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Common CNC machining materials in ALABUS

Parts, products, profiles, tools – we fulfill orders using machining on various metal alloys. Let’s focus on the most commonly used: aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel and alloy steel, their applications and advantages. What are the benefits of machined materials in the Alabus CNC machine park?

ALABUS CNC designs and manufactures a wide range of metal products
using the best processing equipment.

We support large-scale production of complex projects for clients from many industries.
If you want to know more about our products and services,
write to us at info@alabuscnc.com or call us.

machinability as a determinant of the choice of the material

The key to the selection is understanding the machinability of the materials. Machinability is the ease with which a metal can be machined (cut) to remove material and shape it into the desired end product. Choosing the materials with the best machinability for a given application requires careful evaluation of the material’s ability to cut, form and finish in the necessary ways.
When assessing the machinability of a metal, factors such as tool life, thermal and electrical conductivity and formability should also be taken into account. While many types of metal are compatible with machining operations, each provides specific benefits to the products manufactured.

most popular cnc machined materials

Manufacturers can choose from a variety of metals when determining the best strategy for their next project:
 aluminum,
 brass,
 bronze,
 stainless steel,
 alloy steel.

aluminum – ideal for cutting, drilling, turning and milling

Aluminum is very durable and aesthetic. Processing of this metal requires less effort than with other metals. You can use faster machine feeds, higher tool revolutions. Operators of lathes and milling machines can collect a much thicker layer of material compared to steel, which means processing speed and production economy are more efficient.
However, one should remember about the absolute rigor of sharp tools (lack means an unsightly surface of finished products) and avoiding overheating of the tools during cutting aluminum (overheating usually equals breaking the cutting tool). Manufacturers working with aluminum also need to pay attention to rough thread finishes, ductile chips, and chip curl issues.
Due to the high level of machinability, aluminum is used in:

• hydraulics – connectors and adapters for pipes and hoses,
• production, robotics, automation, automotive – machine parts and instrumentation,
• electronics – cases,
• interior fittings – handles, furniture knobs

brass turning

Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper known for its golden color, elegant appearance and effective machining. It is an excellent material for use in CNC machining due to its low melting point, non-magnetic properties, corrosion and matting resistance and excellent ductility. An important advantage is also the fact that there is no need to finish the surface after processing.

Brass is used to make products such as: bushings, handles, marine parts, electrical appliances, valves and bearings. These are important elements of larger structures and machines, including as fasteners ensuring durability and resistance in a long process of use.

Bronze is characterized by high strength, high hardness, excellent corrosion resistance – especially in a marine environment, and excellent shock and wear resistance, as well as a low oxidation rate at high temperatures. Bronze is a material resistant to tarnishing and cavitation damage. It retains its properties at cryogenic temperatures.

When machining bronze alloys curled shavings can occur. Bronze chips can sometimes stick in the tooling and cause surface imperfections, especially when machining holes. It is advisable to use a chipbreaker and use coolant, sometimes under high pressure, to remove the chips from the cutting surface. Another option is to run the cutting tool at intervals to prevent excessive metal build-up.

stainless steel machining

Stainless steel is ideal for many applications as it has much greater resistance to rust and corrosion than other grades of steel. Chromium, nickel and molybdenum are alloying elements responsible for corrosion resistance. The greater the amount of chromium and nickel in the steel, the lower the machinability. Different proportions of these metals correspond to different alloys – the most popular stainless steel grades are 303, 304, 304L as well as 316 and 316L. The letter L means a Low carbon content.
The main challenges when machining stainless steel are high cutting forces (a characteristic squeak when cutting) – overheating, sticking the edges of the cutting tool with chips, notching the surface.
Guidelines for the correct machining of stainless steel as standard in the Alabus CNC machine park are the use of carbide tools, cooling the cutting tools, avoiding cutting at a constant depth to prevent corrugation. Thanks to our attentiveness and precise adaptation to the processed material in the execution of orders, we improve the quality of the final product.
Thanks to the advantages of stainless steel, it produces durable valves and fasteners for use even in chemically harsh environments. It is successful in elements manufactured for the maritime industry. This material is irreplaceable in gastronomy, pharmacy and medicine, among others due to the ease of maintaining high hygiene standards.

Alloy steel
In the case of projects involving steel elements of special durability, alloy steels with various carbon content and alloying additives, mainly chromium, manganese, silicon, tungsten and nickel, are used. ALABUS customers most often use steels for carburizing, nitriding, thermal improvement, spring steel and construction steel of higher quality.
The degree of machining complexity is determined by the carbon content (the higher, the better the machinability) and the hardness of the HRC. Steels with a hardness above 20 HRC should be actively cooled during machining, conservative machining parameters should be used (low depth of cut, lower tool speeds).

Metal processing ratio: stainless steel – 40, alloy steel – 57, high carbon steel – 66, brass, bronze – 150, aluminum 170.

ALABUS CNC designs and manufactures a wide range of metal products
using the best processing equipment.

We support large-scale production of complex projects for clients from many industries.
If you want to know more about our products and services,
write to us at info@alabuscnc.com or call us.