Two Issues With Aluminum CNC Machining

Machining is a term that incorporates a variety of related actions – all of them reductive in nature. In industry, the cutting of metal is a favorite form of machining. When the emphasis is on lightweight, cost-effectiveness, corrosion-resistance and durability, a primary choice is aluminum. Aluminum CNC machining can produce the desired results; however, it is not without its problems.

Two Basic Problems with CNC Aluminum Machining

CNC technology allows machine shop to improve their capabilities to cut accurately, quickly and precisely. Moreover, with CNC a machinist can ensure reliable repeatability. However, machinists who cut aluminum may fail to achieve these goals if they do not recognize two issues that potentially can mar the cutting process. These are

1. Build-Up Of An Edge (BUE): This occurs on the surface during the cutting process Aluminum will adhere to the edges of any cutting tool. This will affect the overall quality of the piece including:

a. The integrity of the workpiece’s surface finish – a cloudiness is prominent with scratches appearing
b. Tool longevity – This is decreased through increased wear-and-tear and even breakage
c. Rugosity (Surface Roughness) increases significantly

2. Long Chip Formation: This results from the ductility of the metal and interferes
with quality and indicates higher production of swarf

In both situations, it is possible for machinists to adopt a pro-active result to prevent either problem occurring and rendering the workpiece defective. One method to reduce the chances of the formation of long chips is to augment the depth and curtail the forward of the cutting parameters. As for BUE, reduce the instance by increasing the cutting speed and consider Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coatings.

Aluminum CNC Machining

Aluminum CNC machining is an effective and efficient means of producing high-quality workpieces. However, it is not without its issues. Two major problems, long chip formation, and BUE can negatively affect the workpiece and the tools. Being aware of the potential risks ensures the implementing of proper avoidance actions.

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