Aluminum as a metal is hard yet lightweight, and hence finds a large application across industries to make anything from screws to huge industrial machines. Over the last few decades, aluminum screw machined parts have gained traction and used in various industries, including aerospace, marine, consumer electronics, and so on.
Aluminum parts are often preferred in critical applications due to their benefits, such as lightweight, durability, easy availability, and reliability. Although these parts have been used for a while, screw machining aluminum is not easy due to the challenges involved. Poor surface finishes of aluminum alloys, the blurred appearance of machine parts, and sticky deposits on tool edges are some common reasons why many CNC machining service providers avoid working with aluminum.
Princeton Industrial is an ISO certified machine shop that specializes in custom machining of screw machined aluminum parts. As a quality machine shop, the experts at the company take appropriate measures to ensure the success of screw machining aluminum. This post discusses these measures and their efforts to produce accurate and aesthetically appealing aluminum screw machined parts.
Tips to Improve Aluminum Machining Efficiency
Periodic maintenance of any machine is of utmost importance for its efficient functioning and long operational life. The same applies for screw machining. Here are a few important guidelines from Princeton Industrial which help improve the overall aluminum machining efficiency. Let’s have a quick look at them.
- To increase the efficiency of aluminum machining, the first and foremost important aspect is to retool or upgrade the existing equipment. The machine’s efficiency reduces with its continuous usage. However, this problem has improved with technological advancement. Keeping the machinery or equipment in a well-working condition is important to stay close to the bleeding edge and to get the desired results.
- The machine shouldn’t be idle for a long time. If so, it may slow down or stop during the operations. That’s why the first step is crucial. Keeping the machine a good condition maximizes overall throughput. Also, even when not in use, ensure you start it for some time at least once in every two to three days.
- Next, the type of cutting tool used makes a significant difference. Although aluminum is ductile and highly malleable, it is important to use appropriate cutting tools for precise results. It is always the best practice to use a cutting tool with fewer flutes as it escapes long chips easily. Tools made of carbide material make a preferable solution. The rigidity of the material is an added benefit as it protects the tool from deflection.
- Compared to most commonly used metals, aluminum possesses a higher thermal conductivity. It gets heated quite fast. This results in a finished product with warpage, smeared appearance, and other issues. That is why it is important to run a coolant mist or any suitable lubricant to move the chips away from the cutting zone.
- Understanding the power consumption requirement plays a key role in keeping machine operations free from damage. Although aluminum is softer compared to other materials, its machining demands a great deal of power. If machines don’t meet the power requirement, it results in deflection and chatter. The feeds and speeds combination for aluminum has become limited, and hence the cutting process requires a higher spindle speed that may push beyond its limits.
- Maintaining a stable temperature while screw machining aluminum is another important aspect. Aluminum is subjected to more variation in temperature than other metals, resulting in distorted parts. Therefore, it is important to use appropriate hardware or software to maintain the temperature at acceptable levels.
- Additionally, many conventional maintenance methods and services involve manual monitoring, which takes action when problems are discovered. This is a very time-consuming process. This can be handled using preventative maintenance in real-time. This helps identify errors at the early stage, and helps increase machine efficiency.
Optimizing business operations and enhancing machining efficiency to get the desired output demands advanced modern solutions. Screw machining with technical advancement can handle much work while eliminating possible issues. Being an ISO CNC machining shop, Princeton Industrial offers quality CNC machining keeping in mind client requirements, and turnaround times. The team of experts at Princeton thoroughly understands client requirements and assists in case of any doubts regarding their machining services.