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Posted on Jul 21, 2020
Turned parts have a wide range of applications and can serve in many industries such as electronics, automotive, appliance, marine, medical, telecommunications, petroleum, and more. Precision components are complex and have very strict tolerance standards. They consist of materials like titanium and stainless steel to guarantee compliance with strict requirements. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the most common materials used for turned parts. First, let's talk about the turning process.
With new turning technologies that enable design capabilities and structural advantages that can not be reproduced cost-effectively with any other manufacturing method, turned parts possess unparalleled accuracy and dimensional properties.
These turned parts can be manufactured with CNC screw machines or with CNC lathes. Multi-spindle CNC screw machines allow multiple components to be machined simultaneously while maintaining high productivity. A CNC turning process begins with attaching a blank (round, square, or hexagonal) to the spring collet of the spindle.
In the next step, the blank is sculpted into a precision turned part by removing excess material, smoothing, and drilling as various automated cutting tools are attached to the machine. The main drive shaft of a CNC screw machine tool powers the lead shaft of the bed. It also controls the two camshafts in front of it.
The best currently available CNC milling machine is a 5-axis milling center. 5-axis milling is fast-acting and precise. It is also capable of micromachining. The 5-axis CNC system is able to cut the most complex and tedious projects. It runs much faster than 3-axis and 4-axis machines and provides vertical milling with the highest precision and quality.
In sum, a computer-controlled machine tool for turned parts is usually referred to as a CNC lathe. It shapes turned parts by rotating the workpiece on a single spindle with a cutter bit that cuts into the part and removes material. This is how precision components are made.
● Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a popular precise machining raw material favoring strength and corrosion resistance. One of the advantages of stainless steel is the vacuum tightly welded. However, with a variety of treatment options, there are many different types of stainless; the material properties and how it is processed can be changed. Stainless is a versatile material that determines prices, availability, and machinability based on its alloys.
Aluminum is lightweight, machine-friendly, non-magnetic, corrosion-resistant, and economical with many advantages. The advances of cleaning and machining to make aluminum a more useful material even make aluminum a preferred choice for steel. However, an experienced machining shop must always handle aluminum welding for the best results. In addition to the listed benefits, it is also possible to machine to tight tolerances and can be tiled with many different materials to make the steel, stainless steel, or copper more or less cost-effective.
Another cost-effective alternative material is brass machining. Brass machining benefits include easy machining, smooth, clean finish, non-function, well-held tolerances, and threads. Brass is better in complex components that demand sophisticated features and should not be used in semiconductor products or the use of vacuum because of the zinc and tin in the material. Brass is one of the most common uses in cast components.
Titanium is a precious and useful machining metal. In regards to strength to metal weight ratio, heat and corrosion-resistant titanium is the best choice. It is also lighter, inert and biocompatible, and suitable for a wide range of applications including aircraft and medical devices. But a disadvantage of titanium is that machining and the price of the material can be quite difficult. It is best to select an experienced precision machining provider if you need the machining of titanium parts.
Steel is among the most popular metals valued for its strength and durability in all manufacturers. Steel is based on the level that has a certain purpose, much like stainless. Compared to other common materials, steel can be easily welded. Industrial, automotive, and petroleum, and gas industries are typically used. Without heat treatment plating, steel can be prone to corrosion.
For precision machining Copper is another highly valued metal. Copper offers versatility, durability, electrical conductivity, and natural resistance to corrosion. Copper holds neither tolerances nor aluminum, but especially if plated it is a significantly better electric conductor.
Plastics can be used as a cheap, non-metallic, non-conductive machining raw material. Since plastics are inert and can be modified according to a variety of properties, machined plastic components are used in a variety of industries including medical, electronics, industrial, and scientific applications. Known for its smooth and extremely low-cost injection molding.
● Engineering Plastics
Over the last decade, plastics engineered have changed dramatically. The quartz and aluminum have been replaced with improved properties which can be produced in semi-conductive applications. The ability to be purified or auto-lubricated is also more common in medical instruments. Manufactured plastics were designed to match many of their metal counterparts' strengths.
Professional machining companies and manufacturers should be aware of all the material pros and cons that we have listed above. Only then can they deliver a variety of components made of a variety of different raw materials for all kinds of applications and customer requirements.
:: Read more: CNC Machining of Parts and Design Considerations
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