Copper CNC machining is the use of computer-controlled tools and machines to process copper materials into desired shapes. This type of machining has a wide range of applications in aerospace, electronics, automotive and other industries.

In this article, we will provide a detailed overview of copper CNC machining, including its characteristics, advantages and challenges, as well as key factors for successful copper CNC machining.

Copper CNC Machining Service

What is copper CNC machining?

Copper CNC Machining

Copper CNC machining refers to the process of using computer numerical control machine tools to process copper materials. The CNC machine automatically controls the movement of the tool according to pre-programmed instructions to accurately cut, engrave or shape the copper material.

As a metal with good electrical and thermal conductivity and malleability, copper is well suited for CNC machining.

Various grades of copper for CNC machining

Copper is one of the most commonly used metals for CNC machining, and its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as its good machinability, are used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications. Below are some common grades of pure copper used for CNC machining and their characteristics:

High Purity Copper (e.g. T2)

This copper, with a purity of up to 99.9%, has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, good ductility and malleability.

It is commonly used in the manufacture of wires, cables, circuit boards and other electrical components.

Electrolytic Copper (e.g. C11000)

Pure copper obtained by electrolytic refining, with extremely high purity and good workability.

It is used to make precision parts and parts with complex shapes, such as connectors and switches in electronic equipment.

Phosphorus Deoxidised Copper (e.g. C51000)

A copper alloy containing a small amount of phosphorus, it has high strength and hardness, good electrical and thermal conductivity.

It is commonly used to make springs, connectors and other parts that require higher strength and wear resistance.

Oxygen-free copper (e.g. C10100)

Almost oxygen-free copper with excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as good ductility and malleability.

It is used to make high-precision parts and parts with complex shapes, such as connectors and switches in electronic equipment.

Silver-copper alloys (e.g. C18150)

Not pure copper, silver-copper alloy contains a higher percentage of silver and has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity.

It is used for parts that require high electrical and thermal conductivity, such as connectors and switches in electronic equipment.

Advantages and challenges of copper in CNC machining

Copper CNC Machining


Good electrical and thermal conductivity, ideal material for the electronics and electrical industries.

Highly malleable, copper is easy to machine into a variety of shapes and sizes.

Soft hardness, easy to cut, allowing for high precision machining.

Good corrosion resistance, copper products have a long service life.


Copper materials are prone to burrs and splashes during machining, requiring protective measures to control them.

The thermal conductivity of copper materials can lead to tool overheating, requiring the selection of appropriate tool materials and coolants.

Copper material in the machining process may produce oxidation, affecting the surface quality, need to take appropriate protective measures.

Due to the low modulus of elasticity of the copper material, the processing is prone to deformation, the need to control the processing parameters and the use of appropriate fixtures.

Key considerations for successful CNC copper machining

  • Material selection: according to the use of parts and performance requirements to select the appropriate copper material.
  • Tool selection: select the appropriate tool material and geometric parameters to adapt to the machining characteristics of copper materials.
  • Parameter setting: Reasonably set parameters such as cutting speed, feed rate and depth of cut to optimise machining efficiency and surface quality.
  • Cooling and lubrication: choose suitable coolant and lubrication to reduce tool wear and improve machining surface quality.
  • Fixture design: adopt suitable fixture to fix the workpiece to ensure machining stability and reduce deformation.
  • Programming: write accurate CNC programme to achieve accurate machining of parts.
  • Quality inspection: strict quality inspection of the processed parts to ensure compliance with the design requirements.

Surface treatment of copper CNC machined parts

  • Polishing: remove surface scratches and oxidation layer through mechanical or chemical polishing methods to improve the surface finish of the parts.
  • Electroplating: the surface of the parts for gold plating, nickel plating and other plating treatment to improve corrosion resistance and appearance.
  • Anodising: anodising certain copper alloys to increase surface hardness and wear resistance.
  • Spraying: Spraying protective or decorative layers on the surface of parts to improve wear resistance and aesthetics of the parts.
  • Heat treatment: heat treatment of certain copper alloys to improve their mechanical properties and processing performance.

Different types of CNC machining methods for copper

  • Turning: applicable to the processing of shafts, sets and other rotating parts.
  • Milling: suitable for processing complex shaped parts surface.
  • Drilling: suitable for processing hole parts.
  • Boring: for processing the accuracy and size of existing holes.
  • Grinding: used to improve the surface finish and dimensional accuracy of parts.

CNC machining copper applications

  • Electronics industry: for the manufacture of circuit boards, connectors and other electronic components.
  • Communications industry: used to manufacture antennas, high-frequency cables and other communications equipment.
  • Power industry: for the manufacture of power transmission lines, switchgear and so on.
  • Machinery manufacturing: used to manufacture precision mechanical components and moulds.
  • Aerospace: used to manufacture aircraft engine components, satellite structures and other high-precision, high-strength parts.
  • Other fields: such as construction, decoration, medical treatment, etc. are also widely used.

Alternatives to CNC Machining for Copper

While CNC machining is prevalent, alternative methods include:

  • Hand Machining: For simpler or one-off projects.
  • Laser Cutting: For precise, non-contact cutting of thinner copper sheets.
  • Stamping and Forming: Cost-effective for producing copper parts in large volumes.

machcncmaster: Your Best Partner For Copper CNC Machining

MachCncMaster provides high precision copper CNC machining solutions. We use state-of-the-art CNC machines and technology, and a dedicated engineering team to provide you with customised copper parts machining services.

Whether it’s a complex shape or fine detail, MachCncMaster is able to meet the needs of their customers with a focus on quality control and delivery times to ensure customer satisfaction.

Similar Posts