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How to Aluminum Milling Parts

2022-04-06 12:43:41

How to Aluminum Milling Parts

If you're looking to start machining parts in aluminum, you might be wondering how to make them. Aluminum alloys come in many different forms, but they have unique properties and are incredibly machinable. This article will discuss the properties of these metals and what they can be used for. This will help you to start making parts in aluminium in no time! This article will also give you some information on the different types of aluminum.


Aluminum alloys


There are several considerations to keep in mind when it comes to aluminum alloys for milling parts. Since aluminum alloys are soft, they can easily deform, making them a poor choice for parts subject to high impact forces. Additionally, aluminum has a higher coefficient of thermal expansion than steel, so it will deform when heated during machining. Because aluminum is more expensive than steel, it is not the best choice for critical power consumption applications.

One of the best aluminum alloys for milling parts is called AW 5754. Compared to other common aluminum alloys, this alloy is extensively stronger. Because of this, it is commonly used in rail coaches, aircraft parts, and other heavily loaded structures. However, it has lower machinability than the other aluminum alloys. Therefore, it's best used for applications requiring high strength and a higher level of flexibility.


Aluminum alloys
Aluminum alloys


Their properties


When considering machining parts, aluminum is a great choice. It has a high strength-to-weight ratio, low density, and excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. In addition, it is lightweight, making it suitable for a wide variety of applications. The properties of aluminum also make it a good choice for parts that need to be resistant to corrosion and light in weight. Aluminum offers many other benefits, including excellent corrosion resistance and low overall cost.

When considering what aluminum alloys to use for manufacturing, the alloy's first thing to keep in mind. Since aluminum alloys have low hardness, they have a high thermal expansion coefficient. The material's thermal expansion makes it vulnerable to deformation when machined into thin parts. Because of this, aluminum alloy machined parts should be processed in a manner that dissipates the heat quickly, as this will reduce the rate of thermal deformation. For example, cavities on an aluminum alloy plate can twist the walls due to the force distribution. Therefore, it is recommended to process the plate in the same period to ensure consistency.

Another factor to consider when choosing an aluminum alloy is the cutting tool. Because of the malleability of aluminum, it is common to create a built-up edge on a cutting tool, masking the sharp cutting surface. This deforms the cutting tool and also results in a poor surface finish on the part. The best choice for CNC machining is carbide-based. But, if you're not interested in metal, there are also engineering thermoplastics that can match the machinability of aluminum. POM, for example, is a plastic alternative to aluminum that has an impressive strength-to-melt ratio and a low melting point.


Their machinability


The ease with which a metal can be milled is called machinability. While this is an important factor for any metalworking process, many variables affect the machinability of aluminum. Aluminum is relatively easy to machine and responds well to most fabrication methods, including milling, cutting, and drilling. Still, machine shops have particular concerns when milling aluminum. For example, machining aluminum can result in a rough thread finish.

There are several grades of aluminum, and each has a different level of machinability. A6061 is the most pliable metal commonly used for airplane wing spars and bike frames. A6042 is the next most pliable grade and produces smaller, curled chips under temper conditions. A6262 is another aluminum alloy that is good for milling because of its heat-treatability and good finishing characteristics.

One of the most important considerations when milling aluminum is the cutting tool used. Some types of tools have sticky surfaces or stringy chips. If this is happening, you must take the time to understand which cutting tools you need and why. The key to success is to know what the machining problem is and how to fix it. To increase the machinability of aluminum, you may want to experiment with different alloys and tempers.


Their cost


While the price of aluminum milling parts is generally lower than steel, it is important to note that the geometry of aluminum machining parts requires more resources. Tight tolerances require more machining cycles and add to the cost of the parts. Additionally, complex profiles require bespoke fixturing. Fortunately, China is the most convenient location to purchase these parts. You can find them at a factory price in China.

Many CNC shops only quote milling as a standalone process, and there are better ways to use aluminum in your design. For example, some parts are better made with tool-based fabrication and forging assisted by milling. 3ERP has several ways to combine CNC machining with other production methods to maximize aluminum's functionality. These combinations allow you to save on costs while maximizing the benefits of each process. Aluminum milling has many benefits over other metals.

