The success of precision machining starts with the raw material. Each alloy has unique characteristics which require experience across various types of parts to find the best system to produce a quality part. Machinability is a function of cycle time, chip maintenance, frequency of tool sharpening, and overall process capability. The machinability rating can vary depending on part geometry, specifications and type of machine used. Larger stronger machines can power through even difficult material but often with a trade off in precision.
Alloys that machine freely typically have very consistent small chips which are small and come clear of the part rather easily. Tool wear is minimal and the actual machining quality is predictable and manageable. The mostly common “free machining alloys” yield the fastest speeds and lowest costs to the end user. The difference in speed between a copper alloy such as CDA 360 and 303 Stainless Steel is dramatic but both are very manageable. The chips often tell the story! View Free Machining Alloys
These special alloys are chosen for their non-corrosive properties commonly found in medical or aerospace applications. Material can be very hard to physically cut or are “gummy”. Tool sharpening is critical along with special techniques employed to deburr and remove chips. View Non-Free Machining Alloys