A Guide to Choosing the Best CNC Material for Machining

CNC machine metal parts

Computerized numerical control machining is an extremely precise procedure compatible with several substances. The proper computerized numerical control machining substances and CNC machine metal parts supplier play an important role in the production procedure’s effectiveness and the machined component’s functioning and quality. Nevertheless, selecting the correct one from the variety of parts available may be tough. This blog explains how manufacturers can choose the proper computerized numerical control substance for their project below by discussing three steps.

Consider your component requirements when choosing computerized numerical control machining substances.

Below is a thorough study of components’ needs applicable to every computerized numerical control machining project.

Components applications

Manufacturers should ensure that their computerized numerical control substance is well-matched with the environment or the intended application. For instance, let us compare carbon steel and stainless steel, which are intended to manufacture structural components in a marine atmosphere. Both substances are machinable. Nevertheless, stainless steel would be more appropriate for computerized numerical control machining because of its corrosion resistance. If people look at a typical dry atmosphere, carbon steel will be more suitable as it is more durable and sturdier.

Component weight

Manufacturers must ensure that the substances they are considering have the appropriate weight demanded based on their use. Larger does not mean better. For instance, aluminum and other low-density substances strongly appeal to the aerospace and automotive industries because of their strength and lightweight.

Component properties

The appropriate computerized numerical control substances would have the necessary qualities that help in effective machining without losing functioning. Thus, manufacturers must consider the properties of the component given below

  • Machinability

Machinability tells us how compatible the substance is with the computerized numerical control machining procedure. The appropriate substance must be extremely machinable, leading to an improvement in manufacturing effectiveness and a decrease in damaged computerized numerical control components. Soft metals like plastics, brass, copper and aluminum are incredibly machinable substances. Rigid plastics and hard metals like carbon fiber or metal feature low machinability. Thus, this would lead to low manufacturing effectiveness and productivity because of the requirement to control the feed rates and the cutting pace of the computerized numerical control machine. They could also harm the metal components or need special cutting instruments, as in titanium’s case.

  • Strength

There are various measures of strength of plastic and metal, and manufacturers must consider the following when they look for the ideal substance for their project

  • Tensile strength: The substance’s resistance to a pulling force
  • Load-bearing or compression: The substance’s resistance to a consistent load
  • Toughness: The material’s ability to resist tearing
  • Elasticity: The substance’s ability to come back to its initial shape after load removal

Manufacturers should know the components’ tolerable strength limitations they are interested in making, then select a substance that resonates with such limitations. Moreover, they could go online to collect comprehensive technical details on the strength of various substances.

Heat resistance

Heat resistance shows the material’s ability to resist a change in mechanical qualities because of a temperature change. They must ensure the substances they select do not contract or expand irregularly in reaction to temperature changes.

Corrosion resistance

Corrosion resistance is the substance’s capability to resist foreign materials that can result in component failure. Such foreign materials do not only include water. The rest of the examples encompass grease, oil, and chemical reagents like alcohol, salts, and acids. Consequently, manufacturers must ensure they go through the technical data sheet of material to verify its capability to tolerate chemical exposure.


Material hardness tells manufacturers about the ability of materials to tolerate pinpoint surface loads and decide what substances computerized numerical control equipment could cut. Hard substances do not suit computerized numerical control machining because they can damage the parts of computerized numerical control machines.

Limit/ Endurance strength

It is the overall ability of the substances to absorb stress. For instance, aluminum has no endurance limitation because of its microstructure. Nevertheless, its alloys must have an endurance limit of one-third of their tensile strength.

Dimension tolerance

Dimension tolerance is the allowable limit in the machine components’ variation for efficient functioning. For greater dimensional tolerance, manufacturers require highly machinable substances. Components made utilizing tight tolerances are simpler to assemble. Consequently, they are extremely suitable for aeronautics and automotive. Almost every computerized numerical control equipment has its tolerance level based on its maker. Nevertheless, the average tolerance is 0.02 millimeters.

