Though the industry of precision CNC machining in China started late, it has achieved significant growth in terms of technology and market size within a short period. As per the Global and China CNC Machine Tool Industry Report (2020-2026), China has now become the world’s largest machine tool producer, marketer, and consumer. It has a high sensitivity to the market and responds faster to sales and services.
Precision CNC machining
Precision CNC machining is a process used to produce dimensionally accurate parts and components. It is mainly used for manufacturing intricate and precision components used in automobile, aerospace, modern electronics, and various other industries. Therefore, you cannot use any material for CNC machining.
Materials Used for Precision CNC Machining
The material used for precision CNC machining must have certain properties, such as dimensional stability, machinability, corrosion resistance, impact resistance, workability, and many more. Though several materials possess these properties, not all of them are suitable for your application. Thus, before choosing any material, you must know about its properties and uses in detail.
CNC machining in China can be carried out not only on metals but also metal alloys, semiconductors, engineering plastics, and composites.
This post discusses some materials that are commonly used for precision CNC machining in China.
1. Stainless Steel (SS)
Stainless Steel is one of the most common materials used for CNC machining projects. It is available in different grades, such as SS303, SS304, and SS316. Each SS grade has varying strength, the ability to resist corrosion, and other properties.
Different SS Grades and Their Properties
· SS303: High machinability and corrosion resistance
· SS304: Excellent toughness and very low magnetism
· SS316: High weld ability, machinability, and corrosion resistance
It is another metal alloy that can be used for CNC machining. Featured with high dimensional stability and machining, it also comes in different grades, such as mild steel, carbon steel, plain carbon steel, etc. Each type of steel has its own pros and cons that make them suitable for one application and unfit for another.
Different Steel Types and Their Properties
· Mild Steel: Good ductility
· Carbon Steel: High strength
· Plain Carbon Steel: Low ductility and high strength
· Alloy Steel: Durability, weld ability, and corrosion resistance
Brass makes an ideal choice for precision CNC machining owing to its excellent machinability that helps in achieving desired dimensional accuracy. It offers accurate tolerance during processes like machining and surface finishing post-machining. Different grades of brass are available in the market to meet different requirements.
Commonly Used Brass Grades and Their Properties
· C35300: Excellent corrosion resistance and wear resistance
· C36000: Superior machinability and dimensional stability
4. Aluminum and Its Alloys
Aluminum is another commonly used metal used in diverse CNC machining applications. It is light in weight and non-magnetic which makes it highly suitable for CNC machining. Other great qualities it possesses include low deformation factor, high dimensional stability, and impact resistance. Different types of Aluminum alloys are also used based on conditions in which they will be applied.
Different Aluminum Alloys and Their Properties
· Aluminum 6061: High strength, corrosion resistance, toughness, and weldability
· Aluminum 7075: Great fatigue resistance
· Aluminum 2024: High thermal resistance and high shock and fatigue endurance
· Aluminum 5052: High chemical and corrosion resistance and non-heat-treatable
· Aluminum 6063: Heat treatable, high weldability, and durability
All these materials are suitable for CNC machining. However, one should choose a material that is suitable not only for CNC machining but also for its application.