CNC Machined Aluminum Parts are the Best Alternative to Steel
Ensure High-Quality at a Budget with CNC Machined Aluminum Parts
Aluminum is an excellent material choice for making CNC machined products. Aluminum’s economy, lightweight, and durability has quickly made it one of the most used metals all over the world.
Aluminum’s exceptional material properties and widespread availability has been a major influence for the sudden growth in demand for CNC Machined Aluminum Parts. Many conventional materials are now being replaced with aluminum parts.
With the rapid advances in CNC Machining technologies, the production of machined aluminum parts are becoming more and more efficient and cost-effective. So, the application of aluminum parts is expected to rise more in the recent future.
Advantages of CNC Machined Aluminum Parts
CNC machining of Aluminum is preferred over various other metals for its multitudes of benefits. Although some of the perks will vary for different Aluminum alloys. The main advantages of CNC Machined Aluminum Parts are discussed in detail below.
CNC Machined Aluminum Parts are very light. Aluminum has a specific gravity of 2.7, which is multiple times lighter compared to cast iron. So, Aluminum parts are an excellent choice for Automobiles, airplanes, etc. where lighter parts play a big role in performance.
Good Mechanical Strength
Despite Aluminum parts being lighter, they have an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. So, CNC Machined Aluminum Parts can be used for heavy-duty applications with high strength requirements.
Easy to Machine
Aluminum is very easy to machine compared to steel. So machining parts need less expensive tools and consume less energy. Thus machined Aluminum parts will be more cost-effective to manufacture.
Corrosion resistance is one of the best things about Aluminum machined parts. Due to their excellent corrosion resistant nature, they are often a more suitable option. They can be used in harsh corrosive conditions without any worries.
Aluminum alloy parts have good weldability as well. Although that mostly applies for Aluminum alloys with moderate strength. Some high strength varieties of Aluminum alloys usually have less weldability compared to the others.
Allows Heat Treatment
Unlike die cast Aluminum parts, CNC machined Aluminum parts can be heat treated. So, their mechanical properties can be further improved for gaining higher strength. That really diversifies the application of CNC Machined Aluminum Parts.
Aluminum parts have very good electrical and thermal conductivity. They provide excellent shielding when used as network device housing. The aluminum part’s high heat dissipation and thermal conductivity allow better heat management in electronic devices.
Aluminum is a common metal that is available all over the world. So, the raw material is cheaper than most other metals. So, manufacturers are able to produce more economical yet high-quality products for consumers.
Best Aluminum Alloy for CNC Machining
Various parameters are considered when determining the utility of a metal alloy. Numerous Aluminum alloys are available in the market with slight variations of alloying elements such as Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, etc.
Each alloying element enhances some properties that Aluminum was initially lacking. Sometime that could compromise Aluminum inherent good properties a little bit as well. Each type of alloy is aimed for a different type of applications.
So, a deep understanding of material properties is necessary to determine which Aluminum is suitable for a certain task. When it comes to CNC Machining Aluminum 6061 Alloy can be considered the best.
Aluminum 6061 (A6061) Alloy is by far one of the most balanced alloys for CNC Machining. It is a precipitation-hardened alloy with a good percentage of magnesium and zinc. It is widely used for general and structural applications.
The main features of A6061 alloy are described below.
- Has very good machinability
- Has excellent mechanical strength
- Offers the best corrosion resistance
- Exhibits high weldability
- Parts can be heat treated
So, for these special properties, Aluminum 6061 alloy is most commonly used for the production of CNC machined parts. Here’s a chart of the basic material properties of A6061 Alloy.
Application of CNC Machined Aluminum Parts
CNC Machined Aluminum Parts are widely used in many sectors. Aluminum parts have gained huge popularity recently and became a preferable alternative for steel and iron parts. Some common application of Aluminum parts is discussed below.
The transportation sector has a massive demand for CNC Machined Aluminum Parts. The global concern regarding saving energy has led manufacturers to choose lighter aluminum parts for better fuel economy. Vehicles, aircraft, and ships are using aluminum parts as a strong and lighter alternative to steel.
Aluminum’s exceptional thermal and electrical conductivity has made it very popular in consumer electronics. Many consumer electronics such as laptop, smartphones, televisions, and accessories are using aluminum CNC parts for ensuring better quality.
Precision aluminum parts are an indispensable thing for the medical industry. Extremely precise parts are required for most medical devices. It is quite impossible to manufacture parts with such precision without CNC Machining.
Design Consideration for CNC Machined Aluminum Parts
How you design your parts have a significant impact on your CNC precision machining process. Following some guidelines can reduce your machining time, cost, and difficulty. Here are some important tips about parts design.
- CNC Machining cost greatly depends on the time required for machining. So, Keep it simple, avoid any unnecessary details that may hamper the machining process.
- Complex parts may require the parts to be divided into multiple segments. Divide it in a manner so that it doesn’t need to be rotated as much.
- All Edges should be given fillet. Try to use fillets of the same radius.
- Avoid thin walls and deep pockets if possible. They require very careful programming and frequent tool changes to avoid damaging the parts.
- Feasibility Study, it is very important to discuss with your CNC precision machining supplier to make the parts feasible for manufacturing.
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