The Ultimate Guide for Aluminium 2024 Machining

What is Aluminum 2024?

This is an aluminum alloy with a high percentage of copper as its primary alloying element. Additionally, 0.3% – 1% Mn, 1.2% – 1.8% Mg, 0.1% Cr, and 0.25% Zn are principal alloying elements. In some cases, Si, Ti, and Fe are also part of the Al 2024 alloy.

Some of the major characteristics of Al 2024 alloy are as follows:

  • High strength
  • High load-bearing capacity and yield strength
  • Low weight
  • Excellent fatigue resistance
  • Heat treatable
  • Low corrosion resistance
  • Poor weldability

Naming system of Aluminum alloys:

Before we dive into the characteristics of Al 2024, let us walk you through why this is specifically termed as 2024. It will help you link the naming of all aluminum alloys for better understanding.

The Aluminum Association formulated a numbering system in 1954 to describe the basic characteristics of aluminum alloys. Basically, all aluminum alloys have a 4-digit naming system with nomenclature as follows:

The first digit in the aluminum 2xxx series denotes the principal alloying ingredient inside the aluminum alloy. For instance, copper is the main alloying element in Al 2024 with the highest proportion after aluminum.

The significant change in the alloying element is shown by the second digit. For instance, x0xx denotes a basic version of the aluminum alloy made from pure aluminum with no modifications. Adding a specific element to that variant is indicated if the second digit is 1 or higher and up to 9.

In the aforementioned aluminum alloy, the third and fourth numbers are used to label a specific alloy except for the 1xxx series pure aluminum alloy. In this case, last two digits show the minimum percentage of pure aluminum above 99 %for example in 1360 pure aluminum is 99.60%.

Properties of 2024 Aluminum alloy:

Choosing the right material for your project is very important. Characteristics and material properties are vital to understanding the selection of the material. The density of this alloy is 2.78 g/cm ³. Below are some basic mechanical properties of 2024 aluminum.



Yield Strength 3e7 – 5e8 Pa
Ultimate Tensile Strength 469 MPa
Elongation 0.01 – 0.44 % strain
Impact Strength (un-notched) 1.9e5 – 2e5 J/m^2
Young’s Modulus 6.8e10 – 8.2e10 Pa
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Poisson’s Ratio 0.33
Fatigue Strength 138 MPa
Modulus of Elasticity 73.1 GPa
Shear Strength 283 MPa
Brinell Hardness 120

Strength and Fatigue resistance:

It has excellent strength and good fatigue resistance. The fatigue strength of Al-2024 is 138MPa.

Corrosion resistance:

Apart from having high strength, it has poor corrosion resistance as compared to other aluminum alloys. This issue can be addressed by using corrosion-resistant metal coatings like galvanizing or cladding.

Heat treatment:

Aluminum 2024 is a heat-treatable material that may be strengthened by a very basic heat-treatment method. The alloy is heat treated to a particular temperature and then quenched in a solution to achieve good structural characteristics. Annealing is done at 413°C for at least 2 hours.


High strength, excellent workability, excellent machinability, and low corrosion resistance characterize 2024 aluminum. Several industries incorporate 2024 aluminum; however, the following are some of the most typical ones.

Aerospace and aviation industries:

In the transportation industry, the use of Al-2024 is quite pronounced in aviation and aerospace applications. Aircraft components, specifically in structural applications including wings, tail, and fuselage, are crafted from this material due to its good fatigue resistance, high yield and tensile strength, considerable shear modulus, machinability, and good workability.

Automotive industries:

Due to excellent machinability and workability, it is used widely in automotive and transportation industries, especially in manufacturing truck wheels, and high-performance cars. Nowadays, requirements of specific manufacturing qualities and profiles to improve aerodynamics in high-performance cars call for an alloy like Al 2024.

This material is also suitable to handle high loads and withstand high fatigue. Al-2024 is also used in gears manufacturing, couplings, shafts, and onboard automotive computer components due to its good conductivity.

Benefits of 2024 Aluminum alloy in CNC machining:

  • Thanks to its good machinability, Different commercial and complex parts can be manufactured with a good finish. Low power is required to cut this alloy as compared to other materials.
  • CNC machining is an advanced manufacturing process that includes drilling, turning, and milling with high precision and accuracy.
  • Al-2024 has excellent machinability and can easily be machined compared to any other metal. By using CNC machines, 2024 aluminum can be incorporated into machining quality parts. It has custom finish properties and is resistant to low temperatures. Its strength-to-weight ratio is very ideal.
  • Along with good physical properties, 2024 aluminum is an affordable material compared to zinc or copper. Although it is more expensive than steel but due to its good machinability and lightweight CNC experts prefer aluminum for complex parts’ manufacturing and to save cost during the CNC machining process.
  • It gives a good finish after machining. Adding to this, anodizing it with different colors provides a great value addition for applications like interior designing.
  • The machining cost factor of 2024 Aluminum is 0.7 compared to steel. It can be hot-worked, forged, and annealed but is not good for welding, soldering, or brazing.
  • Due to its high recyclability, it is a perfect material to use in a business where wastage of material is a challenge.

Considerations for Aluminum 2024 Machining:

Apart from its good machinability compared to other materials, some points must be kept in mind during machining.

Aluminum’s soft nature and low melting temperature make its machining tricky. Specialized tooling and expertise are required for the machining of this material.

Cutting speed and feed is another main concern for the machinists’.

Below formula is used to calculate the speed rate.

Speed (RPM) = (SFMx3.82) / D.

Where, SFM is surface feet per minute, and D is tool diameter.

The feed rate is calculated with the help of the below formula.

Feed = RPM x FPT x Z

Where Feed is in IPM (Inches per minute), FPT is the feed per tooth, and Z is the number of teeth in the cutting tool.

Metal chips must be removed from the surface of the material. A machinist may run cutting fluid/coolant to remove chips and avoid excessive temperature build-up which may specifically be harmful to the machining of intricate parts.


What is the difference between 2024 and 6061 aluminum alloy?

Copper is the main alloying element in 2024 aluminum whereas magnesium and silicon are the main alloying elements in aluminum 6061.

The high percentage of copper in 2024 aluminum becomes the reason for its low resistance to corrosion. Poor weldability is another disadvantage of aluminum 2024. On the other hand, aluminum 6061 has good corrosion resistance along with good weldability.

What is the difference between 2024 and 7075 aluminum?

The Al-7075 is widely used in the aerospace industry like Al-2024 due to its high strength. Unlike Al-2024, zinc is the main alloying element in 7075 aluminum alloy.

7075 aluminum alloy has high stress and strain resistance while Al-2024 has high cyclic fatigue resistance.

Is 2024 aluminum machinable?

Al 2024 has good machinability and can easily be cut and extruded if needed. Its age hardened version which is known as the T351 condition is easily machinable as well as stronger than its counterparts. Specially for aesthetic applications, it gives good surface finish and during machining, the chips break away smoothly.


2024 aluminum alloy has good machinability, high strength, and low weight making it a strong material for use under high loads and high cyclic fatigue. By using CNC machines, high-end complex parts can be made from this alloy. We hope this article shed light on the vitality of this aluminum grade and possible applications.

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