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Performance Machining of Composite, Carbon Fiber and Honeycomb Parts

Ingersoll Cutting Tools Tek-Rounds

EPN-F Solid End Mills

The increased popularity of composites in aerospace applications creates new challenges for shops that are used to cutting metal. One of these substances, Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (CFRP), can be especially difficult to machining.

These materials are extremely abrasive and difficult to machine, as a result of the different physical properties of the materials used in the layers that make these composites hard, tough and strong. Due to the harsh cutting environment, tool life can be very short when machining CFRP composites. As the exact formula of what these composites are made from is not known, it can be difficult to design appropriate tools.

When machining composites such as CFRP – there is no chip to speak of. Instead, the material removal mechanism might be better described as shattering.

The impact of the cutting edge fractures the hard carbon fibers, instead of shearing material away. This process causes the cutting edge considerable abrasion that can lead to rapid wear. In composite machining, as well as any cutting tool application, tool geometry drives cutting performance. However, in composites, tool material also becomes a driver of performance. Unless the edge material can withstand the abrasion well enough to hold its geometry and stay sharp, the tool can wear so rapidly that the geometry can change rapidly as well.

In order to successfully machine CFRP, Ingersoll now offers standard hard, sharp solid carbide tools made from grade IN05S which can be supplied on request with long lasting diamond coating.

The fixture for machining a composite part can be a considerable engineering investment. Clean cutting without fraying, delamination or otherwise separation of the layers, requires the part to be firmly secured against vibration.


  • Fine pitch – 10 and 12 flute End Mills
  • Unique flute profile provides good surface finish
  • In most cases, eliminates CFRP fiber breakout
  • Reduces delamination
  • Decreases cutting forces
  • Available in diameter 3 – 12 mm and 0.125″ – 0.500″
  • Available in IN05S uncoated or diamond coated – on request

General Cutting Tools aka Cutting Tools Chicago is a complete Ingersoll Cutting Tools Distributor.  Contact us for more information on the Tek-Rounds or any other Ingersoll tool products.

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