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Customer Story
March 9, 2023
Using a Small Waterjet to Test Materials such as Carbon Fiber
By Chris Cardinal
vectorply

Alabama-based Vectorply is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and distribution of composite reinforced fabrics engineered to optimize the stiffness, strength, and weight of customer-specific applications. They produce more than 500 unique styles of composite fabric for an almost unlimited number of customer uses.

vectorply

As would be expected from a world leader in composites, Vectorply does extensive testing of raw materials to be sure they meet specifications. Xavier Rachel, a composites engineer at Vectorply, described the original process of hand-cutting carbon fiber and fiberglass samples for ASTM tensile testing on the Universal Test Machine (UTM). This hand cutting of samples led to unnecessary waste, and took significant time. 

This is why the company turned to the WAZER as a solution more than a year ago. In addition to increasing the speed and accuracy of the test coupons, the testing department was now able to be more thorough by adding V-notch shear testing of the samples. The ASTM standard for this test is exceptionally stringent, and there was simply no way to accurately cut the required notch by hand before, but with the WAZER Vectorply was able to improve their testing regimen.

“Having the WAZER is like having another person”

This increase in test data quality has led to more sales to a discerning customer base. It also delivers efficiency that was not possible before. Xavier found “having the WAZER is like having another person”, as he can do something else while the machine is cutting samples. He said, “I love having the WAZER, it’s just so much help and makes my job easier.”