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Water Jetting Carbon Fiber Fabric

04/08/2016 6:02 PM

I've just received information that there may be a requirement to cut some carbon fiber fabric on the water jet machine in our lab. The party that wants the cutting done, requires an option that's quicker than using shears to cut it.That's pretty much all the information I have at the moment and we have never cut the material before.

So I know that carbon fiber can be cut on the water jet, but I'm not sure about how to clamp it down and how to keep it from moving around during the cut. I'm also unsure about whether or not abrasive will be needed. I'm guessing it won't be. Finally, will the CF fabric be affected by the water when it is submerged? I've heard something about the fibers swelling up and fraying.

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#1

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/08/2016 6:20 PM

Do let the forum know how the telephone call with the material supplier went.

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#2

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/08/2016 6:53 PM

If you (or they) use enough elves, shears will be plenty fast.

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#3

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/08/2016 7:52 PM

Have to make something...

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/08/2016 10:37 PM

I would try something like this...

You would have to experiment with how many layers you could cut at a time, and how fast to change the blades, and what type of blades you might acquire or find or design...A solid diamond blade edge would be desired...A blade sharpener built in would help......A jig for holding the fabric, that would allow you to work off the edge and turn...

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Handheld-Electric-Cutter-Scissors-Shears-Fabric-Cloth-Leather-Carpet-10cm-Blade-/151315877198

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#4

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/08/2016 8:34 PM

This is a new one.

This is neat fiber, no reinforcement or resin?

I've never seen this done but I'm guessing there will fraying at the cut line.

My suggestion is to contact the machine supplier and any local shops that may be willing to help you and offer advice.

Also, the fabric supplier should offer some help. Surely you aren't the first.

Beyond that, no help here.

Good luck.

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#11
In reply to #4

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 8:49 PM

Don't know about the fraying... They use waterjet for cutting cloth, carpet and the like.

Now if it a laminate, one had to be aware/concerned about is delamination.

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#12
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Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 8:59 PM

OP said fabric.

The web sites I've seem all talk about cutting composites not just the fabric.

There's the problem.

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#13
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Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 9:25 PM

I have programmed and cut laminates, fabrics, phenolics including carbon fiber on a waterjet. Just have to be aware of what can happen. Giving some experience what I encountered. Not knowing the tightness of the weave it could be a trial and error and it will be.

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#14
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Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 9:47 PM

You know more about this than I.

Go for it.

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#6

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/08/2016 11:35 PM

Well, I'm a new intern at the lab and all I was asked to research was how to hold down the material. We anticipate it will move around a lot while being cut on the water jet.

I do know that the people asking us to do it have been using shears and they inquired with us about the water jet because they're evidently unhappy about the pace of cutting with shears.

It's definitely done; I've read about people using the water jet to cut carbon fiber, but I can't find any specifics.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 12:16 AM

If it's really fabric, clamping it firmly between plates seems the only hope.

Ask waterjetters.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 1:36 AM

How bigga pieces we talkin' here?

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#9

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 6:07 PM

There a number of ways, if it's sheets of carbon fiber, you can stack the sheets. If the sheets move, one way to keep it in place is to put a heavier consumable piece on top, if contamination would be a problem.

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#15
In reply to #9

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 11:41 PM

Since most waterjet tables have a pretty open grid to support the pieces being cut, I suspect a consumable/sacrificial sheet will be required both above and below the layers of fabric. Depending on the complexity and size of the pieces being cut, it may be tricky to hold the upper sheet in place during the cut.

My first thought would be sheets of Masonite, with the rough side towards the fabric to reduce slippage. Again, the complexity and size of the pieces being cut, the method of hold-down, and the precision required, will determine how thick the retaining sheets need to be. Some experimentation is definitely appropriate.

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#16
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Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 11:49 PM

Below there or cross slates for supports, you can at what are like cardboard bricks. Some of the issues that can occur is when stacking the material, at times the jet will deflect and flow between sheets and the sheets will slide.

As for the top, I used plywood as the top sheet.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/10/2016 12:01 AM

Consumable (like Masonite) sounds reasonable. The other thing to worry about is that they ensure to completely dry the finished pieces afterward. Worked at an electronics manufacturer that purchased waterjet cut foam gaskets to seal a trigger switch against dust/dirt. Got few bags of wet/moldy gaskets occasionally.

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#10

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/09/2016 8:34 PM

You might try tack-it over and over....which when allowed to dry makes that sticky goo that glue dots are made from...You can mix it with water and paint it on....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QUfPpiw1kU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX3zU5fp5Q4

http://www.amazon.com/Aleenes-Tack-It-Over-4oz/dp/B00178QQ84

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#18

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/10/2016 7:32 AM

I thought about ingesting carbon fiber or something. What could have happened.

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#19

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/10/2016 10:21 AM

Why not consider using a non-transferred plasma jet together with a vacuum hold down plate. Very small plasma jets can be achieved, of the order of a few thousands of an inch, it will also seal the edge of the cut at the same time.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/10/2016 11:36 AM

Plasma needs pressure to move the spent material. And your vacuum hold downs, is that a consumable also?

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/11/2016 7:22 AM

Think about using file card. We were using this technique in the 1970s to cut multilayers of cloth for the tailoring industry.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/11/2016 7:50 AM

Not familiar with file card, what's file card? Heavyweight paper/non corrugated cardboard?

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/11/2016 8:13 AM

File Card - Search under File Card on Google. File Card is used to clean metal files, rasps, rusted parts etc , it can be obtained in widths of the order of 1.0 metre (39 inches) and any length.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/11/2016 8:34 AM

OMG,... you knocks some cob webs loose, it was 7th grade when I last heard the term file card....

thanks

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#25
In reply to #21

Re: Water jetting carbon fiber fabric

04/11/2016 10:49 AM

I do remember file card, and in fact have and use one regularly, but I was not aware that it was made in strips anywhere near that wide or long.

I fail to visualize how it could be used to cut any complex shape, especially sharp concave curves/corners.

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#26

Re: Water Jetting Carbon Fiber Fabric

04/14/2016 4:17 PM

I would think clamping it close to where the cut will be. Water jet cutting is pretty awesome. It looks like it will cut anything.

http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/78538/watch-water-jet-cut-everyday-objects-half

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