Aluminum is one of the widely used materials in machining nowadays, and aluminum alloy has many desirable characteristics: high machinability, high strength, corrosion resistance, recyclability, and maintaining its softness, ductility, and strength at low temperatures. So CNC machining of aluminum parts is indispensable in many industries.cnc aluminum parts

Applications of Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys

Aerospace: Given the high specific strength of aluminum alloys, many aircraft parts are manufactured from machined aluminum

Automotive: Similar to the aerospace industry, many components in the automotive industry, such as driveshafts and other components, are made from aluminum.aluminum t profile

Electrical: CNC machined aluminum parts are often used as electronic components in household appliances due to their high electrical conductivity.

Food/Pharmaceuticals: Aluminum parts do not react with most organic substances, so they play an important role in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Sports: Aluminum is often used to make sports equipment such as baseball bats and sports whistles.led panel aluminum frame

Cryogenic: Aluminum retains its mechanical properties at temperatures below freezing, making it popular for low-temperature applications.

Aluminum CNC Machining Methods

There are various aluminum CNC machining methods for different aluminum parts: turning, milling, planing, drilling, grinding, and so on.

Tool material

Carbide is the first choice for aluminum CNC machining tools. Because aluminum is a soft cut, it is important that the tool used to cut aluminum is not hard, but has the ability to cut sharp edges. Carbide tools have this ability, mainly depends on two points: alloy grain size and binder ratio. While a larger grain size makes for a harder material, a smaller grain size ensures a tougher, more impact-resistant material. Smaller grain size allows cobalt to achieve a fine grain structure and material strength.

However, when cobalt reacts with aluminum at high temperatures, it forms a cloud of aluminum on the tool surface. The key to minimizing this reaction is to use carbide tools with the right amount of cobalt (2 to 20%) while still maintaining the required strength. Carbide tools can usually withstand the high speeds of CNC machining of aluminum better than steel tools. In addition to the material of the tool, coatings are an important factor in cutting efficiency. Zirconium dinitride, titanium diboride and diamond-like coatings are all suitable tool coatings for aluminum CNC machining.

Feed and speed

Aluminum can withstand very high cutting speeds, so it is important to maximize cutting speeds on aluminum alloys to reduce the potential for chip agglomeration, save time, reduce part temperatures, improve chip breakage, and improve finish.

The choice of feed rate is largely dependent on the degree of finishing, strength and stiffness of a workpiece.

Cutting Fluids

Even if aluminum is a good machinable material, never cut it in a dry condition, as this encourages the formation of chip-accumulation tumors. Suitable cutting fluids for CNC machining of aluminum are oil-based emulsions and mineral oils. Avoid cutting fluids that contain chlorine or reactive sulfur, which can stain aluminum.

Related Hot Topic

How can I use a CNC to cut aluminum?

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