From versatile aluminum alloys to specialist engineering plastics, here are some of the materials which are compatible with CNC machining:
This metal possesses properties like good corrosion resistance, excellent machinability, and electroplating properties. Hence, it is one of the most popular CNC materials used in machining. It has a good strength-to-weight ratio, and its sheer variety means there is a suitable alloy for most machining projects. Machinists use aluminum for making parts for industries such as the aerospace, construction, automotive, and defense industries.
Machinists widely use stainless steel in several industries due to its corrosion resistance and other desirable properties. Due to its wide applications, stainless steel comes in a variety of grades, many of which are suitable for CNC machining.
Steel is well known for its low costs and high tensile strength. Hence, it is suitable for use in industries such as machinery, construction, and aerospace. However, its use in these various industries will require various machinable variants. Hence, steel comes in quite a few variants.
CNC machines are equally capable of cutting plastics. In most cases, these plastics may be preferred for cost, electrical insulation, or other reasons. Plastics are often a suitable prototyping material when the final part is made with injection molding.
Beyond aluminum and steel, it is also possible to machine metals such as brass, copper, titanium, and zinc, offering engineers a wider range of physical properties for their parts. Copper, for example, is an excellent conductor. This property makes it suitable for the production of electrical parts.