Is aluminum difficult to machine?

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Is aluminum difficult to machine?

As the third most abundant chemical element found within the Earth’s crust, aluminum is one of the world’s most commonly produced and utilized metals. When it come to aluminum alloy, a question pop up “is aluminum difficult to machine” for custom parts? 

The answer is Aluminum alloy is a light weight and strong metal that is easy to machine. It has a high melting point, so it can be cast into many shapes.

The properties of aluminum make it an ideal metal to use in machining and die casting. Aluminum is easy to machine because the metal has low hardness and low wear resistance. This means that the tooling can last longer, which lowers production costs. Aluminum also has a high melting point, which means it can be cast into many shapes without cracking or breaking.

Is Aluminum Difficult To Machine?

1. material properities

Aluminum is a metal that is lightweight and strong. It has five physical properties that make it useful for many applications.

  • 1) Aluminum is light weight, which makes it good for things like cars and airplanes.
  • 2) Aluminum has a low reactivity to other metals, which makes it useful in fields like cooking where you need to avoid corrosion or reactions with other items.
  • 3) Aluminum can be recycled over and over again, which means that it doesn’t use as much energy as some other metals would when recycling them.
  • 4) Aluminum has a high thermal conductivity, which means that heat can easily be transferred from one place to another through the metal.
  • 5) Aluminum doesn’t corrode in dry environments, which makes it perfect for things like food containers and cooking utensils.
If you are interested in learning more about aluminium alloy properities for better understanding to machine your product designs, then contact 3Q MACHNING and we will put you in touch with the right expert.

2. Common types of aluminum alloy and its application

1xxx series aluminum alloy:

1100,1200 Aluminum 99% 1050 Aluminum 99.5%
Good formability, corrosion resistance, weldability, and low strength.
Household products, electrical appliances, conductive materials, etc. that do not require strength.

2xxx series aluminum alloy:

2017 Duralumin Cu4%, Mg0.5% High strength, poor corrosion resistance, corrosion protection must be done in the corrosive environment. Aviation materials, structural materials. 2024 Super Duralumin Cu4.5%, Mg1.5% The tensile strength reaches 50kg/mm2, and the corrosion resistance is poor. Corrosive environments must be treated with anti-corrosion.

3xxx series aluminum alloy:

3003 Mn1-1.5% Does not reduce the workability and corrosion resistance of pure aluminum to increase its strength. Daily necessities, building materials, containers, etc.
3004 Mn1-1.5%, Mg1% has higher strength than 3003. Aluminum cans, light bulb heads, colored aluminum plates, etc.

4xxx series aluminum alloy:

4032 Si12%, Cu, Ni, Mg each 1% Reduce thermal expansion rate and increase strength and heat resistance. Forged pistons of diesel engines.
4043 Si5% has a low melting point. Welding rod, flux.

5xxx series aluminum alloy:

5005 Mg0.8% Excellent corrosion resistance, processability, weldability, surface gloss and other properties. Vehicle interior materials, building materials, etc.
5052 Mg2.5% representative alloy of medium strength (annealed 20kg/mm2), good formability and corrosion resistance. Ships, vehicles, construction materials, beverage cans.
5083 Mg4.5% non-heat-treated alloy has the highest strength and good weldability. Materials for welding structures such as ships, vehicles, and chemical plants.

6xxx series aluminum alloy:

6061 Mg1%, Si0.6%, Cu0.3% heat-treated alloy, good corrosion resistance, excellent high temperature processability, yield strength about 25kg/mm2, equivalent to SS41 steel. Construction materials, ships, vehicles, land structures, such as iron towers, cranes, etc.
6063 Mg 0.6%, Si 0.4% has excellent extrudability. Aluminum doors and windows, building materials.

7xxx series aluminum alloy:

7075 super duralumin Zn5.5%, Mg2.5%, Cu1.6% belongs to the Al-Zn-Mg-Cu series alloy with the highest strength among aluminum alloys, with a tensile strength of 60kg/mm2. Aviation materials, sporting goods.
7N01 Zn4.5%, Mg1.5% belongs to Al-Zn-Mg series alloy for welding structure, with high strength and good hardenability. Welding structural materials, materials for railway vehicles.

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Table of Contents

Author: Mose Li

Author: Mose Li

Director of Project Engineering at 3Q Machining

Materials

The guideline for raw materials, understand more to choose best material for your custom part projects.

Machining Techniques

The guideline for different machining technique, understand more to choose best technique for your custom part projects.

Equipments

The guideline for different machining equipments, understand more to choose best equipments for your custom part projects.

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