CNC milling in aluminium
With CNC milling, it is possible to manufacture components in various types of metals, including aluminum. Aluminum, being a lightweight metal, possesses excellent machinability as well as good electrical and thermal conductivity, making it well-suited for CNC milling.
Components that have been milled in aluminum are renowned for being lightweight yet strong, and they exhibit excellent corrosion resistance. Aluminum is frequently used as the preferred material for CNC milling of machine components and other parts where weight is critical. The use of milled aluminum components extends widely within the transportation sector due to its lightweight properties.
What is CNC-milling?
CNC milling is a machining technique where a mill is controlled by a computer program. The abbreviation "CNC" stands for "Computer Numerical Control." This technology has long been used in precision machining and material removal processes, which include methods like turning and punching. Today, this technology is integrated into most modern milling machines and machining centers.
In a CNC mill, a drawing file, often in the form of a CAD or CAM file, is loaded into the computer program. These data are then translated into instructions that control the movements of the milling machine. This provides a significant level of automation in the processing of the aluminum workpiece.
CNC milling enables the creation of highly accurate aluminum components, and the risk of human error is minimized as a large part of the process is fully automated. At the same time, the milling process itself is carried out at high speeds. This technique is, therefore, cost-effective and can be successfully used for everything from small runs and prototypes to larger production batches.
Turning vs. Milling: What is the difference?
When it comes to precision machining in metals and other materials, two of the most commonly used methods are CNC milling and CNC turning. Both processes are crucial in the manufacturing of parts and components, but they differ significantly in their approach and applications.
CNC milling is a machining method that employs a rotating cutter to remove material from a solid workpiece. This method is ideal for creating complex 3D geometries and intricate surfaces. Here are some key points about CNC milling:
Material Removal: Milling removes material from the workpiece, leaving behind the desired shape or surface structure.
Versatility: CNC milling is versatile and can be used for a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, wood, and more.
Complex Shapes: This method is excellent for achieving detailed and complex 3D geometries and sculptural forms.
CNC turning, on the other hand, employs a rotating spindle to shape the material. This method is well-suited for producing axial parts and components with high precision. Here are some important points about CNC turning:
Axial Machining: CNC turning is ideal for creating axial components such as bolts, shafts, and cylinders.
High Precision: It is known for its precise control of dimensions and surface finish.
Material Compatibility: CNC turning is often used on round or cylindrical workpieces in materials like metal, plastic, and ceramics.
Choosing the Machining Method:
The choice between CNC milling and CNC turning depends on the project's specifications and desired outcomes. While CNC milling is ideal for complex, sculptural parts, CNC turning excels in achieving precise axial components.
Advantages with aluminium: Why is it a good material choice?
Lightweight, Strong and durable
Aluminum is renowned for its impressive strength-to-weight ratio, making it ideal for applications where weight is a critical factor, such as in the aerospace, automotive, and aviation industries. Its durability and resistance to corrosion ensure that it can last for decades without significant deterioration.
Resilliant against corrosion
Aluminum naturally forms an oxide coating on its surface, providing effective protection against corrosion. This makes it suitable for outdoor and maritime use, where exposure to moisture and saltwater is common.
Aluminum boasts excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, making it a prominent choice in electrical wiring and components as well as in cooling and heating systems. It effectively transports both electricity and heat, which is crucial in many technological and industrial applications.
Aluminum is a lightweight and easily malleable material, making it conducive to the production of complex shapes and designs. Therefore, it is ideal for architectural applications, automobile bodies, packaging, and more. Aluminum can also be easily painted or anodized to achieve the desired aesthetic appearance.
Eco-friendly and Recyclable
One of the most remarkable aspects of aluminum is its eco-friendly nature. Aluminum is 100% recyclable without losing its properties. Recycling aluminum requires only a fraction of the energy compared to extracting it from raw materials, making aluminum a sustainable and resource-efficient solution. Learn more about our sustainability values here.
Despite all its advantages, aluminum is also economically attractive. Its low weight means it can help reduce transportation and installation costs, making it a sensible choice from a financial perspective.
The preferred material
The combination of aluminum's lightweight, strength, durability, and environmental friendliness makes it a favorite material in various industries. Its numerous advantages position it as a superior choice for designers and engineers seeking a reliable and versatile material option.
At Aleks Steen, we are experts in machining and utilizing aluminum for a wide range of purposes. We are committed to harnessing the unique benefits of aluminum to meet our customers' needs.
Contact us today to learn more about how aluminum can enhance your projects and products. See more here.