Laser Cutting Composites?

Rick Haney Design

Well-Known Member
I'm looking at the feasablity of using a laser to cut composite materials.Some lasers are high energy for use with composites such as Carbon Fiber materials.I've had some composite parts waterjet cut,But delamination has been a issue.In the case of using waterjet,I have heard of backing the composite to reduce delamination.Has anyone tried a laser cutting service to cut composites?Using CNC would be a possibility if delamination is not a issue.Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated.:biggrin:
 

MT Knives

Well-Known Member
I know they won't cut certain materials like kydex it contains I believe polymers and it will corrode their equipment and void the warrantee. Whatever it contains it's not good. I have had krynite cut but it kind of melts and distorts. I think CNC is the best for most materials. But I am not an expert either.
 

Rick Haney Design

Well-Known Member
MT,Thanks.I'm looking at CNC as a viable method to cut my composite parts,If the knife manufacturers use this,I would assume they can keep delamination to a minimum.Keeping a decent tolerance is crucial too.Edge quality needs to be high with little to no final edge finishing is what I'm after.Cost effective is a factor.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I think CNC is going to be your best overall option for quality finished parts. The rub is going to be cost. CNC tends to be more costly overall (higher setup fees and larger minimums required) then waterjet or laser, but as you mentioned, waterjet can cause delam, and laser will often cause "burns" on non-metallic parts. It's another of those "give-n-take" things that we always face in knifemaking...... pay more money for CNC and get the best chance of all usable parts, or save some money with waterjet or laser, and risk delam or burns.

I suspect you might run into opposition with the laser outfits....most of them simply refuse to take on jobs that involve "burnable" type materials.
 
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