Advantages and disadvantages of custom aluminum parts in machining

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Advantages and disadvantages of custom aluminum parts in machining

Aluminum isn’t one of the most widely used metals for no reason. It’s got characteristics that make it highly sought after in the machining industry. But, like all things good, aluminum has its advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages and disadvantages of custom aluminum parts in machining

It is customizable

Aluminum resists corrosion and rust. The surface of aluminum alloys oxidizes rapidly, giving it a protective layer of aluminum oxide, which helps resist corrosion by the elements. With good finishing and healthy maintenance, aluminum can remain corrosion-free even in the worst conditions. This property of aluminum makes it suitable for use for parts to experience exposure to harsh environmental conditions.

It is economical

The production costs of aluminum, although not the ultimate cheapest, are inexpensive relative to its advantages. This means it is cheaper than other metals that offer the same advantages, and therefore the ideal choice for most use cases.

It is strong and lightweight

Aluminum is exceptionally strong, being the metal with the highest strength to weight ratio. This makes it applicable in parts where there’s a need for exceptional strength. As is evident from the high strength to weight ratio, this strength doesn’t come at the cost of weight. With a density almost three times less than steel, aluminum alloys are suitable for machine parts that need to be as light as possible while retaining great strength.

It is recyclable

Aluminum is a hundred percent recyclable. Aluminum also requires less energy to recycle than many other metals, making it an eco-friendly material choice.

It is suitable for rapid tooling manufacturing

Rapid tooling manufacturing is a manufacturing method that has gained traction due to its cost-saving and faster lead time advantages. One of the foremost materials used in rapid tooling is aluminum. Due to its high ductility and affordable cost, it is easy to see why aluminum alloys are manufacturers’ favorite.

 It requires little maintenance

Aluminum parts retain their quality and properties even in the worst conditions. This makes them a good choice for parts that are difficult to reach for routine maintenance. Aluminum can also resist very low temperatures without cracking or failing.

It is customizable

Due to its great machinability, aluminum can take almost any shape. Aluminum also holds paint well, and its surface can hold a vast majority of finishes successfully.

Cons of Aluminum in Machining

It conducts electricity readily

This could be an advantage as well as a disadvantage depending on where it is to be used. However, it makes aluminum alloys unusable in certain situations where electrical resistance is of importance.

It has a low melting point

Due to its low melting point, aluminum is unsuitable for use in areas with a high heat level. However, there are types of aluminum that fix this issue.

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