Aluminum is a soft, lightweight
metal that is about one-third the density of steel
or copper. A protective oxide layer gives aluminum
superior corrosion resistance and durability.
Similar to cast, aluminum exhibits excellent malleable
and ductile characteristics, which makes machining
this material easy for John Prosock Machine, Inc.,
a top CNC machine shop in PA. Aluminum, specifically
606IT6 high-grade aluminum, is machined at John
Prosock Machine for a broad range of industry
applications from aerospace to transportation,
John Prosock Machine, Inc. is a
leading CNC machining company with the knowledge
to machine soft, non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum,
at high speeds. Many factors contribute to why
machining soft metals can be a challenge for other
CNC machining companies. But at John Prosock Machine,
we have the experience and skill to avoid potential
problems that may surround high-speed aluminum
milling, turning, boring, tapping, sawing, etc.
Power in Aluminum Precision Machining
When compared to steel, aluminum requires relatively
less horsepower, however, higher spindle and surface
speed. Most CNC machine shops consider high spindle
speed anywhere from 10,000 rpms to 50,000 rpms.
High spindle speeds signify high surface speeds,
which can range from 3,000 to 30,000 surface feet
per minute (sfm). John Prosock Machine’s
CNC machine centers are fully equipped with the
high speeds necessary for aluminum machining.
Higher spindle speeds increase frictional heat
in bearings. Our milling and turning machines
are outfitted with state-of-the-art cooling systems
to dissipate the heat generated by cutting and
friction. Tight tolerances are maintained under
such fast conditions as our spindles are kept
stiff and secure even at consistent maximum performance.
cutters in CNC Milling and Turning
Our cutting tools are uniquely designed with the
proper geometry to meet the needs of aluminum
precision machining. We are able to remove metallic
particles and abrasive fragments (swarf) efficiently
as well as prevent swarf from bonding to the tool
by keeping the edges keen and faces polished.
Carbide or diamond cutting surfaces are utilized
and extend tool life as well as increase sfm levels.
Chip Removal Rates
Poor chip removal rates can be damaging to an
aluminum precision machining production. For this
reason, John Prosock Machine, Inc. maintains high
cutting angles to create a clean cut in a relatively
soft material and for accurate chip removal. Rake
angles must be greater than 6° and can reach
12°. Gash angles are kept high to aid in pulling
chips and prevent clogging. Helix angles are as
much as 50% greater than traditional end mills
to fling chips away from the workpiece.
During precision machining, the
form of an aluminum workpiece has the potential
to distort through increased thermal expansion.
For this reason, John Prosock Machine has invested
in advanced CNC machines with good thermal control
systems of the spindle and other major structural
elements. When working with aluminum, poor chip
removal can cause downtime due to the extra work
needed to remove excess metal fragments from tools
and unwind chips from tool holders. With John
Prosock’s CNC precision machining, our tools
are well designed for exceptional chip removal.
Cutting power, uniquely designed tools, and specialized
machining techniques is what allow John Prosock
Machine, Inc. to machine aluminum with the reliability
and economy you want at the high-speed and high-production
rates you need.
For applications where light
weight, strength, durability is a must, trust
aluminum precision machining at John Prosock Machine,