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What different types of materials are used in machining?


Precision machining is used to create complex parts that can be used in countless applications. The diverse needs of their customers require machine shops to have the ability to work with a variety of different materials without sacrificing the quality of the parts they produce. Machinists may therefore have to work with various raw materials.

Due to the large number of materials that can be machined, they have been grouped into different types that can be broken down into different formulas or alloys that have unique properties.

Here are the main types of materials used in machining.

Steels: extremely popular materials in the machining sector

Steels, including stainless steel, which is corrosion-resistant, are undoubtedly among the most commonly used materials in precision machining workshops. Composed primarily of iron and carbon, the ratios of these two elements give a steel its properties. Since a certain amount of other metals can also be added to create alloys (chromium, nickel, molybdenum, etc.) with diverse properties, steel is extremely versatile.

Aluminium: various ultra-light and non-magnetic alloys

Aluminium has many advantages: it is lightweight, easy to machine, non-magnetic, corrosion-resistant and inexpensive. Thanks to recent advances in the machining sector, this material is even becoming an alternative to steel. Different aluminium alloys can be processed into parts and even welded if necessary.

Brass: cost-effective materials that are easy to machine

Like aluminum alloys, brass is also a relatively inexpensive material. It is very ductile and malleable and is mainly composed of copper and zinc, in varying proportions. In addition to excellent machinability, brass is valued for its resistance to corrosion and wear.

Coppers: highly conductive metals

Copper is a popular metal for precision machining because of its versatility, durability and natural corrosion resistance. Since it is non-magnetic and has excellent electrical conductivity (especially when plated), it is often used to create electrical components.

Titaniums: expensive, but ideal for machining light parts

Titaniums are highly resistant to heat and corrosion and have the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all metals frequently used to cut gears or manufacture other machined parts. In addition, titaniums are inert and biocompatible, making them suitable for a wide range of applications from aviation to medical tools. However, this type of material is quite expensive and a little more difficult to work with.

Plastics: a viable alternative to metals

Plastics such as nylon are increasingly used as a low-cost, non-metallic and non-conductive raw material in the machining industry. Because plastics are inert and their formulas can be modified to provide different properties, plastic machined parts are valued in a variety of industries and are becoming increasingly competitive with metals.

Braidwood Industries Ltd.: our workshop for transforming these materials into custom parts

In conclusion, since each of these types of materials has specific properties, it is important to choose which one will be used to machine a part based on its use. This way the durability and performance of each part manufactured will always be at its best.

At Braidwood Industries Ltd., we can rapidly transform a wide range of materials into custom parts. Contact us to meet all your needs for machined parts and industrial mechanics.

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