Aluminum is a popular machining material used in most industries. It’s easy to work with, has great versatility and strength, and is affordable for most customers. Aluminum machining involves the removal of aluminum material from an object to form the desired part. Despite having multiple benefits, aluminium is prone to deforming during machining due to its high thermal expansion levels and low hardness. In this extract, we expound on ways to reduce aluminium part deformation in machining.
Ways to Avoid Part Deformation in Aluminum Machining
Processing deformation is common when producing aluminium parts. Below are ways to reduce the deformation.
1. Ensure the cutting ability of your tools is right
Cutting tools are essential in machining. Blunt or dull tools tend to cause deformation as more force is applied. Sharp cutting tools which are angled correctly cut through the aluminum material smoothly. Selecting the right tools ensures minimal force is used, and less heat is generated, and deformation is avoided in the process.
2. Choose a proper cutting parameter
In the aluminum machining process, having the correct cutting parameters is vital. If they are larger than normal, the cutting force will also be too large, resulting in deformed parts. In addition, the force affects the durability of the tool and the rigidity of the spindle. One of the major cutting parameters is the cutting force, influenced by the back cutting depth’s size. Cutting down on the tool number has multiple advantages, like preventing deformation. However, it’s good to note that the machining efficiency may be reduced too.
3. Practice symmetrical machining
This method helps to reduce heat during the process. It is ideal for aluminum parts with a large allowance for processing. Avoiding too much heat by ensuring heat is dissipated minimizes thermal deformation. Continuous processing from one side to another is not recommended. Symmetrical processing ensures one surface is processed at least twice and then flipped to the other side until the manufacturer gets the desired size.
4. Using a stratified machining technique
Some aluminum parts have uneven cavities on the surface, resulting from the uneven force. If processing is done per cavity, the chances of the parts deforming are high. The milling process is done alongside other processing techniques. All cavities undergo machining at a go-by layering, and a second layer is again processed to make the parts evenly stressed and less deformed.
5. Keep the workpiece clamped properly
Proper clamping is necessary to keep the parts secured and prevent slipping. Aluminum parts with thin walls are brittle and have poor rigidity. Even though clamping is necessary, it causes severe deformation on such parts. To prevent this, loosen the clamp just before completing the machining process to release pressure and return the parts’ original shape. For thick and rigid parts, use fixtures to tighten the clamp and keep them in place.
Aluminum machining is a straightforward process; however, a high level of expertise is needed to make it successful. Generally, aluminum has low hardness, so part deformation is a major concern that should be avoided. A good aluminum machining company with proper equipment ensures there’s little to no deformation by following the tips above.