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Why You Need Aluminum CNC Machining

Posted by Mike Sterling

Jun 17, 2022 3:02:09 PM

The specific properties and features of aluminum have made aluminum CNC machining an increasingly popular process for product manufacturing. If you're wondering what makes aluminum such a popular choice for manufacturers, learn about why you need aluminum CNC machining below!

What to Know About Aluminum CNC Machining

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines use a computer program to operate, and manufacturers may use them for production or prototyping. Aluminum is one of the most popular materials used for CNC machining because of its superior machinability. Additionally, aluminum is easily shaped and features certain mechanical and thermal properties that make it ideal for CNC machining applications. These advantages make aluminum a considerably more suitable option over other lightweight metal alloys such as titanium and magnesium.

Over the years, a growing number of industries and applications have used CNC aluminum machining to produce everything from automotive parts and various other lightweight components. 

Benefits of Aluminum CNC Machining

Aluminum CNC machining offers various advantages over other types of metals. These benefits include:

Machinability

Engineers frequently choose aluminum over other metals because of its machinability. This metal is easy to shape and chip, meaning it can be accurately and efficiently cut using CNC machining equipment. This high level of machinability helps shorten the timeframe of the machining project, making the process much more affordable. In addition, aluminum's machinability minimizes the risk of part deformation when cutting the workpiece, leading to increased precision, accuracy, and repeatability.

Corrosion Resistance

Depending on the grade, aluminum offers high resistance to corrosion, which protects against chemical wear and oxidization. One of the most corrosion-resistant grades is 6061, which many applications rely on for protection against corrosive environments.

Strength-to-Weight Ratio

Many parts use aluminum because of its ideal physical properties, including its lightweight yet high-strength nature. These properties make aluminum suitable for manufacturing critical parts across a range of industries, including the automotive and aerospace industries. A couple of the parts that rely on CNC-machined aluminum include automotive shafts and fittings for aircraft.

It's important to keep in mind that different aluminum grades serve different functions. For example, a general-use grade like 6061 features a high strength-to-weight ratio compatible with many parts. Meanwhile, marine and aerospace applications may need aluminum with added strength, in which case they may use a grade such as 7075.

Electrical Conductivity

Electrical components often feature CNC-machined aluminum parts because of aluminum's high conductivity. While this metal isn't quite as conductive as copper, pure aluminum is capable of conducting approximately 37.7 million siemens per meter when at room temperature. Certain alloys may have reduced conductivity, but aluminum is typically more conductive than stainless steel and other metals.

Recyclability

Aluminum is highly recyclable, making it great for businesses that wish to reduce their environmental impact or minimize material waste while saving money. CNC machining applications often use recyclable materials because of the potentially large amounts of waste these processes generate when cutting workpieces.

Ardel Engineering's Aluminum CNC Machining Capabilities

The professionals at Ardel Engineering use a combination of vertical and horizontal CNC machining centers to produce precision components made from a variety of metals, such as aluminum. 

Applications that require facing and pocketing tend to use horizontal machining centers due to the ease of removing chips. The reason for this is the orientation of the horizontal spindle, which facilitates high-speed machining to optimize the efficiency of part production involving high volumes of material removal.

Ardel Engineering's facility also includes eight equipment models, with 23 milling centers in total. This allows for even more flexibility in manufacturing. Our team of engineers selects the most appropriate equipment to complete CNC machining processes based on several factors, including the volume, material, and geometry of the part produced. In turn, we provide our customers with top-quality products at the most competitive prices.

To complete each process, we offer access to the latest technology, starting with the design stage through to product inspection and delivery. We're always adding new pieces of equipment to allow for continual improvement of the efficiency and quality we offer. One piece of equipment we employ is our computer-aided, cutting-edge manufacturing system, Gibb CAM. We use this system to program our CNC machines, allowing us to provide superior precision and speed with every service. We also use Pro/Engineer software and the latest viewers to easily work with all of our customers' files.

Aluminum CNC Machining at Ardel Engineering

If you require dependable aluminum CNC machining for your application, the experts at Ardel Engineering have plenty of experience. We serve a wide range of industries, including aerospace, medical, recreation, security, electronics, and more.

To learn more about our CNC machining capabilities and get started on your next project with us, request a quote for our services or contact us today.