Put away your PPE? TRUMPF’s new nibbler generates minimal dust

TRUMPF’s new nibbler – the TruTool FCN 250 – is being touted as the first of its kind worldwide.

The portable power tool is designed to separate various fibre composite materials up to 2.5mm thick, but unlike saws, milling cutters and angle grinders that have been traditionally used to cut this type of material, the TRUMPF nibbler generates minimal dust so personal protective equipment is no longer essential, the brand said. By comparison with other slitting processes, the TruTool’s per-metre costs are as much as 50% lower, it added.

TRUMPF has modified the cutting geometry and cutting tools of its extensively used and proven sheet metal nibbler designs to accommodate fibre composites.

Available from early summer 2018, the TruTool FCN 250 can separate thermosetting plastics and thermoplastic polymers as well as carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), glass-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) and aramid-fibre reinforced plastics (AFRP).

The brand said that the portable power tool is suitable for any sector that uses these materials, including aerospace, automotive and prototype manufacturing as well as the production of equipment for sports and leisure activities.

Nibbler details

TRUMPF has gone into further depth on the new launch:

“Nibbling is a cold process which cuts a contour by producing a series of overlapping slits or notches.  Thanks to the high-quality, coated cutting tools featured in the TruTool FCN 250, users can create clean cut edges with this method without the danger of delamination (interlaminar separation) or fraying.

“The easy-to-operate TruTool FCN 250 achieves a high working speed of 1.9 metres per minute. As the tool provides users with a clear view of the work surface, they can make precise separating cuts along a scribed line or template, straight line or any contour that involves a tight radius. The tool carrier can also be rotated through 360°, simplifying tasks in hard-to-reach areas.

“The long service life of wearing parts is ensured thanks to a special coating. Just one die, for example, will typically process 300m of two millimetres thick GFRP or CFRP before needing to be replaced; cost-efficiency is even greater for thinner materials. Punch replacement is recommended after 150m and is accomplished in a matter of seconds with no need for additional equipment.

“The TruTool FCN 250 can be used continuously with little or no operator fatigue. This is largely due to the compact size of the machine and optimised distribution of weight of the operating head and motor, giving a good ergonomic grip.”