brass machining

Machining Brass on a CNC Machine: 2022 Best Guide

Machining Brass on a CNC Machine: 2022 Best Guide

CNC machines provide increased productivity and efficiency in a wide range of industries, for hobbyists and professional tradesmen/manufacturers alike. One of the most popular and effective applications of CNC machines is in the machining of aluminum and brass (non-ferrous metals), where the added capacity and precision allow complex work to be completed in the shortest possible time without sacrificing quality.

The aluminum machining process

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that is ideal for making CNC machined parts, including CNC milled parts. Brass CNC milling applies a block or sheet of paper to the form below the spindle, which holds the tool. This watch rotates and pivots, making two axes of motion. A cutting tool mounted on a rotating spindle removes the material to create the shape. 

After completing various surface treatments including electroplating, polishing, heat treating, nickel, zinc, tin, silver, chrome plating, then you can get the final brass abrasive product. This CNC machined brass service precision milling components are suitable for industrial equipment, smart home, communication and computer fields. 

Features of Brass Milled Parts

  • long shelf life
  • strong abrasion resistance
  • good ductility
  • flexible and rust resistant
  • easy to shape
  • excellent tensile strength, rust resistant

In some cases, there may simply be no choice and the work will be done with specific materials. And if aluminum and brass are such materials, then we list some key points that you should know when using a CNC machine to process them.

Brass classification for CNC machining

Brass, which is processed by pressure:
  • red brass;
  • lead brass.
  • nickel brass;
  • semi-tompak;
  • iron-manganese brass

Applications of Brass Milled Parts

brass mached parts

Medical and Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Military, Hardware, Toys, Telecommunications and many more. Precision brass CNC milled parts can be used in appliances, engineering and plumbing.

Types of casting material based on brass:

  • siliceous;
  • aluminum;
  • Tin-manganese-lead.

Aluminum is a relatively soft but strong material, light and malleable. It is non-magnetic, meaning it is not easy to ignite, and is often used for prototyping as it is flexible and durable. However, it tends to stick to the edge of the cutting tool, which can reduce performance and tool life.

This must be taken into account when cutting, because tool material and its coating can influence the solution of this problem. You also need to regularly clean the chips, otherwise the cutter may break.

Material Cutting Tips

  • Proper lubrication will help prevent chips from sticking to the cutting edges.
  • The use of an air blower and coolant spray also helps to improve the process.
  • It is necessary to choose tools of sufficient strength.

Also note that aluminum and other soft metals have a much smaller sweet spot for feed and speed than wood or plastic.

When using a CNC milling machine to machine aluminum, always use aluminum cutters specially designed for cutting this material and/or small diameter cutters as this will help increase the rotational speed.

Brass

Brass is a metal alloy composed of copper and zinc, which is one of the most commonly, used materials in the world. It is also one of the easiest materials to machine, especially when compared to aluminum. Where aluminum often sticks to the tool, brass, on the contrary, behaves extremely correctly.

Yet it is not uncommon for workshops to literally underutilize the machinability of brass by up to 85%. Its relatively low melting point and flow characteristics make it fairly easy to mold and use in electrical work medicine, plumbing, etc.

Advantages of brass

  • Brass is inexpensive and durable, resistant to corrosion, able to withstand extreme temperatures. It cuts much easier at higher speeds and feeds without adversely affecting tool wear, surface finish and chip formation.

  • In addition, it is 100% recyclable, minimizing waste and maximizing the use of the material. Brass is commonly used in musical instruments and in the manufacture of electrical components as it is a highly conductive material.
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CNC brass milling

CNC brass milling

Two-component brasses are the oldest and simplest. Copper is mixed with zinc in various proportions. Known since the first century BC, although they were patented only in the eighteenth century after the discovery of metallic zinc in the 16th century.

 Bronzes appeared much later and were more “domestic” material. Jewelry and utensils were made from them, while tools and weapons were made from bronze. The ability not to lose beauty under a thin oxide film for centuries allowed jewelers to use brass as a substitute for gold, which is why it was called gold for the poor.

After the development of navigation, due to its good anti-magnetic properties, it began to be used for the manufacture of navigational instruments. Good corrosion resistance contributed to the use for water supply systems (control equipment, fittings, nozzles).

