Using the MR1 to cut honeycomb panels

Hello Everyone,

I need to cut a honeycomb panel with the following characteristics:

Skins: 0.015" 1583 / 3783 Weave Epoxy
Impregnated Fiberglass, 50 Percent Resin
Core: Aluminum Honeycomb, 3000 Series Alloy,
5.2# Density, 1/4" cell, non-perforated
Edge: Open, Exposed Honeycomb

My initial idea is to cut it using the MR1 machine as it is the only machine that our laboratory has. Has anyone worked with honeycomb panels and the MR1 before? And if that is the case, what is the tool recommended for drilling, and pocket milling?

Thank you,

Two flute flat (or small radius) carbide end mill will do - Id probably pick up some cheap Chinese (Amazon generic) carbide tools with the understanding that milling fiberglass will wear them out quickly.

Flood coolant might make a big mess jetting into honeycomb, but I wouldn’t cut fiberglass without it. Inhaling those particles is dangerous. Wear a respirator regardless.

I’m trying to learn more about composites. Would an aluminum honeycomb be superior to aramid?

That depends 100% on what youre trying to accomplish.

Coolants and composites don’t get along at all. If you have to use a coolant use something that wont soak into the core material and leave a residue. I’d recommend 99% isopropyl MQL if you absolutely need something but again, not normally used with composites.

Vacuum dust collection is absolutely required! Not just for your health but for the sake of the machine. Glass dust is extremely bad for the sliding surfaces of the machine.

Forgot to include that we use PCD and ceramic tooling with glass and carbon. Aramid can be cut with HSS just make sure its sharp. It can be difficult to impossible to get a clean fray-free edge.

By superior I meant strength wise not machinability.

I assumed that’s what you meant.

In my experience the aramid is a lot easier to work with. If you’re stuck using the composite panels described the expensive tooling would be limited to use on the glass. A normal single flude high rake router bit would be used on the core material. If a pocket needs to be removed we’ll cut just the parameter and pop out the remaining skin by hand before switching to the router bit.

1 Like

Nope. No machining or routing anything. If I wanted honeycomb aramid I would simply buy it in whatever thickness is sold. I have zero interest in making it.

@BrianS I meant to be responding to the OP. What are you asking exactly?