The Best Aluminum Alloys For Machining
When it comes to machining metal alloys, the team at JBC Machine has extensive experience in working with common aluminum alloys and those specialized for use in the automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. Knowing how to choose the right machining equipment and technique is critical in getting the precision required for any type of part or component.
Finding the best aluminum alloys for machining starts with choosing the right alloy grade for a job. In many cases, particularly with aluminum alloys, the workability and the machining are fairly close, which means if the alloy is workable, it is also machinable.
The specific properties of the alloy, which is a factor of the metals combined in the alloy, as well as the specific type of machining process selected must be carefully considered.
The Series 6xxx Alloys
As a general statement, the series 6xxx alloys, including the popular option of 6061, is considered one of the all-purpose types of aluminum alloys with good machinability. At the same time, this is a medium strength alloy, which means it is not always ideal for high pressure, heat, or corrosive types of environments and uses.
The Series 2xxx Alloys
Higher levels of copper in this series make it one of the best aluminum alloys for machining. Unfortunately, the higher copper level also makes it more likely to experience higher levels of corrosion unless cladded. This is a common choice for aerospace parts and components.
The 7xxx Alloys
Another one of the best aluminum alloys for machining, the 7xxx series, is a good option when strength is a concern. It offers the highest strength levels of any aluminum and good corrosion resistance. As a high strength aluminum alloy, this is often used for structural components in the aerospace industry.