Tips for Making Aluminum Machining Easier

by | Dec 18, 2018 | Machinery and Equipment

Do you plan to offer aluminum machining to your customers? Many aluminum alloys are not easy to work with because they are softer than steel. In fact, you can run into some major problems when you try to machine these alloys. Yet, there are some things you can do to make the process easier. Here are some tips which may help.

VMC Work

Do you perform a lot of machining tasks on vertical machining centers? If so, you may want to think about buying an HMC or horizontal machining center. Some of these machines are specifically made for machining softer metals. Maintaining control of cuttings is easier too.


Does your aluminum machining equipment have enough power? When you machine steel, you do not need excessively high speeds due to the hardness of the metal. However, softer and lighter metals need high-speed cutting boring, or turning. They need fast feed rates too. Soft metals can get sticky while machining and high speeds make it easier to cut through them. Look for machines with a minimum of twelve thousand revolutions per minute spindle speed.

Coolant Consideration

With aluminum machining, you need plenty of coolant because softer metals generate a lot of heat from friction. Cuttings can easily accumulate, and the buildup can affect the quality of your machining. Make sure to choose a high-pressure coolant system. This not only cools better, but it also flushes away cutting chips faster and easier, so buildup is not a problem.


If you do not have the equipment to properly machine metals like aluminum, consider outsourcing this work to a trusted machine shop. You should choose a shop capable of handling all your needs. For example, for aerospace work, go with an AS9100 certified shop. The best shops can give you a wide range of services so you can greatly increase your business without all the usual expansion investments.

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