Top 8 Common Machining Metals: What You Need to Know

CNC machining is a critical aspect of modern manufacturing. It allows for high precision and repeatability, making it the perfect choice for highly detailed components. But did you know that eight popular metals are used in CNC machining? Knowing what metals are used and their advantages and disadvantages can help you make informed decisions when selecting the right material for your project. This article will look at the top 8 common metals used in CNC machining and discuss what you need to know about them.
8 Common Metals Used in CNC Machining

8 Common CNC Machining Metals

Metals used in CNC machining can vary from material to material, and it is important to understand the properties of each material before choosing a machine for a job.

Common materials used in CNC machining metals include steel, titanium, brass, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and brass alloys.

Each of these materials has different properties that make them ideal for certain applications. The properties of the materials will vary depending on the part.

Aluminum

Aluminum is one of the most popular machining metals. It is lightweight and durable, making it a versatile material for applications in various industries.

We provide aluminum CNC machining services. This metal is easy to machine and can be anodized or painted for added protection. Additionally, aluminum is resistant to corrosion and has excellent electrical conductivity, making it ideal for high-temperature applications.

In addition to its strength and versatility, aluminum is affordable and easy to work with, making it a popular choice for all machining projects.

Aluminum is a common machining metal suitable for many applications due to its lightweight and durability. This makes it a preferred material for various industrial processes, from aerospace and medical equipment to sports equipment and fashion accessories.

However, aluminum has several unique properties that make it a standout choice for many applications.

Aluminum machining parts

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel CNC machining is the kind of processing we often see. Because stainless steel is strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant, making it an excellent choice for various applications.

It can be machined to a high level of precision with fast turnaround times. This makes stainless steel a popular material for companies that need to produce high-quality parts quickly and repeatedly.

Beyond its versatility and strength, stainless steel is known for having high corrosion resistance. This makes it an ideal material for applications where the parts must withstand harsh environments or regular wear and tear.

It can also be machined with high precision with rapid turnaround times. Stainless steel is a reliable and cost-effective material suitable for various applications.

stainless steel machining parts

Alloy Steel

Alloy steel is a popular choice for CNC machining due to its high strength and durability. It can be machined to produce a sharp edge and smooth finish.

Alloy steel is often suitable for parts such as gears, shafts, and valves in the automotive industry. It is also suitable for medical implants or components that require high wear resistance.

Machining steel produces a sharp edge and smooth finish, making it ideal for precision applications in the aerospace, medical, and engineering fields. 

Overall, alloy steel is one of the reliable machining metals for many applications.

machining steel parts

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a strong and durable machining metal that can be machined easily and quickly.

This versatile material can be machined using traditional and CNC milling methods, making it an ideal choice for various applications.

Carbon steel is also easy to weld and suitable for various applications, from automotive parts to medical tools.

Carbon steel is one of the reliable and versatile machining metals suitable for CNC machining projects.

Brass

Brass is a copper-based alloy that contains zinc. It is a popular choice for machining due to its excellent strength, malleability, and durability. We provide brass machining services.

Also, brass is resistant to corrosion and can be used in various applications, making it a versatile metal for CNC machining.

Due to its resistance to corrosion and high strength and durability, brass is often chosen for machined parts that require electrical contact. This makes it a good option for parts such as gears and sensors in wear-resistant applications.

machining brass parts

Copper

Copper machining is popular due to its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. It has high corrosion resistance, making it a popular choice for many CNC projects that require precision parts.

Additionally, copper can be plated or coated with other metals for added protection against wear and tear. The cost of copper makes it a popular choice for many CNC projects, as it provides excellent performance at a reasonable price.

Bronze

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin with good corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and strength.

Therefore, bronze machined parts are commonly suitable for applications where corrosion resistance is important, such as in the marine, oil, and gas industries and for high-pressure applications.

This metal has excellent machinability making it a popular choice for parts requiring intricate shapes or tight tolerances.

Titanium

Titanium is a lightweight, strong metal with excellent corrosion resistance. It is an ideal material for CNC machining applications due to its strength and precision. We provide titanium machining services.

As such, titanium is suitable for various industries, such as aerospace and medical industries.

Titanium is a strong and versatile metal used in various industrial applications.

machining titanium parts

Advantages of Using Metals in CNC Machining

First, metals are strong and durable materials that can be machined to precise tolerances for high-precision parts.

Second, they offer excellent corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and tensile strength, making them well-suited for various machining applications.

Many metals also boast good thermal stability, making them ideal for machining at high temperatures. Compared to other materials, this makes them cost-effective when used in parts exposed to high temperatures or harsh environments.

Metals are also easy to machine into complex shapes with CNC machining, providing an economical alternative to other materials.

Overall, CNC machining metals is cost-effective and provides high-quality parts with minimal effort and expense.

How To Choose The Right CNC Machining Materials?

When selecting a CNC machining material, it’s vital to consider several factors, such as the type of product and its purpose.

Different materials have different mechanical properties and can create parts with different shapes and features. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to research the available finishes and choose a material that best suits your needs.

Additionally, you should also consider cost-effectiveness and durability when making a decision. Considering these factors, you can select a suitable CNC machining material that will help you create high-quality parts without costing too much.

Our CNC Machining Services for Suitable Metal Material

We are a well-established CNC machining firm with vast domain knowledge and experience in providing professional machining services. Our in-house machining facilities enable us to offer precision machining as per the specification of our clients.

Besides, we offer various machining services, including cutting, milling, turning, drilling, and surface finishing. We have expertise in providing high-end machining services for titanium, aluminum, stainless steel, brass/bronze alloys, etc. Our professionals can customize the machining operation to meet the specific requirements of our clients.

FAQs

What kind of aluminum is used for CNC?

Regarding aluminum CNC machining, the most common alloy is 6061 aluminum.

This aluminum alloy is highly machinable and easily formed, cut, drilled, and welded. It has excellent corrosion resistance properties and high thermal conductivity, making it a great choice for machining.

We also provide  6063 aluminum, 7050 aluminum, and 7075 aluminum.

Can plastic be CNC machined?

Yes, plastic can be machined using CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines. In a nutshell, CNC machining is a manufacturing process where machinists use precision-controlled computer software and hardware to create high-accuracy components and parts.

Most metals include aluminum, steel alloys, brass, titanium, copper, stainless steel, and bronze. But we can also CNC machine plastics such as PET, PEEK, ABS, and Delrin.

Conclusion

We hope you found this blog on the common metals used in CNC machining helpful. We also hope that it has helped you understand the properties of these metals and how they can be used for machining.

Knowing their properties, strength, and machining capabilities, you can more easily choose the right material for your parts. To learn more about our CNC machining services, contact us today.

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