Machinability of MetalsLeave a Comment
We often mention that said metal is “easy to machine” or “difficult to machine” on our alloy pages, but what is machinability really?
To answer that question, we need to first talk about machining and why it’s essential in almost every industry that uses alloys.
Machining is the process of removal of raw material, in order to produce a desired final shape. Most metal parts are built this way because it is very cost-effective and fast with the discovery of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines.
Which Metals Are The Easiest to Machine?
Some metals can be machined more quickly than others, which makes them a better choice for very complex parts. Luckily, most alloys that are commercially available today come with machinability ratings.
This is an estimate on how easy the said metal is to
|Type of Alloy||Material Grade||Surface Feet per Minute||Machinability Rating(%)|
As can be seen from the table, carbon steels from the 12-series are the easiest to machine, while superalloys can be very difficult to machine.
Heat treatment and machining
The hardness level is disproportionate to how machinable a metal is – the harder the alloy, the more difficult it is to machine. Tech Steel & Materials offers alloys in the annealed or normalized condition, without any heat treatment applied, which improves machinability. However, to achieve the maximum hardness of the alloy, heat treatment should still be applied after the rough machining process is done.
CNC metal machining involves metal being machined at extremely high speeds. As a result of the high speeds, the machine tool gets hot, so oil-based coolant must be used which generates mist.
The mist contains tiny droplets of oil, so if it’s not collected properly, it gets breathed in by workers, clogs up HVAC filters, and coats machines, walls, and floors of the metal working shop.
This is where eliminating CNC coolant mist comes into play, as it is pertinent to safety, maintaining component quality, and guaranteeing an efficient manufacturing process.
Mist collectors are able to recycle the oil-based coolant mist back into the machine tool, reducing the chances oil and dirt clog up your heating and cooling filters, saving you money in the long run.
In addition, if the proper mist collector is not used, it is likely the oil mist will eventually begin to interfere with the workings of sensitive electronic equipment in the area and can create slippery, hazardous floors for employees from building up over time.
Studies have shown exposure to metalworking fluids and machine mist can cause a multitude of health risks.
An oil mist filter goes a long way in helping keep your shop in compliance with OSHA and EPA regulations.
Benefits of using mist collectors to eliminate CNC coolant mist:
- Longer machine life
- Preserving worker health
- Improved component quality
- Reduced operational costs thanks to reclamation of lubricants
Utilizing mist collectors in order to eliminate coolant mist as a result of CNC machining is a great way to keep your shop area clean, productive, and ultimately reduce machining expenses.
For more information on selecting the best mist collector required to eliminate CNC coolant mist, check out the decisive guide here.