Aluminum parts are widely used in the automotive, aerospace and medical industries thanks to aluminum’s excellent machinability and unique properties. It is a lightweight, durable metal with nonmagnetic and nonflammable properties as well as good electrical conductivity. Top-ranked aluminum machining companies, such as Reading Plastic, can produce precision aluminum parts quickly and accurately for a variety of demanding applications.
In addition to a high strength-to-weight ratio and being ductile at low temperatures, aluminum is non-toxic and odorless. Its smooth surface is easy to clean and resists bacterial growth, which is why it is widely used in beverage and food packaging, cooking utensils, and in the dairy and fishing industries.
Aluminum is also the best conductor of heat out of all common metals and is about three times more conductive than steel. It is commonly used in heat exchange applications in aerospace, automotive, chemical, petroleum and food industries. Its thermal conductivity and ability to reflect more than 80% of visible light, radiation and electric waves make it a key insulating material in buildings and roofing materials.
While aluminum is about 62% as electrically conductive as copper, it is also ⅓ of the weight. That means aluminum can conduct about twice as much electricity as copper of the same weight. It’s non-magnetic properties and low cost also make it a very economical choice for electrical applications.
Aluminum also has excellent corrosion resistance because it produces a thin surface layer of aluminum oxide when exposed to the air. This layer prevents further oxidation and corrosion from occurring, and when scratched the layer rapidly reforms to maintain protection.
While aluminum has countless benefits, it can also present machining challenges. Its relatively low hardness and high thermal expansion rate means aluminum can deform when being machined into a thin part. Experienced aluminum machining companies counteract this by allowing heat to dissipate during machining and avoiding a concentrated build-up of heat; reducing the cutting force of the machine while increasing cutting speed; and cutting cavities simultaneously rather than individually.
Aluminum also has a tendency to stick to the edges of cutting tools, which can rapidly degrade the tool’s cutting ability to the point it can no longer cut through the material. We prevent tool failure by ensuring there is good chip evacuation from the cutting edge and carefully selecting the tool material and coating to reduce the occurrence of build-up.
Experienced aluminum machining companies also offer:
As a high-end machine shop with over three decades of experience, Reading Plastic can fulfill all your aluminum machining needs. Our expert staff and state-of-the-art CNC machines can deliver precise parts quickly, no matter the size of your order or the complexity of your parts. For more information about our aluminum machining capabilities, contact us today at (610) 926-3245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.