Physical appearance

Esthetics is not at the requirement’s forefront when choosing a computerized numerical control substance. Nevertheless, manufacturers may need to contemplate it for specific items, particularly consumer ones. Physical appearance could be in terms of the color and smoothness of the final component. Metals usually have a smooth surface finishing, though their color range is limited. Plastic substances come in various colors.

Project budget

Material cost is an essential component of the computerized numerical control material selection as computerized numerical control machining is a deductive procedure, i.e., the equipment works at the workpiece to manufacture the final commodity. Thus, the project budget is the main factor in the material selection. Manufacturers must select the substance with the desired qualities within the expenditure range.

Identify candidate computerized numerical control machining substance

Utilizing the component requirements discussed above, manufacturers must make a list of compatible substances for their projects. Three kinds of substances suit computerized numerical control machining. These encompass metals, plastics, and other materials. This section of the blog discusses some of those materials.

Metal computerized numerical control machining substances


Aluminum composites usually have a decent strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and electrical and thermal conductivity. Nevertheless, the degree of these qualities is dependent on the kind of aluminum composite. Aluminum composites are applicable in the aeronautics and automotive industry to manufacture components like high-performance recreational machines and frames.


Brass is a composite that consists of copper and zinc. Contrary to copper and bronze, it is a cost-efficient substance with a friction’s low coefficient, low strength, and high chemical resistance. It is exceptionally machinable because of its softness.

Stainless steel 

Stainless steel composites resist wear, distortion, and corrosion. Many stainless steel composites could be treated by heat apart from the three hundred and three stainless steel sheets utilized to manufacture gears, shafts, bolts, and nuts. Another common composite is the three hundred and four stainless steel because of its high weldability, corrosion resistance, and machinability.

Plastic computerized numerical control machining substances

Plastic polymers are common computerized numerical control machining substances. They are well-known for their aesthetic properties and usefulness. Below are some well-known options, applications, and their properties


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene plastic substance is a thermoplastic with high chemical resistance, low electric conductivity, and high affect resistance. Manufacturers more commonly injection mold it, although it is extremely applicable in computerized numerical control machining because of its usefulness.


Nylon is a polyamide polymer featuring moderate fire resistance, high strength, and high machinability. It is suitable for manufacturing consumer electronic casings, wheels, bearings, and insulators.

Other computerized numerical control machining substances


Ceramics is a substance that is corrosion-resistant, heat-resistant, and brittle. Thus it requires cautious machining.


Composites are artificial substances composed of glass and carbon, bound together by thermoplastic or thermoset resin. They have lower machinability because of their chemical composition and are difficult to machine.


Foams are simply machinable, lightweight, and cheap substances suitable as test substances in computerized numerical control machining. There are a couple of kinds of foams: carving and rigid.

Rigid foams have a greater insulation value( they could operate in temperatures between minus hundred degrees and two hundred Fahrenheit). Thus, they are suitable for manufacturing components utilized in walls and flooring. They are also useful for manufacturing commodities that should withstand moisture. Carving foam has greater flexibility. Thus, they are useful for manufacturing a commodity like seals and gaskets.

Choosing the excellent computerized numerical control machining substances

Selecting the excellent computerized numerical control machining substance is dependent on the commodity manufacturers envision and its uses. As there are several substances available, manufacturers must make a list of those that are suitable. Below are some things which manufacturers could consider to opt for the excellent substance

  • Consider non-metallic substances

Metals are not always an excellent option. Some non-metallic substances have qualities like metals. For instance, polycarbonate is an extremely sturdy plastic-like metal. Also, it is moldable, durable, and lightweight. Thus, manufacturers should utilize them if their project works better with a non-metallic computerized numerical control substance.

  • Consider phenolics

Phenolics are chemical resistant, heat resistant, electrical resistant, dimensionally stable, and hard. That being so, they are excellent options for manufacturers to follow in their projects.

  • Know the various purposes of foams

Foams are essential in machining because of their rigidity, durability, and lightweight. Thus, they may be the appropriate test substance, particularly if manufacturers work with costly substances. Rigid foams suit parts requiring high stability and structural integrity, while carving foam suits parts that need prototypes for molds and a high degree of insulation.


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