There always has been a transition of use of materials, when a cheaper yet more useful material with desired qualities is discovered. A while back, many industries used different bulky metals to construct machinery, but that wasn’t an efficient way. In a last couple of years, there has been a big boost in the demand for aluminium to be used in machinery development from many industries. From industries like Aircraft industry to automobile, all these are fans of aluminium because of its desirable properties. Aircraft use aluminium as it is not only strong but also pretty lightweight.
Thus, it makes it a great contender to be used for machining purposes. Let us explore why has the world moved towards it.
- Cutting and Sawing: With the recent technological advancement in sawing machinery, the aluminium can be sawed very easily and that too at a faster rate. This metal is known not to create burrs, and can be cut with more efficiency lowering the cost. This helps in ensuring that the labor cost of such processes can be controlled.
- The correct machinery: Any unfinished part of aluminium can be converted into a finished product which can be further used in other industries. But this might turn to be a complicated process. The machinery for drilling, sawing, etc. should be accurate, which would put the right pressure on the metal to transform into a finished product. The labor and workers which operate such machinery have to be skilled and experienced enough to handle such operations. Selecting the correct machine according to the particular purpose for which aluminium would be used becomes important.
- The CNC: To make this job easier, the CNC machines (Computer Numeric Control) machines have come into the picture. Thus, machinery works on the principal of 3D computer aided designs which guides the machinery which tasks should it perform. It basically list down everything the manufacturer wants from the aluminium block, its dimensions, thickness etc. and that’s what the CNC comes up with.
This has made the work of the workmen easier and automated the process. The required shape can be made as the cutting tool moves around the aluminium piece, to give it the required dimensions. Whatever you can imagine (provided not too complex) the same shape can be given to a simple block of aluminium.
- The benefits: As already mentioned, the cost of cutting the aluminium can be controlled to a great extent. As the demand is ever increasing because of its features and qualities, the machining of aluminium can get the benefits of economies of scale.
- Not all good: Aluminium might be a great metal, but is surely not perfect. Aluminium is considered to be a soft metal which makes its cutting difficult. If an inexperienced worker or wrong machinery is used, the metal might get distorted during its drilling or cutting. But this shortcoming might turn positive as it proves to be malleable and ductile as compared to other metals.