CNC machining of aluminum is easier and faster than milling other materials, and it allows for high precision. Precision can be as high as +0.025 mm. Aluminum also offers many desirable physical properties ideal for mechanical parts. This material is lightweight and corrosion-resistant, ideal for aircraft fittings and automobile shafts. Compared to steel and iron, aluminum is a cheaper alternative. You can order aluminum parts in various alloys, which will ultimately affect the price.




Aluminum alloys are particularly challenging to drill because of their high flexibility. The metal's hardness also varies according to the alloy and machining process. The best practices for drilling aluminum include using coolant with high lubricity and neat cutting oil. Synthetic water-based fluids can cause the metal to stick, and a rough surface finish. Modern machinery still hasn't reached the speed ceiling of aluminum surface drilling, but this shouldn't prevent you from drilling the material.

The best way to achieve smooth, clean cuttings for parts with cavities is by pre-drilling the parts with a tool smaller than the milling cutter. Without a pre-drill, the milling cutter will only encounter debris in the cavity, which will cause the cutting process to generate excessive heat. This heat can cause deformation and, ultimately, failure. For this reason, many manufacturers of aluminum milling parts prefer to use through-coolant drills instead.




A thin-walled sample of 45 mm x 160 mm was milled to the desired thickness to reduce deformations during milling. The bottom of the sample was milled with a thickness of 1 mm, with holes on the left ends used as clamps. These samples were jigged in the clamping device using a geometric solution, which minimized the influence of clamping forces on the deformation process.

Compared to conventional finishing techniques, pre-milling aluminum milling parts can reduce deformations after the machining process. Pre-milling removes the textured layer that forms after the rolling process. This results in a new dimension and improved shape balance, whereas residual stresses cause significant deformations. The correct milling technique can minimize these deformations using the correct tooling and procedure.

The process of CNC milling aluminum involves using X-ray detectors to examine the internal structure of the part. This process records comprehensive observations of the aluminum milling part, enabling it to be inspected for internal flaws, porosity, and shrinkage due to temperature change. Cleanliness testers also help in identifying impurities and defects. Experts at Sunrise Metal use special filtration methods to remove impurities.


Feed rate


The feed rate refers to the distance the workpiece moves during each revolution of the CNC machine. Feed rates vary depending on the finish required, the stiffness of the workpiece, and the feed rate of the cutting fluid. Feed rates of 0.15 to 2.03 mm/rev are recommended for rough cuts and 0.05 to 0.15 mm/rev for finishing cuts. If you use soluble-oil emulsions or mineral oils, it is important to avoid cutting fluids containing active sulfur and chlorine, as they stain aluminum.

Another factor to consider is chip load. Chip load is the amount of material removed by each tooth. A higher chip load indicates a faster cutting rate, resulting in a poorer surface finish. In some cases, higher feed rates are more appropriate for certain cuts, while others are not. To minimize the risk of a poor surface finish, consider using curled chips. A high chip load is a sign of a poor finish.


Helix angle


Choosing the right helix angle for your end mill can make a huge difference in the final results. Helix angles are formed by the tool's centerline and the edge of the rake face. In addition to the helix angle, the cutting edge strength also affects the helix angle. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right helix angle for milling aluminum. Here are a few examples of helix angles.

The helix angle of an end mill affects the cutting edge's ability to contact the workpiece. Higher helix angles increase the amount of contact the cutting edge has with the workpiece. This helps minimize the amount of load on the cutting edge and extends tool life. Higher helix angles require tool holders with high clamping rigidity. Higher helix angles also sharpen the edge.

The helix angle of an end mill has a direct effect on the dimensional surface error. A large helix angle will produce a smooth surface, but a small helix angle will produce a rougher surface. While a smaller helix angle is advantageous for reducing the chatter, it will also result in a higher surface dimensional error. In addition, a smaller helix angle will give you the highest cutting force, but the helix angle will decrease the tool's contact time and lead to increased chatter.