Easiest Aluminum To Work?

Yeah, I just felt like asking another lame question . I've been so good for the
last 3 weeks, hardly wasting any time on
newsgroups . Soon I'll get a one month chip for staying away from the two that
were killing me (^:# .
Is it that 3030something or (more age appropriate for me ) 4040-something ?.
Specifically, I want sawing and drilling to
be facilitated. Boy that free-machining brass is nice . Anyway.........
DS
Reply to
Dar Shelton
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for the last 3 weeks, hardly wasting any time on
that were killing me (^:# .
?. Specifically, I want sawing and drilling to
The nicest to machine aluminum is reputed to be 2011 T3 or T8, with 2017 in a T4 or T451 condition right on its heels. Another nice choice is 2024 in an aged condition, something like T351. 7075-T6 is also very nice to machine, but acts much harder, or crisp. 6061-T6 is not bad to work with. You may want to make a decision based more on the application than the machinability, for unless you work on the soft grades that are not intended to be machined, they are all pretty nice to work with. Not all grades can be welded, so that may influence your decision. Use kerosene for lubrication when machining. There's not much out there that will do a better job.
Harold
Reply to
Harold & Susan Vordos
All aluminium is so easy to machine anyway I'm not sure it's a major consideration. More important is strength, weldability etc depending on one's requirements. Of course it needs to be properly heat treated or it'll be horribly 'gummy' and stick to the tools and generally be a PITA to machine.
Dave Baker - Puma Race Engines
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I'm not at all sure why women like men. We're argumentative, childish, unsociable and extremely unappealing naked. I'm quite grateful they do though.
Reply to
Dave Baker
So , is it possible to do quickie annealing with a torch?. DS
Reply to
Dar Shelton
2024T6.
The 7075 ain't bad either.
Jim
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Reply to
jim rozen
All Aluminum cannot be machined. Ever try elemental aluminum? This is used for extruders, and is about as soft as lead. Practically impossible to machine.
Most Aluminum materials for machining are wrought alloys, processed by rolling mills.
Yes, and I do this for pieces to be bent in a brake. First I machine it as is, because the heat treat process improves the machinability greatly. Then, I mark it with soap and heat with a propane torch until the soap mark turns dark brown. I quench violently under rapidly flowing cold water. This changes the alloy to a dead-soft condition, which will persist for only a few hours in some materials. Even thick aluminum can be bent without tearing when it is annealed this way.
But for machining, you do NOT want to anneal it! This will make it soft and gummy. The big trick to machining aluminum is to either keep the tool moving fast across the work (to spread out the heating) or use flood coolant to keep the workpiece dead cold. The heat of machining, when concentrated in one area of the workpiece, has the same effect as heating with a torch, and softens the workpiece. Then you get that horrible glob of mush on your expensive cutting tools.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
I obviously have some untreated ally.
I am making a replacement end plate for my ancient Ramsay winch motor. The original Zamac one has corroded and finally split in half. I bought a suitable sized piece of scrap from an engineering workshop, sliced off of one side of a 400mm dia rod, about 200mm square and about 60mm thick at the centre of 2 of the sides, the others curved down to zero.
It is a right bastard to machine, kept sticking to the cutter despite lubrication, even stalled the 2kW motor a couple of times. Very rough finish. I still have more to do, so if I can heat treat it, then I may be able to get a smooth final cut and groove.
How can I heat treat it ? All I have is a propane torch or a domestic electric oven.
Thanks
Alan in beautiful Golden Bay, Western Oz, South 32.25.42, East 115.45.44 GMT+8 VK6 YAB ICQ 6581610 to reply, change oz to au in address
Reply to
alan200
Sadly, not all aluminum is heat treatable. If yours is soft and gummy now, it's likely to remain so and there's precious little you can do about it. Aluminum that is hardened to some degree but is not heat treatable has been work hardened and sold in that condition.
These can NOT be heat treated:
1100 series 3003 series 5052 series aluminum tooling plate
Harold
Reply to
Harold & Susan Vordos
the cheap generic equivalent of Reynolds Wrap?
WB
Reply to
Wild Bill
If by "work" you mean to bend or hammer it, then the easiest to work is 1100 grade, which is known as commercially pure aluminum. It's very soft, and not strong. It does, however, resist corrosion especially well. For that reason it's often used as a mechanical plating on stronger grades, in a composite called Alclad.
If you want to machine it, though, it's horrible; soft and gummy, and very difficult to cut cleanly. Easy grades of aluminum to machine are 2024 and, somewhat cheaper and more common, 6061. Dobe Dave, who has run aluminum in screw machines since before the invention of electricity, says that 2010 is the easiest to machine. I don't know how easy it is to get.
Be aware that these heat-treatable, easy-machining grades require a pretty hard temper to machine cleanly. 2024 should be T3 or T4. I'm not sure about the preferred temper for 6061. Someone else will chime in, without a doubt.
Back to forming, if you want a decent combination of workability and some strength (and weldability; 2024 can't reasonably be welded), consider 3003. It's used for hand-forming car bodies and such.
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
You got that right... it's more like stiff clay than metal. Leave it at that...
Tim
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Reply to
Tim Williams
We had a supply of 2024T6 at work at one time that cut like steel practically. It was great stuff to work with, very crisp. They got rid of it because folks kept making intricate bits from it and then would go ask the welder to weld something to them.
Which he always did, gleefully. "Here's yer part!"
Jim
================================================== please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ==================================================
Reply to
jim rozen
I made a number of brake bars from 2024 when I was in Huntsville and caving. It does cut nicely.
Dan
jim rozen wrote in message
Reply to
Dan Caster

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