What Materials You Can Use For Projects In CNC Machining?
CNC machines completely rely on industrial-grade materials for a fine performance. Therefore you cannot ignore the importance of materials for CNC machines. These materials are for producing state-of-the-art components and enhancing their quality.
Moreover, there is not just one type of CNC machine material. You can choose from a huge range of materials in your hand. These can be composites, ceramics, and metals. We are going to have a look at the best possible CNC machine materials in this post so that you can always use reliable ones for your CNC machine operations.
Common CNC Machining Metal Materials
We have picked the most common CNC materials that different producers use below:
Aluminium has been a suitable material for this purpose for many years. It is because aluminum is reliable to use for CNC operations because of its different qualities. It makes the alloys happen by combining them with other metals like iron and magnesium.
Therefore, it is a good material to work with. Besides, it reduces the chances of corrosion and any other form of damage. It also precisely works with CNC machines and never interrupts them while performing. Therefore, the results shown by them are up-to-the-mark.
Aluminum is not only affordable, but it also goes well when we need to weld it. Now, aluminum 6061 has more features than other forms and is important for an impressive rate of yield.
Aluminum 7075 is known for its high strength-to-weight ratio and excellent resistance to corrosion. It is often used in aerospace, automotive, and military applications where strength and durability are critical. Despite its robustness, 7075 is also machinable, allowing for precise and intricate machining operations.
Aluminum 6082 is another popular choice due to its good formability, weldability, and corrosion resistance. It exhibits excellent machinability, making it suitable for various CNC machining processes. This alloy finds extensive use in structural components, machinery parts, and architectural applications.
Similarly, aluminum 6061 is renowned for its strength, workability, and versatility. It combines good corrosion resistance with excellent machinability, allowing for efficient machining operations and the creation of intricate designs. 6061 is commonly utilized in the automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries, as well as in the production of consumer goods.
When you make an alloy of zinc and copper, you develop brass. Brass is usually soft, and you also don’t have to lubricate brass for intense operations. Therefore, it is a handy material for machining. Unlike some special metals, brass does not react with the air and catches fire so you will be safe around it.
If brass contains more since then, it will be less likely to resist corrosion. It is a recyclable material and conductive as well. It is good for soldering and also works with low temperatures, which makes it an ideal material for CNC machining. Brass also has vast applications around us, like in-house decorations, hardware, plumbings, and kitchen utensils.
We are discussing an alloy of zinc and aluminum. However, you must be surprised to know that even aluminum is heavier than this magnesium alloy. However, don’t get too excited to know this. Magnesium AZ31 has the complete capacity to make a dent in your pocket because it is one of the most expensive alloys used in CNC machining.
You also need to be careful with powdered magnesium because it can catch fire. Therefore sufficient lubrication of magnesium is important here. It is easy to anodize it. You never go wrong with this alloy in terms of stability as well. It has applications like developing laptop cases, cameras, and different types of power tools.
Stainless Steel 303/304/316
303 Stainless Steel
You will find a huge range of stainless steel versions in the market. This stainless steel 303 is the typical one. It combines with chromium which is one of the best resistors to corrosion. You can hardly differentiate between the forms of stainless steel.
Due to this reason, you have to be extra careful with finding the right choice of stainless steel. You can use a detecting tool like OES to find out the best one for yourself. In this stainless steel 303, you will also find sulfur. It renders different benefits during CNC machining.
304 Stainless Steel
Different producers like to rely on the stainless steel 304 as well. Therefore it finds important applications in different domains out there. This alloy combines nickel and chromium with fixed proportions. Therefore it is a handy material for CNC machining. It is not a magnetic material which means you need to pay close attention to its characteristics.
You can easily weld this alloy of stainless steel. It fights back corrosion and ensures greater protection of the components at the same time. However, you must need to avoid contaminating it with reactive metals during the process.
316 Stainless Steel
We are talking about another common alloy of stainless steel which is 316. It includes molybdenum, and due to this reason, it has great importance in military-grade equipment and marine defense mechanisms and machines. Besides, it is a sturdy material and has different qualities as well. It can be used for pipes, war tanks, submarines, kitchen utensils, and much more.
Carbon Steel 1045
Have you ever heard of carbon steel? Well, today, you are going to learn about this interesting CNC machining material. It is mild steel and has different interesting properties. This alloy is readily available and is much more affordable for workers.
However, don’t mistake its nature for its name. It has a robust structure and leaves different steel alloys behind. Moreover, it is an industrial-grade material and functions well for CNC operations at the same time. It has applications in complex fields like architecture.
Titanium is another common choice among the CNC machinist when it comes to the selection of materials. It features different qualities which make it highly useful for CNC operations. These include corrosion resistance, rigidity, and lightweight.
