Different Metal Melting Points

As a seasoned CEO of Worthy Hardware, a leader in CNC machining services, I’ve encountered my fair share of challenges and triumphs in working with various metals. The journey of transforming a raw metal into a precisely machined part is nothing short of alchemy. At the heart of this transformation lies a fundamental yet intriguing aspect: the melting points of different metals.

Knowing the melting points of different metals is not just a piece of trivia; it’s the cornerstone of effective CNC machining. Understanding these melting points is crucial whether we’re dealing with CNC milling, turning, or machining. It influences everything from material selection to the machining process itself.

Why should you, as a business leader, procurement officer, or enthusiast, care about metal melting points? Simply put, the knowledge empowers us to make smarter, more efficient manufacturing and product development decisions.

What are Metal Melting Points?

Metal melting points refer to the specific temperature at which a metal transitions from solid to liquid. This temperature is unique for each metal and is a critical physical property that influences how the metal behaves under heat. In CNC machining, understanding these temperatures is essential because they affect how we approach the machining process, including tool selection and machining speed.

Each metal’s melting point is determined by its atomic structure. The strength of the bonds between atoms dictates how much energy, in the form of heat, is needed to break these bonds. These bonds loosen when the melting point is reached, and the metal liquefy.

For example, iron, a common material in CNC machining, melts around 1,538°C. This high melting point means it retains strength under high temperatures, making it ideal for applications requiring durability and heat resistance. On the other hand, aluminum, with a melting point of about 660.3°C, is much easier to melt and mold but is less heat resistant than iron.

Metals with higher melting points are typically more challenging to machine because they require more energy and advanced tools. Conversely, metals with lower melting points are generally easier to shape and mold but may not be suitable for high-temperature applications.

Why are Metal Melting Points Important?

For several reasons, understanding the melting points of different metals is crucial in manufacturing and CNC machining. Firstly, it helps in selecting the suitable material for a specific application. For example, a metal with a higher melting point would be more appropriate if a part is exposed to high temperatures. This decision impacts the longevity and performance of the finished product.

Secondly, melting points guide the machining process itself. Different melting points require different machining parameters. For instance, metals with lower melting points may need lower cutting speeds or specialized cooling techniques to prevent warping or other heat-related damages during machining.

Moreover, knowing the melting points is essential in the context of welding and metal joining. It ensures the welding temperature is correctly set to join two pieces of metal effectively without compromising their structural integrity.

Lastly, from an innovation standpoint, understanding and experimenting with metal melting points can lead to new material discoveries and advancements in manufacturing techniques. This knowledge can catalyze new alloys or composites with tailored properties for specific industrial needs.

Different Metal Melting Points

The melting points of metals vary widely, and this diversity is what makes them so versatile in different applications. Let’s take a closer look at some common metals used in CNC machining and their melting points:

  1. Aluminum: Known for its lightweight and corrosion resistance, aluminum has a melting point of around 660.3°C (1220.5°F). This relatively low melting point makes it ideal for applications where weight and resistance to corrosion are more critical than high-temperature performance.
  2. Steel: Steel, an alloy of iron and carbon, generally melts at approximately 1370°C (2500°F). The melting point can vary slightly based on the carbon content and the presence of other alloying elements. Steel’s high melting point suits high-stress applications like construction and automotive industries.
  3. Stainless Steel: This iron alloy has added chromium and other elements to improve corrosion resistance. Stainless steel melts at around 1400°C to 1450°C (2550°F to 2650°F), making it a popular choice in medical, aerospace, and food industries.
  4. Copper: Copper has a melting point of about 1085°C (1985°F). It is highly conductive and malleable, ideal for electrical components, plumbing, and decorative elements.
  5. Titanium: With a melting point of around 1668°C (3034°F), titanium is known for its high strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance. It’s extensively used in aerospace, military, and medical implants.
  6. Brass: A copper-zinc alloy, brass has a melting point between 900°C and 940°C (1652°F to 1724°F). It’s easy to machine and is commonly used in decorative items, musical instruments, and fittings.
  7. Gold: Used often in electronics and jewelry, gold has a melting point of about 1064°C (1947°F). Its high flexibility and resistance to corrosion make it valuable in various applications.
  8. Nickel: This metal has a melting point of approximately 1455°C (2651°F). Nickel is known for its corrosion resistance and is often used in alloys to enhance the durability and strength of other metals.
  9. Lead: Lead has a relatively low melting point of about 327.5°C (621.5°F). It is soft, malleable, and often used in batteries, radiation shields, and, in the past, in plumbing.
  10. Zinc: Zinc melts at around 419.5°C (787°F). It is typically used for galvanizing iron and steel to protect against rust and in alloys such as brass.
  11. Tungsten: With one of the highest melting points of all metals, tungsten melts at an impressive 3422°C (6192°F). This extremely high melting point makes it ideal for use in applications such as incandescent light bulb filaments and cutting tools.
  12. Magnesium: Magnesium’s melting point is around 650°C (1202°F). It is a lightweight metal with a high strength-to-weight ratio, used in aircraft and automotive parts alloys.
  13. Platinum: Platinum has a melting point of about 1768°C (3214°F). It’s a dense, malleable metal with excellent corrosion resistance, making it ideal for jewelry, laboratory equipment, and automotive catalytic converters.
  14. Silver:This precious metal melts at approximately 961.8°C (1763.2°F). Silver is highly conductive and malleable, making it valuable in electronics, jewelry, and silverware.


To sum up, the melting points of metals are more than just numbers on a chart; they are a guide to unlocking the potential of these materials. They influence everything from aerospace engineering to the creation of musical instruments. By respecting and harnessing these properties, we continue to advance in our capabilities to shape the world around us, one precisely machined part at a time.