Aluminum plays a massive role in CNC processing. It is a popular material with desirable properties such as good strength needed in mechanical parts. Machining aluminum is necessary for all industrial applications, but the parts are mostly common in the aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and electronic industries. Aluminum metal offers a wide selection for consumers since its available in grades depending on the need. Each grade is easy to cut using cutting tools, making aluminum more machinable than other metals like steel and iron. This post explains why aluminum machining is beneficial.
Reasons Why Aluminum Machining is Beneficial
Aluminum processing has many benefits, which make it one of the most used metals in industries. Some of them include;
1. Ease of Machining
Manufacturers prefer aluminum to other metals because it’s easier to work on. It is less rigid, meaning it has a lower hardness than iron or steel. The material chips easily, so cutting tools accessit quickly, use minimal force, and you get the desired shape within a short period. In addition, the quick cutting process requires less labor making the machining process more affordable to its customers. Also, since the metal is easily machinable, part deformation is minimized, and the machine can accommodate tighter tolerances, resulting in high accuracy levels.
2. Easy to bend
The machining of aluminum to produce parts is excellent since they are easy to bend and shape. During processing, the material is turned effortlessly due to its thickness which also accommodates different molding methods. A manufacturer achieves various shapes by pressing, which is recommended highly and also processing.
3. Resists corrosion
Corrosion resistance is defined as how well a metal can withstand any damages from chemicals and oxidization. There’s no constant resistance level for aluminum as different grades exist. Each grade reacts differently, but the most used aluminum grades are the more resistant. Aluminum grades on the lower side of the strength spectrum are more corrosion resistant than those on the upper end.
4. Ability to conduct electricity
Aluminum has good conductive properties. This makes the parts useful in electrical devices to facilitate the flow of electricity. Although copper still tops the chart for the highest conductivity level, aluminum is better than stainless steel. Pure aluminum has a higher electrical conductivity of about 3.7 million than mixed aluminum. However, aluminum alloys still conduct electricity well enough to be used in devices.
5. Can be recycled
Aluminum machining is a subtractive process that removes part of an object and shapes the rest. Manufacturers discard chips from most materials during machining. However, aluminum chips are easy to collect as it chips quickly and in large amounts. Also, they are highly recyclable as they require less effort, low energy, and are cost-effective. Recycling helps keep the environment clean and reduces the wastage of material.
6. Resists low temperatures
Unlike steel, aluminum is resistant to low temperatures. Machining steel in such environments is challenging, especially when welding. Aluminum is easy to work on in low temperatures and produces excellent parts.
Machining aluminum has made it easy to produce aluminum parts for use in various applications. The process is cost-friendly, straightforward, and time-saving. The aluminum metal is corrosion-resistant, a good conductor of electricity performs well in low temperatures, and is recyclable, saving the manufacturer’s material usage.