A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine runs on a computer program; it can either be for prototyping or in full item production. Aluminum is the commonly machining material, as it exhibits excellent machinability, and is thus the preferred material in the most manufacturing sector.
Aluminum as a material offers some interesting thermal and mechanical properties. Besides, the aluminum metal is relatively easy to shape, especially in drilling processes, like in CNC aluminum machining. In fact, we highly regard an aluminum alloy compared to other lightweight metals such as magnesium and titanium alloys.
The use of CNC aluminum has grown immensely, the production of CNC automotive parts and other CNC parts that are lightweight has been intense. Below are a few of the things you may not have known.
Aluminum Material: CNC Aluminum Machining
1. Aluminum Grade
2. What should be paid attention to when CNC machining Aluminum:
(1) Before processing each program, it is necessary to strictly confirm whether the tool on the program is consistent with the program;
(2) When installing the knife, make sure that the length of the tool and the selected tool holder are suitable;
(3) It is forbidden to open the door during the operation of the machine tool to avoid flying knife or workpiece;
(4) In the process of processing, if a tool collision is found, the operator must stop immediately, such as pressing the "emergency stop" button or the "reset button" or adjusting the "feed rate" to zero, etc;
(5) In the same workpiece, the tool must be kept in the same area every time to ensure the accuracy of the CNC machining center operation rules when the tool is connected;
(6) If you find that the machining allowance is too much during the machining process, you must use "single block" or "pause" to reset the X, Y, and Z values to zero, then manually mill them out and then shake them back to the "zero point" to let them go on their own run;
(7) Operators are not allowed to leave the machine tool or regularly check the operating status of the machine tool during self-operation. If they need to leave halfway, they must designate relevant personnel to check;
(8) The aluminum slag in the machine tool must be cleaned before the light knife sprays oil to prevent the aluminum slag from absorbing oil;
(9) Use air blowing as much as possible in the roughing program, and spray oil in the light knife program;
(10) After the workpiece is off the machine, it must be cleaned and deburred in time.
3. Aluminum CNC Machining Processes
We can machine aluminum using several CNC machining processes available today. Some of these processes are as follows.
In CNC turning operations, the workpiece rotates, while the single-point cutting tool stays stationary along its axis. Depending on the machine, either the workpiece or the cutting tool carries outfeed motion against the other in order to achieve material removal.
Milling operations are perhaps the most commonly used in CNC machining aluminum parts. These operations involve the rotation of a multi-point cutting along its axis, while the workpiece stays stationary along its own axis.
4. Industries using CNC Machining Aluminum Parts
Aerospace: due to its high strength to weight ratio, several aircraft fittings are made from machined aluminum.
Automotive: similar to the aerospace industry, several parts such as shafts and other components in the automotive industry are made from aluminum.
Electrical: having high electrical conductivities, CNC machined aluminum parts are often used as electronic components in electrical appliances.
Food/Pharmaceutical: because they do not react with most organic substances, aluminum parts play important roles in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
Sports: aluminum is often used to play sports equipment such as baseball bats and sport whistles;
Cryogenics: aluminum’s ability to retain its mechanical properties at sub-zero temperatures, makes aluminum parts desirable for cryogenic applications.
5. Axis CNC Machining
On the 5-axis machining, the CNC moves while cutting in five angles of the axes simultaneously. This machining process is fast, reliable on designing complex parts, as work is approached in multiple directions.
The 5-axis machining has been adopted widely because of the following:
The set-up is a single one, and this reduces the lead time and better the efficiency
It allows better geometry due to its ability to avoid collision with the tool holder tilting the table or the cutting tool.
Can use shorter tools that are more rigid, some with high spindle speeds rate which is achieved by reducing the load cutting tool.
Pieces don’t pass through different workstation hence errors are reduced, accuracy maintained, and quality is guaranteed.
Aluminum is a versatile material with a high level of machinability. We have a full understanding of its capabilities and machining requirements. Use our inquiry form if you require CNC Machining or contact us for any questions that you may have.
Worthy Hardware is a CNC manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication company, including CNC machining services, CNC milling services, CNC turning services, laser cutting services and stamping services. Call us +86-76989919645 or email us [email protected] for more discounts for your projects.