We often get questions on how to cut carbon fiber tubes. Cutting carbon fiber tubing can be difficult if done incorrectly. Today we will show you 3 common issues and the best way to avoid/fix them.
Delamination: This often occurs when cutting unidirectional tubing. Individual filaments or tows tear away from the rest of the composite.
Fix: Slow down, take your time while cutting the tube. Let the material grind away at its own pace. Do not force the blade through the tube. If you are still having issues, try using a thinner blade with finer grit.
Burring: This occurs at the last second of cutting. This is due to lack of support/securing one, or both, ends of the tube. The carbon fiber tube begins to break away as the final filaments are cut.
Fix: Secure both ends of the tube. Use a weight or clamp to ensure minimal movement throughout the cut.
Overheating:This is often result of intense friction. It is often occurs when cutting thicker walled carbon fiber tubes. The resin reaches its TG and begins to flow.
Fix: Reduce heat. Here we have a few options. Either slow down to reduce friction, or, use liquid as a coolant to keep the heat down. If you are cutting multiple tubes it may save time to use a wet saw.
(Bonus) Fraying:When cutting aramid or carbon/aramid hybrid tubes the cut edge is often “fuzzy”. Aramid is a difficult material to cut, it is very tough. The Fuzz is result of the aramid tearing instead of cutting.
Fix: After cutting “touch-up” the tube with sand paper. It may not be a perfect edge but it will help.
Though there are many other problems you may encounter when cutting carbon fiber, these are the most common. We have been cutting carbon fiber tubing for years, and have experienced every issue you can think of. If you are having trouble feel free to reach out, we can help.