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  1. #1
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    How can I cut aluminum foil?

    This is my first post here. I work where we use many small circular aluminum pieces. They have a smaller half circle cut out of one side of it (see attached image). These things are expensive and only available from the manufacturer. They are $700 for a pack of 300 small pieces of aluminum foil. We have been able to find a suitable aluminum foil for our needs. Is there a way to cut aluminum foil with some sort of laser engraver or cutting machine? If so, what would be the best one for my needs? I am new to this world, but I have some working knowledge of a CNC machine.

    For clarification, the OD is 37mm and the ID is roughly 32mm.

  2. #2
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    Maybe try having a die made so they can be stamped out with a press?
    Halfnutz

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #3
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    Hi JMM - As 1/2 nut says a clicking press and a die knife will do a fine job for that part. Otherwise a local laser company would do it easy. What is the foil thickness? If you try to machine it, holding it will be the issue, will need to be a vacuum clamp of some sort. Laser is the go or a die knife. Peter

  4. #4
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    You can get aluminum foil in stacks of sheets as well as on rolls. An abrasive water-jet cutter could cut that shape out of the whole stack at once, giving you multiple pieces, Nesting the cuts should give you at least $700 worth, for a fraction of the cost.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  5. #5
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    The foil thickness is 0.001" or 25 um. If I were to use a laser, do you know what type of laser, wavelength, and what laser power would be best?

  6. #6
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    I have not heard of a water-jet cutter. I will look into that. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    You can get aluminum foil in stacks of sheets as well as on rolls. An abrasive water-jet cutter could cut that shape out of the whole stack at once, giving you multiple pieces, Nesting the cuts should give you at least $700 worth, for a fraction of the cost.
    This could not be done as you say, the stacked sheet would have to be held with a pressure pad to be able to cut this with a water jet, laser would be a fail also as it would not have a very good cut finish being .001" thick, so a simple die with a pressure pad built in would be the most efferent way to do this
    Mactec54

  8. #8
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    I agree that a pressure pad would help with the waterjet operation, but that doesn't seem like a big deal to implement. It's more or less standard practice to have some kind of hold-down for anything you're cutting on a waterjet, and a simple frame fixture would probably be sufficient to hold down a stack of foil. The trouble with cutting the stack with a die is that the edges would tend to stick together; peeling them apart would be tedious with a lot of failures where the piece was thin and delicate. I suppose they could be die-cut individually, but that seems like it would take forever.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  9. #9
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    I agree that a pressure pad would help with the waterjet operation, but that doesn't seem like a big deal to implement. It's more or less standard practice to have some kind of hold-down for anything you're cutting on a waterjet, and a simple frame fixture would probably be sufficient to hold down a stack of foil. The trouble with cutting the stack with a die is that the edges would tend to stick together; peeling them apart would be tedious with a lot of failures where the piece was thin and delicate. I suppose they could be die-cut individually, but that seems like it would take forever.
    You would not be stacking them with a press operation, it would be faster, cleaner and much less cost, per part to do it with a press operation, a water jet the material normally just sits on the machine, just like a plasma machine and there are no previsions to hold a stack such as foil like this, other industries use water jet to cut out stacks of clothing, these are not the standard water jet machine though, here is one cutting .010" thick material, .001" would be much more difficult to do

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUDUxuI08jQ&t=3s
    Mactec54

  10. #10
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    I use a 50W fiber marking machine to make jewlry. I make deep marking and cutting silver, gold, brass, aluminium max 0.8mm thick.
    I use hatch mode to cutting plates between 0.2 and 0.8mm, but if the plate is thinner the laser can cut in line, it is very quick.Attachment 471074 Attachment 471076 .

  11. #11
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneeye View Post
    I use a 50W fiber marking machine to make jewlry. I make deep marking and cutting silver, gold, brass, aluminium max 0.8mm thick.
    I use hatch mode to cutting plates between 0.2 and 0.8mm, but if the plate is thinner the laser can cut in line, it is very quick.Attachment 471074 Attachment 471076 .
    His material is 0.025mm
    Mactec54

  12. #12
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    His material is 0.025mm
    as
    No problem, i've already cut aluminum foil used in the kitchen, it's very thin. Will make a video tomorrow cuttng a kitchen aluminium foil with same shape as him photo.

  13. #13
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    Re: How can I cut aluminum foil?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneeye View Post
    as
    No problem, i've already cut aluminum foil used in the kitchen, it's very thin. Will make a video tomorrow cuttng a kitchen aluminium foil with same shape as him photo.
    I was just saying that his foil was much thinner than what you where cutting, with a laser like what you have, it should be not be problem, cost, is the problem, when you want hundreds of parts, a small hand press is going to be the most cost affective way to do this job
    Mactec54

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