If you are looking for a strong and lightweight metal, aluminium may be the perfect choice for you. Aluminium machining is becoming increasingly popular due to the many benefits it offers. This blog post will discuss everything you need about aluminium machining, including the different types of aluminum alloys, how to machine aluminum, and more!
What is Aluminum machining?
Aluminum machining is the process of cutting, drilling, or shaping aluminum materials. Aluminum is a soft metal that is easily cut and shaped. However, it is also strong and durable, making it an ideal choice for various applications.
Types of aluminum alloys
There are many different types of aluminum alloys, each with unique properties. The most common aluminum alloys used in machining are:
Aluminum 1100: This is the purest form of aluminum and is very soft and malleable. It is often used for applications where strength is not a major concern.
Aluminum 2024: This alloy contains copper and is known for its high strength-to-weight ratio. It is often used in the aerospace industry.
Aluminum 6061: This is the most popular aluminum alloy for machining. It is a versatile alloy that can be used for various applications.
How to machine aluminum?
The first step in machining aluminum is to select the appropriate tooling. Aluminum is a soft metal and requires special tooling to avoid chip-out and tearing. High-speed steel (HSS) or carbide tooling is recommended.
The next step is to select the appropriate cutting parameters. The three main cutting parameters are:
Cutting speed: This is the speed at which the cutting tool moves through the material.
Feed rate: This is the speed at which the material is fed into the cutting tool.
Depth of cut: This is the depth that the cutting tool penetrates the material.
Selecting the correct cutting parameters is important to avoid chip-out and tearing. The recommended cutting parameters will vary depending on the type of aluminum alloy being machined.
Aluminum Surface finish
Many different types of surface finishes can be achieved when machining aluminum. The most common surface finishes are:
Anodized: This is a type of electrochemical process that creates a protective layer on the aluminum surface.
Powder coated: This is a type of coating that is applied to the aluminum surface using a powder.
Polished: This type of surface finish is achieved by using a polishing wheel.
The type of surface finish will depend on the application for the machined part.
Aluminum Machining Tolerances
Aluminum machining tolerances are typically tighter than other metals due to the softness of the material. The recommended tolerances for aluminum machining are:
Position tolerance: +/- 0.005 inches
Linear tolerance: +/- 0.001 inches/inch of travel
These tolerances will vary depending on the type of aluminum alloy being machined.
Aluminum Machining Services at Aria Manufacturing Limited Company
We offer various aluminum machining services at Aria Manufacturing Limited Company, including CNC, Swiss machining, and more. We have a team of experienced machinists that are capable of machining a variety of aluminum alloys.
Aluminum machining tips
Here are some tips to help you get the best results when machining aluminum:
Use a sharp cutting tool: A sharp cutting tool will produce cleaner cuts and minimize chip-out.
Use coolant: Coolant helps to dissipate heat and prevent the material from binding to the cutting tool.
Use a smaller depth of cut: A smaller depth of cut will produce cleaner cuts and minimize chip-out.
Take your time: Aluminum is a soft metal and can be easily damaged if you hurry.
Aluminum machining is a great choice for a variety of applications. You can produce high-quality parts with minimal effort with the right tooling and cutting parameters.