Multicomponent are additionally alloyed with various elements

This is done to impart new properties, as well as improve machinability. The addition of tin began to be used with the development of shipbuilding. In marine conditions, this increased the life of ship mechanisms by reducing corrosion. Silicon plus lead reduces friction losses. Manganese and nickel serve to achieve greater strength and resistance to aggressive environments.

Machinability - milling work on brass

brass machining supplier

CNC milling of brass, in terms of machinability, is more dependent on the specific brand. The fewer special additives that optimize chip formation, the worse the material is milled. The closer the physical properties are to pure copper, the more difficult metalworking is.

The addition of lead in the milling of brass is used in order to deprive brass of the main drawback of copper alloys, and in cutting – high ductility. The embrittlement of the cutting products makes it easy to remove them from the cutting edge area, and also gives an even, clean cut. Such alloys are called automatic, as they are created specifically for serial (mass) cutting on machine tools.

Errors in CNC machining

CNC routers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to achieve maximum precision and efficiency in signage, furniture, aluminum and brass processing, and more. But these benefits only come to fruition if we know how to use our existing equipment efficiently.

CNC machines are very complex machines, so it happens that even experienced craftsmen can make mistakes in their work, reducing productivity and causing problems that they could have avoided. When working under tight deadlines, this loss of productivity will almost certainly result in a loss of profitability.

From programming to manufacturing, here’s a rundown of some of the most common mistakes encountered when using CNC milling machines and how to avoid them in day-to-day operations to maximize productivity.

Correct installation of the machine

This is the first step in the process, and if not done correctly, it will negatively impact the entire project. There are also many factors that affect the overall success of the job – from tool selection and material feed speed to spindle speed and depth of cut.

As you gain more experience using the machine on a variety of projects, you will learn how to effectively set up your machine for success. If at any point you are not confident in your settings, you should seek support from an industry expert or trusted sales representative.

Choosing the Right Tool

Part of choosing the right tool is tied to the previously mentioned mistake, but it is a key factor responsible for getting the best result. However, it is important to understand that at the very beginning of work in the field it is not always easy to determine the only right choice. In many cases, several tools can do the job at once, and one that will provide the highest quality result still needs to be able to identify.

Each tool supplier usually provides torch guides to help you choose the right tool for your project. Don’t be afraid to make a few test cuts if you’re working with new material to see how different cutters or knife blades perform.

Make sure the material is in place

Given the way CNC routers work, it’s important to make sure materials are held securely in place before cutting. Otherwise, problems with inaccurate cuts and excess scrap can occur.

You can’t cut anything that doesn’t stay in place! Therefore, before starting, make sure that the cutting material is smooth and clean, and that there are no leaks in the vacuum system and around the gaskets (if applicable), as these are a common cause of a poor-quality end result.

If the material you are cutting is not perfectly flat, it will be much more difficult for you to secure it completely for the duration of the project. Proper vacuum pump sizing is the key to successful vacuum application. The numbers should match the size of the workspace you are using.

Be sure to consult with a CNC specialist to ensure you are using the correct size system. Depending on the material or size of the parts, mechanical clamping of the materials or parts may be required.

Performing proper maintenance

Like any high-performance technical machine, CNC routers need to be cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure continuous operation. Improper maintenance can cause dirt, dust and debris to accumulate in the machine, resulting in malfunctions.

Materials may begin to slip, which can lead to accuracy errors, among other things. In addition to regular cleaning, lubricating the moving parts also ensures that nothing gets stuck during operation and moves as smoothly as needed.

Before each use, you need to make sure that the router is in working condition. This will help you achieve the best possible result and save you unnecessary time and waste when restarting projects.

China Brass Cnc Milling Suppliers

CNC brass machining

Brass strip has good mechanical properties, good hot ductility, good cold ductility, good machine ability, easy to weld and weld, corrosion resistant. 

Brass milling parts are processed by the machine tool path with computer-controlled computer, using high-speed rotary cutting tool if you want to shape the material. As the size of products becomes more demanding, the processing from the original two is gradually changed to 3-axis machining, 4-axis machining, 5-axis machining center; the accuracy can reach 0.001mm. 

The spindle speed of the machine tool is 20000 rpm, so that the surface of the workpiece is smooth and clean. We often processed brass material.

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