4 Tips for Improving Your Aluminum Machining

Many machines shops have a hard time working with some aluminum alloys. The metal is softer than steel and can stick to machining tools. The following tips can help you improve your aluminum machining so that you can increase quality and production.

1.Use a Horizontal Machining Center

If you shop uses a vertical machining centre (VMC) for aluminum, you may want to use your HMC (horizontal machining centre). With a VMC, the cutting chips can fall into the work, and you must stop to clear them. Also, chips can easily build up and ruin an otherwise perfect piece of work.

With an HMC, chips naturally fall away from the cutting surface. This gives you more accurate and precise cuts and eliminates the need to stop and clear chips away.

2.Use More Horsepower

You need higher speeds if you want the best aluminum machining results. In fact, the spindle should have the capacity for twelve thousand RPMs or higher. When you cut faster, there are fewer chances of sticking problems developing.

3.Use More Coolant Pressure

If you plan on doing a lot of soft metal machining, consider a high-pressure coolant delivery system. The higher pressure will help to flush away cutting chips, so they don’t collect in your cutting areas.

4.Be Aware of Work Hardening

Some metals are easily affected by heat and can harden at the cutting surface. This can make materials harder to work with and finish. However, there are some ways you can limit work hardening:

  • Make as few cuts as possible – if you have to cut a piece more than once, you increase the chances for work hardening.
  • Keep your tools sharp – dull cutting tools are a common cause of friction that leads to heat buildup.
  • Coolant – use plenty of coolants to keep aluminum machining heat down.