Cutting and Trimming Composite Materials

In this article we will discuss the use of our Waterjet Cutter for cutting and trimming composite materials, especially carbon fibre.

The semi-finished products in question could be simple 2D plates or 3D artefacts machined on suitable templates, again made in-house.

Our customer, operating in the MOTORSPORT and MEDICAL sector, had the following problems with the old supplier:

frequent delamination of carbon fibre layers,
“Flaring” caused by the return of the jet from the cutting bed,
Tolerances not respected

Solving these problems (problems=opportunities) for us was a challenge we took on with great momentum.

In order to solve the first problem, we installed a drill that would perform breakthrough pre-castings so as to accommodate the casting without it impacting directly on the surface. Carbon fibre does not tolerate high localised stresses.

While a special water-repellent material was used to avoid casting returns to ensure good durability and flatness.

Finally, in relation to tolerances, it is in our DNA to make the most of the capabilities of our Waterjet cutting machine and this has allowed us to achieve tolerances in the size range of 0.05/0.10 mm.