CNC machining is a versatile manufacturing process that is compatible with a wide range of materials. However, aluminum is a common material used in the manufacturing of parts known as aluminum machining. Aluminum machining is a process that involves the use of aluminum in product manufacturing, as it is available in a variety of grades. Aluminum is highly machinable and relatively affordable, and different types of aluminum alloys are suitable for countless machining applications. This includes electronic enclosure products, automation equipment, automotive parts, and more.

What is CNC machined aluminum?

CNC Machining Aluminum

CNC machining of aluminum is a method of cutting, drilling, grinding, tapping and other machining processes on aluminum alloys using computer-controlled machine tools. This type of machining is achieved by pre-programming the machine tool to automatically complete the machining tasks as required to machine aluminum alloy parts. This means greater accuracy, consistency, productivity, control and design freedom, while reducing waste!

What grade of aluminum is used in CNC machining?

Some of the most common aluminum alloys used for CNC machining include 7075, 6061, 6262, 2011, and 2024. each alloy has advantages and disadvantages, so you need to choose the right material for each part. We’ll explain some of the key differences between each alloy and help you decide which one to use for your project.

CNC Machining Aluminum

Pure aluminum:

Aluminum 1050:

High purity, with excellent conductivity and plasticity, commonly used in electronics, machinery manufacturing and other fields.

Aluminum 1060:

Commonly used in products requiring good forming and processing performance, high corrosion resistance, and not high strength requirements, such as chemical instruments, thin plate processing parts, deep drawing or spinning concave vessels, welded parts, heat exchangers, clock surfaces and plates, nameplates, decorative parts, containers for the chemical industry, heat sinks, solenoid coils, printed boards, instrumentation boards, and plating aluminum plates.

Alloy Aluminum:

Aluminum 3003

Aluminum-manganese alloy, strength than 1100 about 20% higher, corrosion resistance is also relatively good, good weldability, used for processing the need for good forming properties, high corrosion resistance can be welded to good parts parts, or both these properties and the need to have a higher strength than the 1XXX series of alloys for the work, such as kitchen utensils, food and chemical product handling and storage devices, transportation of liquid products tanks, tanks, to a variety of thin sheet processing Pressure vessels and piping general ware, heat sinks, cosmetic boards, photocopying boards, printing plates, cans and boxes.

Aluminum 5052

Aluminum-magnesium alloy, with good forming and processing performance, corrosion resistance, weldability, medium strength, used in the manufacture of aircraft fuel tanks, fuel lines, and transportation vehicles, ships, sheet metal parts, instrumentation, street lamps brackets and rivets, hardware, electrical shells and so on.

Aluminum 6061

Aluminum-magnesium-silicon alloy, medium strength, with good plasticity and excellent corrosion resistance, in particular, no stress corrosion cracking tendency, easy to heat treatment to strengthen, spot welding welding performance is good, used in the manufacture of aircraft structural components, propellers, engine parts, landing gear, landing gear, fasteners and aircraft parts, building components, transportation vehicle structural components, rail vehicle structural components, ships, bridges, brackets, machinery parts, precision machining, storage devices, electronic housings, etc.

Aluminum 7075

Super duralumin, used in the manufacture of aircraft structures and other high-stress structural bodies requiring high strength and corrosion resistance and mold processing.

What are the common aluminum CNC machining processes?

CNC Milling

A machining method that uses a rotating tool to cut a workpiece. It allows for the machining of multiple surfaces in a single clamping, with faster cutting speeds and higher productivity. Milling is used for a wide range of machining, including flat parts and curved parts such as grooves, various shaped surfaces such as splines, gears and threads.

cnc turning

A machining method that removes metal material by rotating the workpiece. The workpiece is held on a lathe and the desired shape is formed by the feed of the tool. Turning is mainly used for machining shafts, disks, bushings and other workpieces with rotating surfaces, such as axle parts, rotating body surfaces, etc.

CNC machining aluminum surface treatment

Sandblasting

By sandblasting, oxidized layer and dirt can be removed and surface finish can be improved.

Polishing

Using polishing wheels and polishing liquid tools, the surface is polished and brightened to obtain a smooth and even surface. Polishing treatment is generally divided into mechanical polishing, chemical polishing and electrochemical polishing three ways. Mechanical polishing is realized by physical polishing; chemical polishing is to use chemical reagents to corrode the surface; electrochemical polishing uses electrolytic polishing technology.

Anodizing

This is a commonly used surface treatment method for aluminum products, which improves the corrosion and wear resistance of aluminum by forming a corrosion-resistant oxide layer on the aluminum surface.

Spray Coating

A process that provides a protective coating for aluminum, effectively preventing oxidation and corrosion of aluminum while improving the aesthetics of the surface.

Electroplating

A surface treatment process that enhances the corrosion resistance and decorative properties of aluminum by covering the surface of aluminum with a layer of metal or other material to form a protective layer.

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