Composite Cutting Tools

TOOLING FOR AEROSPACE COMPOSITES

Composite Cutting

The significant increase of the use of composites (carbon fiber reinforced polymers) in the aerospace field has challenged cutting tool manufacturers to develop hole making tools with characteristics normally not associated with metal cutting.

CFRP, while being a poor conductor of heat, is abrasive.  The issues with drilling occur when fibers are pulled out or fracture takes place between the layers. Most often either aluminum or titanium is stacked with the CFRP for support. The drill must have geometry not only to penetrate the composite, but drill the stacked metal as well.

Choosing the Right Tool to Avoid Breakage

Hole quality is measured by delamination or breakout of the bottom layer or frayed fibers in the hole. Hole size can also be critical. Since a high volume of holes typically need to be drilled, choosing a tool with most cost effective method is critical.

Regal provides a variety of coated tools in High Speed Steel, Cobalt and Carbide for drilling Composite materials. The advantages are:

  • Wear resistant.
  • Can drill stacked materials with metal support  (if the geometry is right).
  • Are most suitable when power feed and fixtures are utilized.

Regal’s Composite Cutting Tools Save you Money

Regal has developed drills for hand operations in difficult to access spaces using proprietary particle metal substrates and advanced coatings. This mirrors the holes produced by the more advanced methods at half the cost.  Since safety is critical in these applications, infrequent breakage compared to the carbide shank tools is an added advantage.

  • Drilling
  • Reaming
  • Milling

See our product solutions below or contact us to see which tool is best for your productivity goals.