CNC routers are primarily used for cutting woods and plastic. But they are excellent tools that can be used for cutting the aluminum sheets. Aluminum cutting is quite different from plastic or wood cutting. This is so because aluminum sheets have smaller sweet spots for optimal speeds and feed; which when left result in broken cutters and a poorly finished surface. Another difference is the sticky characteristic of aluminum sheets. Aluminum tends to stick with the tool which makes the cutting harder.
Despite the difficulties encumbered by usage of aluminum sheets, here are some tips that will ensure successful aluminum cutting with the help of CNC routers. Read on.
Notwithstanding the fact that CNC router effectively cuts aluminum, yet it is not best for hogging the aerospace. Slowing down the things to some extent will pay you for the success of aluminum cutting. This necessarily does not mean you should entirely slow down the feeds and speed. The overall material removal rates are likely to be less than the results that may be achieved with a CNC mill. As compared to a CNC mill, a CNC router can lift more material and work effectively.
Use Carbide Coates Bits to Cut Aluminum:
As CNC routers use varied cutters, so they should not be used with aluminum sheets. Downcut spirals and compression cutters should not be used on aluminum sheets. Cutters specifically meant for cutting aluminum sheets should be used for cutting the aluminum. In place of HSS or cobalt cutters, carbide cutters should be used. Though carbide bits are relatively expensive than normal cutters, they offer better productivity and produce great output.
Use Feeds and Speeds Calculator:
Usage of feeds and speeds calculator ensures a high performance and satisfactory input of the CNC routers. Initially starting with a low speed of rpm and then adjusting it according to the right standards is the best way to use the CNC machines for aluminum cutting.
Lubricate the End Product with Mist:
CNC routers should be lubricated with misting systems to prevent the accumulation of debris and sticking of chips with the cutting edges. Using mister system cools down the cutter bits and helps in extending the shelf life and retaining the integrity of the CNC routers.
Use Small Diameter Cutters:
In cases where high rpm is required, small cutters are helpful in saving time and money. Small diameter cutters should be used to reduce cutter deflection while going through high speeds. For better aluminum cutting, the cutters must go well with the requirements of the machine.
Frequent Shallow Passes:
Deep cutting to save time does not go well with aluminum cutting. Making frequent shallow passes to reach the desired depth makes it accessible and easier to remove chips.
Watch the Flutes:
No doubt a four-flute cutter may work well with most of the materials, but a three-flute cutter is appropriate for aluminum. Using lower flute bits will reduce large chips that tend to cause obstructions in the CNC routers.