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How to Choose the Right Materials for CNC Machining?


How to Choose the Right Materials for CNC Machining?

CNC (computer numerical control) machining is an industrial tool that is supervised with the help of programming software. CNC machining is a series of constructing processes that are used to regulate complex industrial machinery. This machinery includes heavy mailing machines (used for cutting different materials to form a particular design), CNC lathe, CNC  routers, plasma cutters, etc.

CNC machining can almost shape any metal and plastic up to your preferences so sometimes it seems quite difficult to choose the perfect material for your future product or application. An enormous amount of metal alloy and plastics can be so it can be challenging to choose the best one. Well, let me make it a bit easy for you. Different factors can reduce  your effort and help you out to choose the best kind of material for your appliance.

CNC machining

Salient Properties of the Right Materials

Every alloy, metal, or plastic used for CNC machining has some unique features. If we observe them thoroughly, we can take the best out of them.

1.Thermal property

This property of material tells how it reacts under extreme temperatures. The best materials are those having lower melting points than the operating machining so that they can undergo the process without breaking apart.


The strength of the material determines how much stress load it can bear.Your choice of material should be the resisting high-stress loads.

3.Corrosion resistances

The material should prevent corrosion for a longer period so than it can of your use. If you use any such material that can be corroded easily, you are at loose.

4.Weight of material

The weight of your material depends on your product. As metals are heavyweight materials so they are good for applications that require a high stress level, thermal resistance, and  hardness, etc. On the other hand, plastics are more suitable for products that lack any  electrical potential.

5.The material cost

The overall cost of your material should be according to your budget so that you can easily manage it without being bothered.

CNC Machining

The common material used for CNC machining

A wide range of materials can undergo CNC machining. Some most commonly used materials that can be beneficial are listed below.


Aluminum is a popular compound that has been utilized for CNC machining for years.
Aluminum 6061
The aluminum alloy 6061 is a hard alloy that contains magnesium, silicon, and iron as its       main elements. It composes a good CNC machinability and god enough working ability. It     can resist atmospheric corrosion. It can easily be welded and joined with other materials. It holds a medium strength-to-weight ratio.
It is used in

  • Tankfittings
  • Bicycleframes
  • Aircraftcomponents
  • Heavy-dutystructures
  • High-pressureapplications
  • Furniture•

Aluminum 6082
It is a popular aluminum alloy that has a medium strength-to-weight ratio.it is composed of magnesium, zinc, and copper along with some other elements. it’s a hard alloy with excellent corrosion resistance.
It is used in

  • Cranes
  • Beerbarrels
  • Bridges
  • Foodcontainers

Aluminum 7075
It’s a high-grade aluminum alloy containing a large quantity of zinc. It is preferred above   other alloys due to its high strength and thermal heat capacity. This alloy is machine-able and can be anodized. It can retain its original shape due to its average workability.
It is used in

  1. Moldtools manufacturing
  2. Aircraftfittings
  3. Missileparts
  4. Wormgears
  5. Plasticinjections


It’s a soft metal that works fine at room temperature (25 c). It is an alloy of zinc and copper.  Due to its soft nature, it can be machined even without the use of any lubricant. It’s a  magical material for low-strength applications. Brasses are differentiated based on zinc percentage as the amount of zinc increases its corrosion resistivity decreases. Brass having a zinc composition higher than 45 % is usually useless.
They have a mainly shiny golden appearance with a higher malleability rate as compared to zinc and bronze. It has a low melting point and shows low friction. It does not produce any   sparking effect, safe to be used in an explosive environment. It’s a good conductor of heat   and highly resistant to corrosion.
It is used in

  • Musicalinstruments
  • Electricalplugs and sockets
  • Decorativeapplications
  • Locks
  • Baseplates
  • Heatexchangers
  • Lamps
  • Zippers

CNC Machining

3.Stainless steel

Stainless steel is a mixture of 10.5% of chromium and a small portion of carbon. Its  mechanical properties can be increased by adding other elements like titanium, aluminum, niobium, copper, nickel, sulfur, phosphorous, molybdenum, or selenium. These elements    enhance its oxidation resistance. Stainless steel has many kinds.
Stainless steel 303
It is formed by the addition of sulfur. It shows good oxidation resistance when revealing to high temperatures. It has a strong resistive ability to overcome the effects of a corrosive     environment. It’s a strong-strength material with limited cold bending properties.
It is used for the machining of

  • Nuts
  • Screws
  • Gears
  • Valvebodies
  • Electricalcomponents
  • Bushings

Stainless steel 304
It is formed by the combination of nickel, chromium, and carbon.it is austenitic stainless steel. It is the most widely used type of stainless steel. It holds a high strength-to weight    ratio.it has a high melting point so it can be a good material for the manufacturing of hard objects. It has good machinability.
It is used in

  • Foodindustry
  • Marineapplication
  • Saucepans
  • Sinks
  • Tubing
  • Architecturalpaneling
  • Medicaldevices
  1. Titanium

It is also one of the most commonly used materials for CNC machining. It is a low weighted tough material that can effortlessly be welded. It has high corrosion resistance and a poor heat conductor. It’s a non toxic environmentally friendly material. Because of its toughness special cutters are used for its cutting. Titanium is the 9th most abundant element found in the earth’s crust, but its refining is a hard part.
It is used in

  • Jewelry
  • Mobilephones
  • Scissors
  • Surgicaltools
  • 3dmetal printing
  • Tennisrackets

CNC Machining


Besides all these materials, there is a bunch of other useful material as well that can also be used for CNC machining. You can simply rely on us for the best suitable materials and enjoy seeing your master class production.

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sheet metal

Alice Tang

Rapid Manufacturing Expert

This is Alice from QBH Technology.I have been focused on sheet metal and CNC machining parts for more than 5 years now,and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to sheet metal and CNC machining from a Chinese manufacturer.

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