Types of Aluminum Alloy Specifications for CNC Machining

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Types of Aluminum Alloy Specifications for CNC Machining

Types of Aluminum Alloy Specifications for CNC Machining

Types of Aluminum Alloy Specifications for CNC Machining

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.

The Important Things You Should Know

Questions and Answers

Aluminum alloy material has features of High machinability and ductility, good strength-to-weight ratio. 

As one of the most widely use metal material, Aluminum alloys is also the most popular metal material that is good for CNC Machining, due to its low cost effective and fast machining speed, plus light weight and high strength, nowadays, more and more custom parts choose to use aluminum alloys to be machined by CNC, 

Especially the aluminum 6061 which is “Good Formability or Workability” & ” Good Weldability” & ” Good Machinability” & “Excellent Corrosion Resistance” & ” Good Strength” & ” excellent high temperature processability”, easy to shape and chip , equivalent to SS304 steel but only 1/2 or 1/3 cost that is mainly use for construction materials, ships, vehicles, land structures, such as iron towers, cranes, etc.

The most popular aluminum 6061 with similar good strength with steel after heat-treated, is widely use for vehicles, bikes etc.

The aluminum allloy 7075 has high strength and very strong which is suitable for aerospace application, but it is also difficult to be machined.

So aluminum could be strong enough but it will be difficult to CNC Machining, which is same as steel.

Aluminum is a soft metal material that could be cut or drill by most of CNC Machining “cnc milling, cnc router, cnc laser” without problem, but considering the machining cost and timing, that we usually choose to cut aluminum material to be appropriate size by sawing machine then machining the aluminum parts.

Can you route or milling aluminum?


Yes, you can route or milling aluminum with any custom design parts you want to make, aluminum is easy to be machined and is the top choice metal material for CNC Machining parts.

Aluminum is much “lighter, softer” than stainless steel that make it can be cut at higher speeds when machining, while stainless steel is generally much stronger than aluminum. The machinability of aluminum is much better that save machining timing and cost,  but its overall lower strength, comes from the fact that it is a much softer metal for machining.

Aluminum 1100 and 3003 is one of the easiest to machined but is strength is not good, the aluminum alloy 6061 is the most popular material for cnc machining due to its good machinability and high strength after heat-treating, these combined good features make it to be top choice aluminum alloy for CNC Machining custom parts, it is most widely use for electronic and aircraft parts etc.

Picture of Author: Mose Li

Author: Mose Li

Director of Project Engineering at 3Q Machining

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