The success of any precision part starts with the raw material. Each alloy has unique characteristics that require experience across various types of precision 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. Contact Micro Precision Components for more information or to request a quote.
Alloys that machine freely typically have very consistent small chips which are small and come clear of the precision machined part rather easily. When machining precision parts with these materials, tool wear is minimal and the actual machining quality is predictable and manageable. The mostly common “free machining alloys” for precision parts such as brass or aluminum 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!
These special alloys are chosen for their non-corrosive properties commonly found in medical or aerospace component applications. Non-free machining material such as stainless steel and titanium can be very hard to physically cut or are “gummy”. When machining micro parts with these materials, tool sharpening is critical along with special techniques employed to deburr and remove chips.