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OEM Manufacturing Automotive Parts Precision CNC Aluminum Machining Parts

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Aluminum is a popular choice for CNC machining because of its attractive physical properties, making it an ideal material for mechanical parts and its resistance to environmental corrosion. This brings aluminum components to different fields, especially in the automotive, aerospace, healthcare and consumer electronics industries. Additionally, aluminum has unique advantages, including excellent machinability, allowing it to be shaped and penetrated by cutting tools more easily and faster than iron or steel, simplifying and improving the CNC machining process.

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Aluminum Machining and Various Other Services

Teamwork can do more than aluminum CNC machining. We also provide bending,  fabrication, welding, deburring, assembly and more. Don't waste time shipping your components to different companies when we can handle everything from one location. Let us help you streamline the process and get your components ready for the next phase.

OEM Manufacturing Automotive Parts Precision CNC Aluminum Machining Parts (1)
OEM Manufacturing Automotive Parts Precision CNC Aluminum Machining Parts (2)

What are the benefits of aluminum CNC machining?

Aluminum CNC prototypes and production parts offer properties such as machinability, corrosion resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, electrical conductivity, anodizing potential, and recyclability. These properties benefit various industries, including automotive, aerospace and consumer goods.

● Machinability

Aluminum is a popular material choice for machined parts due to its ease of machining. This quality not only benefits the machinist, but also the business ordering the part and ultimately the end user. With its easy chipping and rapid prototyping capabilities, aluminum can be precisely cut using CNC machines. This results in a faster manufacturing process, thereby reducing labor costs and operating time.

● Corrosion resistance

Aluminum grades exhibit varying degrees of corrosion resistance, which can affect their durability and longevity. However, some common grades used in CNC machining, such as 6061, offer strong corrosion protection. It is worth noting that aluminum alloys with higher strength may be more susceptible to corrosion due to copper alloying. Still, other less strong alloys have excellent corrosion resistance.

● Strength-to-weight ratio

Aluminum is a versatile material with high strength and lightweight properties, making it ideal for mechanical and structural components in key industries such as aerospace and automotive. For example, aircraft fittings and automotive axles are two commonly used aluminum machined parts. That said, aluminum grades perform differently. While general purpose grades like 6061 have a good strength to weight ratio, it is worth noting that higher strength grades like 7075 are better suited for marine and aerospace applications.

● Electrical conductivity

Aluminum is widely known for its excellent mechanical properties, making it a popular material across several industries.  CNC machined aluminum parts have excellent electrical conductivity, but not as high as copper. The conductivity of pure aluminum at room temperature is 37.7 million Siemens per meter. Although some alloys may have lower electrical conductivity, aluminum is still more conductive than other materials such as stainless steel, so it can be used to design electrical components.

● Anodization potential

Aluminum is a common material for machined parts in the consumer electronics industry due to its desirable properties such as strength, weight and aesthetics. Anodizing is a surface finishing process commonly used on aluminum parts to create a thicker protective layer that enhances impact and corrosion resistance. Anodizing also provides an excellent base for adding color, as the porous outer layer allows the dye to penetrate and become embedded in the metal for a long-lasting, durable finish.

● Recyclability

Aluminum's recyclability is a key advantage for businesses looking to minimize their environmental footprint or reduce waste. This feature is especially beneficial for CNC machining where there is a lot of waste in the form of cutting tool chips. For these reasons, aluminum is the first choice for companies striving to achieve sustainable and cost-effective production.

Alternatives to aluminum in CNC machining

Aluminum may not always be the best choice for businesses when it comes to CNC machining. Factors such as the possibility of tool damage and high production costs make it necessary to consider other materials such as steel as alternatives. In this article, we explore some potential alternatives to aluminum, highlighting their similarities and differences compared to the metal.

Metals

Steel & stainless steel

Better than aluminum for: 1. Strength, 2. Temperature resistance

Worse than aluminum for: 1. Machinability, 2. Weight

Steel and stainless steel are commonly used materials in CNC machining because of their robustness and strength, which facilitates high-stress operations and applications requiring durable welds. Despite their enhanced machinability, aluminum is still easier to machine than steel. Additionally, steel is known for its higher density and hardness than aluminum, which can make it undesirable in specific situations. However, if temperature resistance is a major factor and weight is not an issue, steel can be a good substitute for aluminum.

CNC steel parts are components manufactured using a computer-controlled machining process that ensures high precision, accuracy and consistency for a variety of industrial applications.

Brass

Better than aluminum for: Some aesthetic applications

Worse than aluminum for: Cost

Brass, a metal known for its golden color, is widely used in manufacturing because of its workability. Although it costs slightly more than aluminum, it is commonly used to build structural components, valves and nozzles.Brass is also a popular choice for high volume orders due to its ease of use

Brass CNC parts are components manufactured using a computer-controlled machining process that ensures high precision, accuracy and consistency and are commonly used in industries such as automotive, electronics and plumbing.

