CNC milling of aluminum is a milling process that uses aluminum – one of the most prevalent material choices due to its favorable physical properties – for all kinds of CNC machining projects. Aluminum is strong, rigid, making it the perfect candidate for mechanical parts, not to mention that it is also resistant to corrosion thanks to the oxidized outer layer. All of these attributes have made CNC milling of aluminum a widely preferred machining method in automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics and healthcare industries.
In this article, we’ll explain why aluminum is one of the most requested materials for prototyping and production processes in various CNC milling operations by touching base on its fundamentals and the advantages.
CNC aluminum milling machines have been used to produce a wide variety of aluminum parts and components which serve as an integral part of final products used in services including milling, turning, grinding and other applications. In recent times, it is without a doubt that CNC machined aluminum parts and components are growing in popularity across the industrial and engineering sectors.
Some of the aluminum parts and components that are resulted from the use of CNC aluminum CNC machines include:
● Dowel Pins
● Front Panels
● Spine Shafts
● Lighting Fixtures
● Medical Devices
It is also noteworthy that custom aluminum milling of parts and components are largely available in recent days. Many companies now offer the service of custom aluminum milling for personalized prototypes as long as you are able to provide the corresponding CAD files on which the parts and prototypes are based. This offers customers with an immense flexibility to acquire aluminum parts they are best fitted for their lines of operations.
Using aluminum for CNC machining can lead to a great many advantages that improves and simplifies the process. See below for some of the core benefits we outlined for machining aluminum:
● Machinability: This is perhaps one of the most important factors why aluminum is chosen over other materials for CNC machining because of its superior machinability. Aluminum chips are easy to shape, and can be cut quickly and accurately with a proper milling tool. This not only benefits the manufacturers who make the aluminum parts because they are easy to shape, but also the end-users who use the final products.
● Corrosion Resistance: Aluminums are resistant to corrosion, and depending on the different grades, the resistance level can vary. The bottom line is that you should choose an aluminum grade that can sustain oxidization and chemical damage the very least. Something worth noting is that strong aluminum alloys might not be as resistant to corrosion as you think because of the presence of alloyed copper.
● Electrical Conductivity: CNC milled aluminum parts are ideal for electrical components because of their excellent electrical conductivity. Aluminum is significantly more conductive than stainless steel, but is less conductive than copper. Despite this, it’s still able to reach an electric conductivity of approximately 37.7 siemens per meter at room temperature.
● Recyclability: Aluminum has high recyclability, which is largely favored by businesses who place a higher value on environmental sustainability and aim to reduce wastage on the greatest extent. Large amounts of waste in the form of chips can be produced from CNC aluminum milling machine, making the recyclability of materials especially paramount.
● Strength-to-weight Ratio: The hallmark of aluminum is its high strength and lightweight physical property, making it the most ideal choice for producing mechanical parts, particularly in the automotive and aerospace industries where parts and components have to be made as robust as possible. Automotive shafts and aircraft fittings are the exemplary end products that are resulted from CNC machining of aluminum.
● Anodization: The reason why aluminum parts are popular in the consumer electronic industry is because of the consideration of aesthetics, aside from the basic strength and weight requirement. Aluminum can be treated with paints and tints, as well as anodization, which is essentially a procedure that thickens the oxidized outer layer of a part or component. Of course, the anodization procedure is usually carried out after CNC machining of aluminum is finished. The process actually makes the aluminum part more resistant to corrosion.
IMTS Exhibition includes manufacturers from around the world. Send us a message with your requirements and our IMTS Experts will happily help you with your questions.