Engineering

Published on March 11th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan

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Aluminum Alloys That Are Perfect For CNC Machining

Aluminum as a material is one of the first choices for the machinist to be used for CNC machining for applications. Aluminum’s machinability results in prolonged tool life that results in cost savings to manufacturers. Here are some reasons why aluminum material is among the first choice for the manufacturers:

  • Small density, light material.
  • Easy to machine.
  • Aluminum can be bend easily.
  • The material is resistant to low temperatures.

Now, there are plenty of aluminum alloys present in the market. Each type of aluminum alloy has its properties and is suitable for different applications.

Let’s start with the aluminum alloys grades that are ideal for aluminum CNC precision machining.

1. Aluminum 6061-T6

6061-T6 is a popular aluminum alloy present in the market. It acts as the standard grade for CNC machining. This alloy is easier for the machine and has different heat treatments. The T6 refers to the hardness.

6061-T6 is an all-purpose material used by experienced machinists. The material has an ideal strength-to-weight ratio. Here are some more general characteristics of the material:

  • Strength: Medium to High
  • Corrosion Resistance: Good
  • Workability: Good
  • Machinability: Good

Mechanical Properties of Aluminum 6061-T6:

  • Tensile Strength: 310 Mpa
  • Elongation at break: 17%
  • Modulus of elasticity: 68.9 GPa
  • Hardness: 60 HRB

Why aluminum 6061-T6 is ideal for CNC machining: Aluminum 6061-T6 is used for structural siding, welding, aerospace parts, fabrication and machining. The industrial applications of aluminum 6061-T6 are transportations, aircraft components and couplings.

2. Aluminum 7075-T6

Aluminum 7075-T6 is ideal for high-stress applications and gets used by machinists all over the world. The benefit of using aluminum 7075-T6 is the hardness it offers. The material also offers better corrosion resistance than other alloys.

Aluminum 7075-T6 gets used in the aerospace industry. It’s the high-strength that makes it possible for the alloy to get used in demanding applications. Here are general characteristics of the material:

  • Strength: High
  • Corrosion Resistance: Average
  • Workability: Poor
  • Machinability: Fair

Mechanical Properties of Aluminum 7075-T6:

  • Tensile Strength: 434 – 580 MPa
  • Elongation at break: 10-15%
  • Modulus of elasticity: 69 – 76 GPa
  • Hardness: 79-86 HRB

Why aluminum 7075-T6 is ideal for CNC machining: Aluminum 7075-T6 is mainly used in mold tool manufacturing. It also offers high stability in machining, high-stress resistance and strength-to-weight ratio. The common uses of 7075-T6 aluminum include valve parts, aircraft fittings, military products and more.

3. Aluminum 6082

Aluminum 6082 is quite similar to aluminum alloy 6061. But have plenty more to offer like it has the highest tensile strength that 6061. Plus the alloy is also corrosion-resistant. The 6082 alloy is suitable for machinists looking for more strength.

The implementation of the material is seen in the construction industry and for applications that require strength. Planning to produce thin walls? Then, do not use aluminum 6082. Here are general characteristics of the material:

  • Strength: High
  • Corrosion Resistance: Medium
  • Workability: Good
  • Machinability: Good

Mechanical Properties of Aluminum 6082:

  • Tensile Strength: 140 – 340 MPa
  • Elongation at break: 6.3 – 18%
  • Modulus of elasticity: 69 – 71 GPa
  • Hardness: 35-56 HRB

Why aluminum 6082 is ideal for CNC machining: Aluminum 6082 is used for CNC machining because of its higher strength. The 6082 alloy is used for electronic applications, aerospace components, automotive components and more.

4. Aluminum 2024-T4

Aluminum 2024-T4 alloy offers moderate to high strength that offers resistance and hardness. Aluminum 2024-T4 is not as strong as 7075-T6 but stronger than 6061. The 2024-T4 is ideal for aerospace applications and also for applications that require strength. Here are general characteristics of the material:

  • Strength: High
  • Corrosion Resistance: Poor
  • Workability: Good
  • Machinability: Fair

Mechanical Properties of Aluminum 2024-T4:

  • Tensile Strength: 200 – 540 MPa
  • Elongation at break:14 – 20%
  • Modulus of elasticity: 71 – 73.1 GPa
  • Hardness: 70 – 120 HB

Why aluminum 2024-T4 is ideal for CNC machining: This aluminum alloy has high mechanical strength and is suitable for parts that require a lot of strength. The 2024-T4 is a desirable material for the aircraft components.

5. Aluminum 7075

The alloy is known mainly for strength. 7075 is one of the popular alloys and suitable for structural applications. The alloy also offers one the highest strength to weight ratio of any aluminum alloy.

The alloy can be polished and is heat treatable, ductile, strong, and tough. Ideal usage of this alloy is in aerospace and sports equipment. Here are general characteristics of the material:

  • Strength: High
  • Corrosion Resistance: Average
  • Workability: Poor
  • Machinability: Fair

Mechanical Properties of Aluminum 2024-T4:

  • Tensile Strength: 228 – 550 MPa
  • Elongation at break:14 – 20%
  • Modulus of elasticity: 71 – 73.1 GPa
  • Hardness: 70 – 120 HB

Why aluminum 7075 is ideal for CNC machining: This aluminum alloy 7075 is good for keys, gears and other stress parts that is often used in transportation, marine applications and more.

Industrial Applications Of Aluminum Alloys

Aerospace Industry: Aluminum alloys have excellent properties that make them useful in the aviation industry. The properties are a high strength-to-weight ratio, amazing ductility, high corrosion resistance. The high corrosion resistance ensures the safety of the aircraft and the passengers. The commonly used aluminum alloys in aerospace industries are:

  • Aluminum alloy 2024
  • Aluminum alloy 5052
  • Aluminum alloy 6061

Marine Industry: For the marine industry non-heat treated alloys are perfect. It is because of their high corrosion resistance and the ability of the material to be welded. The following alloys are popular in marine applications:

  • Aluminum alloy 5052
  • Aluminum alloy 5086
  • Aluminum alloy 6063

Automotive Industry: The aluminum alloys are an ideal fit for automotive applications. It is because of their lightweight and strength properties. The aluminum alloys are ideally fit for external body parts and components. The following alloys are suitable for automotive applications:

  • Aluminum alloy 2008
  • Aluminum alloy 6016
  • Aluminum alloy 5754

Summing It Up

Aluminum alloy is one of the popular materials that get used for custom aluminum machining. Aluminum alloys are favorite for machinists because they know the material is corrosion-resistant, strong, and conductive. The aluminum alloys 2024-T4, 7075-T6, and 6082 get used for high-performance applications. And aluminum alloy 6061 is an all-purpose alloy and can be used for various applications.

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About the Author

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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