Copper

● Better than aluminum for:

● Electrical conductivity

● Worse than aluminum for:

● Machinability

Aluminum and copper exhibit many common properties. However, copper is often the first choice for electrical applications due to its unrivaled conductivity. Although working with pure copper is challenging, many copper alloys have machinability comparable to standard aluminum varieties. This makes them an excellent choice for a variety of applications.

Diverse Industries Using CNC Machined Aluminum Components

Our specialty lies in providing professional services to the appliances, automotive, medical device and robotics industries. We prioritize your needs and provide responsive, high-quality service according to your requirements. Our components always meet the strictest standards while remaining cost-effective to keep your project within budget. For more information and to place an order, please feel free to contact us today.

Industrial: Due to its durability and sustainability, aluminum is a popular choice for manufacturing industrial components such as machine parts, gears and bearings.

Electronics: CNC machined aluminum parts are often used as electronic components in appliances due to their excellent electrical conductivity.

Automotive: Aluminum is used in the automotive industry to make shafts and other components, much like the aerospace industry because of its strength and light weight.

Pharmaceutical: Aluminum is of great value in the food and pharmaceutical sectors due to its resistance to chemical reactions with most organic materials.

Aerospace: Due to its impressive strength-to-weight ratio, machined aluminum is often used to make aircraft accessories.

CryogenicsAluminum's mechanical properties remain unchanged even at very low temperatures, which is why aluminum components are highly sought after in cryogenic applications.

Combining CNC machining with other processes

If aluminum remains the best material choice for a given project, CNC machining can be combined with other manufacturing techniques to produce more complex, higher-performing aluminum parts. The strength of this approach lies in optimizing the functionality of the aluminum while utilizing a range of production processes. Additionally, in addition to the ability to integrate integrated manufacturing processes, CNC machining can also be used to refine or adjust parts produced by different machines. This flexibility allows extrusion, casting and forging techniques to complement machining processes to create exceptional aluminum components.

CNC machining &Aluminum extrusion

The extrusion process involves melting material and pushing it through a die to create continuous, elongated components. While aluminum extrusions enable the manufacture of functional parts with complex cross-sections and impressive surface finishes, the scope of design capabilities is limited by the necessity to maintain a consistent cross-section throughout the part. However, aluminum extrusion parts can be modified after extrusion by using CNC machining process. By using ductile and machinable aluminum grades such as 6061 and 6063, extruded parts can be cut and formed using CNC machining centers. The combination of aluminum extrusion and CNC machining provides a unique opportunity to produce durable components with complex cross-sections and unconventional geometries. This approach offers unparalleled flexibility in the manufacturing process, allowing for modification or adaptation of components produced using extrusion, casting or forging processes. Ultimately, the combination of CNC machining and extrusion of aluminum profiles creates innovative and high-quality components.

Die casting + CNC machining

The die casting process involves melting metal and then using high pressure to fuse the metal into a mold cavity. This manufacturing process is best suited for high-volume parts because the tool steel molds required for the process are very expensive. Aluminum is a popular die-cast metal, along with steel, magnesium and zinc. Die-cast aluminum parts provide a superior surface finish and consistent dimensions, making them ideal for a variety of industrial applications. By combining CNC machining with die casting, manufacturers can achieve unrivaled precision and create complex geometries with excellent surface finish. This is achieved by first die casting the part and then using a machining center for further cutting. However, gravity die casting can be used as an alternative to pressure die casting if cost reduction is more important than precision or the creation of thin walls. This approach is particularly suitable for high-volume production runs, where the associated cost savings make it an attractive option.

Investment casting + CNC machining

Metal parts can be manufactured using a process involving wax patterns, called investment casting. The process is known for producing parts with high dimensional accuracy and excellent surface finish. Investment casting offers unique advantages such as the ability to create complex shapes that cannot be achieved with other methods such as die casting. Additionally, parts manufactured by investment casting have no parting lines, making them ideal for applications requiring seamless finishes. Aluminum is a commonly used material in investment casting, and parts made of cast aluminum can be further refined through post-processing. The process allows manufacturers to achieve greater precision and produce parts with an excellent finish, making them ideal for a variety of industries and applications.

Forging + CNC machining

The traditional practice of forming metals by compressive forces, known as forging, is a viable option for many machineable aluminum alloys. Traditional forging techniques involve striking the metal with a hammer to form the desired shape. One such alloy, aluminum 6061, is highly compatible with hot forging using closed dies. This procedure is commonly used in the manufacture of automotive and industrial components. Post-machining forged aluminum parts with a CNC machining center can offer many advantages. The process increases precision and produces a superior surface finish, which is essential in a variety of applications. Not only is post-machining beneficial compared to machining alone, but forged parts are often stronger than fully cast or fully machined parts. This approach also allows for the creation of more complex geometries without compromising the structural integrity of the component. If you need custom aluminum CNC machining services, please contact Teamwork. Specializing in CNC machining and finishing, we produce a wide range of machined aluminum parts, from small and simple to large and complex.

If you need further rapid prototyping service, such as high quality sheet metal parts3d printing parts, we also can meet your requirements. Pls no hesitact to contact us today to get immediate quote for your projects!


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