It is efficient to prevent corrosion a swell. However, in terms of conductivity, it can clearly disappoint you. It needs high-end and advanced cutters for operations. You might be surprised to know that it is a biocompatible material with a high MP as compared to the other materials.
Common CNC Machining Plastic Materials
We have talked before about how CNC machining uses plastic materials as well. Therefore it is important for you to get your hands on the appropriate plastics to avoid complications in the long run. These are reliable for milling and turning because of their sturdy nature. They are easy to change their shapes as well. These have been successful in providing the desired results to the firms. It’s time that we learn more about them in this section. Let’s get started:
POM, PEEK, UHWMPE
POM, also known as acetal or Delrin, is a popular engineering plastic known for its high stiffness, low friction, and excellent dimensional stability. It exhibits good wear resistance and can withstand high temperatures, making it suitable for applications such as gears, bearings, and precision components.
PEEK is a high-performance thermoplastic that combines exceptional mechanical properties with chemical resistance and thermal stability. It offers excellent strength, stiffness, and dimensional stability even at elevated temperatures. PEEK is commonly used in demanding industries like aerospace, medical, and automotive, where performance and reliability are critical.
UHWMPE is a type of polyethylene known for its outstanding impact strength, low coefficient of friction, and self-lubricating properties. It has a high molecular weight, making it highly resistant to wear and abrasion. UHWMPE is commonly used in applications that require excellent impact resistance, such as wear strips, bearings, and chute liners.
These plastic materials are favored in CNC machining due to their machinability, allowing for precise and intricate part production. They can be easily shaped, drilled, milled, and turned to achieve complex geometries and tight tolerances. Additionally, they offer good chemical resistance and can be easily post-processed, such as polishing or surface finishing, to meet specific requirements.
At Creatingway, we have extensive experience in CNC machining with plastic materials like POM, PEEK, and UHWMPE. Our skilled technicians are well-versed in working with these materials, ensuring the highest quality and accuracy in every project. Whether you need precision components for medical devices, industrial prototypes, or custom parts, we have the expertise to meet your needs.
Basically, ABS is a special resin used in CNC operations. It is corrosion-resistant as well. It is also good with the current. You don’t have to struggle much with it when it comes to coloring. Besides, it is a versatile plastic and completely reliable for prototyping. You will also find it easily available, and it is much more affordable than other plastics out there.
Who does not know about Nylon? It is much similar to ABS in terms of its attributes. However, the tensile strength and performance of Nylon have not match among plastics. When you combine glass fibers, ABS resin, and nylon, you develop a highly precise mixture of plastics with different properties. You can also trust Nylon for its surface lubrication on all counts. Never use Nylon for marine applications since it quickly absorbs water and might lead to many complications at the same time.
How To Select the Correct CNC Machining Materials
There are some crucial factors that you cannot ignore when it comes to choosing the right CNC machining material. We are going to make it clear and easy for you in this last section of our post. Pay close attention to these factors to keep the problems at bay during your selection. Let’s get started!
You need to determine how the material reacts with moisture. Some materials hate water, and due to this reason, these can be easily ruled out if you are working with water-sensitive applications. If not, using such material will not damage your application at all. Water-intolerant plastics are Nylon; therefore, these cannot be used in marine applications.
You must also determine how much does this material have strength for your application? Sometimes, less sturdy materials entirely ruin your applications. To save yourself from such a mess, you have to be considerate while picking the appropriate material for this purpose. You need to know how much this material offer compression and load bearing. Other than this, toughness and elasticity are also important factors in evaluating your materials.
Heat also plays a huge part in selecting the right CNC machining materials. Some materials are heat-tolerant, which makes them suitable if your applications include fire. However, in the contrary case, you need to look for another option. Never use a material that cannot work impressively with heat, and due to this reason, you have to be strict with your selection.
Corrosion can eat up your entire application. Therefore the materials you are using have to be corrosion-resistant. Therefore, you need to do proper research on the material you are willing to buy to keep complications and mishaps at bay. If corrosion ruins your application, it can lead to the waste of your investment and time as well.
The best CNC machining materials are the ones that can undergo mechanical stress. Some materials are still existing which do not adhere well to the machining, which includes carbon fiber. Therefore always go with machine-friendly materials so that you can save yourself from mess to a large extent. Some materials that are not machine-friendly can also interfere with normal CNC machining, which can be problematic on all counts.
You don’t want to buy useless and high-end CNC machining materials. It is because there is no point in buying a material that does not meet your requirements. Plus, it fails to perform as per your needs. Due to this reason, always determine the cost of the material you are trying to purchase. It comes in handy and leads you to get your desired material with the least hustle of expenditure.
Creatingway is the ideal contact for all your CNC machining material needs. With our expertise and extensive range of materials, we can provide high-quality manufacturing solutions tailored to your specific requirements. Contact us today to explore our comprehensive range of materials and start your CNC machining journey with confidence.
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