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  1. #1
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    Cutting Carbonfiber, is it possible?

    Does it leave any harmful gases? Is it even possible to cut?


    Any help or thoughts would be great.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cl707programer
    Does it leave any harmful gases? Is it even possible to cut?


    Any help or thoughts would be great.
    Well that all depends on what you intend to use to cut it with. I don't think I have ever noticed it giving off gases. I have used scissors, carbide blades, and carbide router bits successfully. I have also ruined a set of jointer knives and a tool steel bandsaw blade. Long story :frown: . What are you wanting to do? The intent might dictate the answer!

    Mike
    No greater love can a man have than this, that he give his life for a friend.

  3. #3
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    Oh - absolutely!

    Give us a clue as to what you want to do - I can get you through it. This is one area where I am an expert - fibrous composites. Design, processing, tooling, failure analysis and manufacturing.

    Are you trying to cut a cured panel or the fabric or??

    Scott
    Consistency is a good thing....unless you're consistently an idiot.

  4. #4
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    mxtras are you currently involved in the business? If so could you list the processes you use and their advantages and shortcomings.I have at lease one and maybe two gunstocks that I want to get in the molding process. Any help direction or otherwise good info woud be appreciated.

    Mike
    No greater love can a man have than this, that he give his life for a friend.

  5. #5
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    I'm not totally sure what thickness it is I think its 1mm. It will be turned into a R/C car chassis. I was hoping to cut it on our 3300w laser. If I can't cut it on the laser I could use either the VF5 or the router.


    I too work with some composite materials just not C/F. I cut FR-4 Lamitex, Phenolic, Kevlar and a whole lot of high carbon blue steel.


    Thanks for all the quick replies.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by turmite
    mxtras are you currently involved in the business? If so could you list the processes you use and their advantages and shortcomings.I have at lease one and maybe two gunstocks that I want to get in the molding process. Any help direction or otherwise good info woud be appreciated.

    Mike
    Hijack Time!! (nuts)

    That's a tall order, but yes - I can list the processes, the pros and cons, etc. but it would be far simpler to attack it the other way which would be to look at your specific goals, budget, preferences, abilities and volumes and make a decision or recommendation from there.

    I am currently a process engineer at a 'very' large company's Composite Materials Division. For 10 years I worked to developed a process that was a fully automatable, high speed preforming process for glass, carbon, and kevlar. This process was most notibly used to make the first 5 years' production of the Dodge Viper windshield frame.

    Your gunstocks - I am not an enthusiast so I don't have the details about the exact shape or requirements. Tubular shapes with closed ends are tricky to do seamlessly, but I love challenges! Are you using a core? Two shells or a wrapped sock? What are the principal goals of making a composite stock? Is it weight or appearance or a balance of both? Have you looked into using pre-pregs? Carbon is cool stuff but getting it to market with a clean appearance can be tricky because it requires very careful handling to maintain fiber direction and bias - this is where a pre-preg can help. Working with dry Kevlar is really no different than working with glass - you use the same techniques, processes and you can use the same resins but to get the benefits Kevlar has to offer you need high fiber loading densities which are difficult to achieve through simple processes. Ok - I think we are hijacking. I am moving on....

    Can you start a thread for this - maybe throw in with a pic of a typical stock? I don't want us to take this thread over.

    - - - - - Back to the topic - - - - - -

    As far as cutting the CF panel - I assume this is a decrative panel so it is likely a urethane (clear) - is this correct? That will determine resin type. The clear panels are popularly urethanes and are going to cut more freely than an epoxy. The issue will be fraying and edge quality because the resin is not all that stiff and will let go of the fibers when cut. Some may debate this statement and it is not a 100% accurate statement but in general, I will stand behind it. What shape are you wanting to cut? Is it complex?

    A 1MM thick urethane panel can likely be cut with a sharp knife but I am assuming you want to machine this. Plus it would take probably more force than you care to produce by hand!

    I don't have enough info on your project to be all that helpful yet.

    You don't have to worry about fumes unless you really cook it. You will have to worry about the filaments, though. Routing can make them respirable and you might get a bit itchy - similar to fiberglass. Use sharp, aggresive, carbide tooling and try it with maybe 30% -50% lower spindle speeds and feeds just a bit quicker than you would for structural aluminum. You will likely see Ok results with typical end mills, but it depends on the resin - the resin typically dictates the cutting procedures - not the reinforcement fabric. If the result are not satisfactory, try to get your hands on a super high helix, down shear end mill and make sure you back the panel up from underneath. Use a vacuum to get rid of the dust and keep the swarf under control.

    I successfully cut 1.25" thick composite armour plating after many, many attempts. This is the only time in my life I have seen molten carbide in the spindle of a machine! Long story.....

    After cutting, you will want (depending on the use of the part, I guess) to seal the edges maybe with clear nail polish unless you have something better - do a trial to look at compatability if you use nail polish. The edges will cloud up and can start to delaminate over time if exposed to moisture....this was a big problem with the Stealth bomber.

    For something this thin I would typically recommend cutting with an ultrasonic knife, but I am betting you don't have one of those.

    Scott
    Consistency is a good thing....unless you're consistently an idiot.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure of the overall dimensions yet. It will be around 4 X 10" with lots of #6 and #8 thru holes. I would really like to use the laser to cut it if possible. Although no one has told me it was possible yet.

    I was also considering the use of Titanium instead of the C/F, but weight is a consideration when it comes to racing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cl707programer
    I'm not totally sure what thickness it is I think its 1mm. It will be turned into a R/C car chassis. I was hoping to cut it on our 3300w laser. If I can't cut it on the laser I could use either the VF5 or the router.


    I too work with some composite materials just not C/F. I cut FR-4 Lamitex, Phenolic, Kevlar and a whole lot of high carbon blue steel.


    Thanks for all the quick replies.
    What type of model car? 1mm is far to thin for any application on model cars. I have been racing at International level for over 20yrs and designing aftermarket products for the last 5yrs. For nearly any applicatoin you will be looking to use between 2mm and 4mm depending on what class car it is. For Nitro definately 4mm.

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