10 Top Tips For Cutting Carbon Fibre

  1. Get The Blade Right – diamond and tungsten blades are best for ensuring a high quality cut – these are unlikely to blunt quickly and cost you money with constant replacements.

  2. Beware Of Heat – carbon fibre has low thermal conductivity –it does not dissipate heat like most materials do. Therefore there is a risk of the material burning or being damaged when cutting – think about this when you cut.

  3. Safety first  –  not only is it essential to have the right PPE (coveralls, respirator,eye protection etc.), but good ventilation is highly recommended on tool extraction or downdraft tables. Only use ATEX rated equipment – these are capable of handling the volume of particulate produced. Secondly, fibre splinters cause skin infection – protect yourself by wearing hand protection.

  4. Masking Is Essential – everyone knows how easy it is to go off the line and ruin the whole piece in the process. Use a quality tape, such as the BAXT T9, to mark out cutting lines and where not to cut.

  5. Mind The Gap – when cutting, it is always best to leave a 1mm gap between the cut and the line – not only is it your insurance policy against going wrong, but it also allows you a margin for sanding down afterwards.

  6. Choose Your Grits Wisely – when it comes to sanding it best to start with a lower grit (such as P180), and then work up to a grit such as P400 as the edge becomes smoother. By starting low and going higher you are maximising your chance of a quality finish.

  7. Don’t Forget The Holes – if you have any holes or complex cuts on your piece, forget about sandpaper – a fine file is best for this. Make sure that all cutting and sanding is done on the high-finish side.

  8. Make It Shine  to ensure a top quality edge to your carbon a suggestion would be to apply a light wax, this is a great way to cover up any sanding marks

  9. Take It Steady – hurrying has to be the single biggest cause of wastage in the industry. Everyone would agree that its worth taking a bit longer and ending up with a much more satisfying result!

  10. Look Out, CARBONite’s (Nearly) About – DTC is shortly to launch the BAXT CARBONite range of abrasives – designed specifically for the composite industry. Premium quality, outstanding results… stay tuned!

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