts. Cliff Lester…

    How to cut carbon fiber

    Product Details:

    Place of Origin: China
    Brand Name: GDE Carbon
    Model Number: GDE- CNC Carbon Fiber

    Payment & Shipping Terms:

    Minimum Order Quantity: 1 piece
    Price: enquiry to [email protected]
    Packaging Details: Standard Export Carton or Customized
    Delivery Time: 3-5 Days
    Payment Terms: Western Union,PayPal, T/T,MoneyGram
    Supply Ability: 10,000 Sheet/Sheets per Month
    Supply Type: Make-to-Order Raw Material: Carbon Fiber Fabric&Epoxy Resin
    Style: Twill/Plain/UD Surface Finish: Glossy/Matte/Dull Polish
    Density: 1.6g/cm3 Thickness: 0.2mm-50mm
    CF Content: Full Carbon/Half Carbon Dimensions: 200x250mm,400x500mm,500x500mm,500x600mm,600x600mm, 1200x1000mm,etc
    Tensile Strength: 3500 Mpa Physical Property:: Light Weight, Strong Toughness, Corrosion Resistance
    More Service: Carbon Fiber Sheet CNC Cutting By Clients Drawing(dwg./dxf. Format)

    1. CNC Cutting Service by clients drawing, it need AutoCAD dwg./dxf. format drawings.

    2. Material: 1K, 1.5K,3K,6K,12K carbon fiber sheet, regular use 3K carbon fiber sheet.

    3. Thickness: 0.2mm-50mm

    4. Surface: Plain Glossy, Plain Matte, Twill Glossy, Twill Matte, Dull Polish

    To Customers:

    GDE is very honor that you find our website!

    In order to fast efficient reply your requirements, please ready your AutoCAD drawings to [email protected]

    Please mail or shown on the drawings that each parts thickness and quantities. Also GDE accpet customized sample small order for testing before orders!

    How to cut carbon fiber

    How to cut carbon fiberHow to cut carbon fiber How to cut carbon fiber

    Contact Person: Ms. Jessica Qin

    Tel: 0086-510-88207099

    Supply Type: Make-to-Order

    Raw Material: Carbon Fiber Fabric&Epoxy Resin

    Style: Twill/Plain/UD

    Surface Finish: Glossy/Matte/Dull Polish

    Supply Type: Make-to-Order

    Raw Material: Carbon Fiber Fabric&Epoxy Resin

    Style: Twill/Plain/UD

    Surface Finish: Glossy/Matte/Dull Polish

    Supply Type: Make-to-Order

    Raw Material: Carbon Fiber Fabric&Epoxy Resin

    Style: Twill/Plain/UD

    Surface Finish: Glossy/Matte/Dull Polish

    Supply Type: Make-to-Order

    Raw Material: Carbon Fiber Fabric&Epoxy Resin

    Style: Twill/Plain/UD

    Surface Finish: Glossy/Matte/Dull Polish

    Supply Type: Make-to-Order

    Raw Material: Carbon Fiber Fabric&Epoxy Resin

    Style: Twill/Plain/UD

    Surface Finish: Glossy/Matte/Dull Polish