Stainless Steel CNC Machining Services Guide

Stainless Steel CNC Machining

Stainless steel is a high-quality metal material widely used in various industries because of its good corrosion resistance and high strength characteristics. CNC machining is an efficient and accurate method for processing stainless steel parts of various shapes and sizes.

The following is the basic guide to CNC machining of stainless steel:

Part Design

Part design is a very important step in manufacturing, directly affecting parts’ quality, cost, and reliability.

The designer shall draw parts drawings according to the processing technology and process flow design. In the drawing process, attention should be paid to reducing the cutting amount and using coolant to improve the cutting efficiency and reduce the production cost.


When designing stainless steel parts, the following factors should be considered.

Function and use environment of parts:

Before designing parts, it is necessary to understand and analyze their use environment fully, to withstand the force and pressure, working temperature, and humidity to determine the function and requirements of parts reasonably.

Machining Materials:

304 stainless steee CNC Parts

According to the environment and function of the parts, select the appropriate materials for the design. Factors such as mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance of materials should be considered.

The size and shape of the parts:

When determining the size and shape of parts, it is necessary to select parameters such as geometric shape, size, and tolerance according to the use requirements and technological conditions to ensure the accuracy and reliability of parts.

Determine The Processing Plan

Determining the machining scheme is a very important step in parts design, which involves many aspects such as machining technology, equipment, person-hour, and cost. The following are some common ways to determine the processing plan:

Machining Materials:

The shape and material of the part determine the machining method and difficulty. For different shapes of parts, choose the appropriate processing methods, such as milling, turning, drilling, etc.

For parts of different materials, it is necessary to consider the material characteristics’ hardness, strength, and toughness and select the appropriate processing methods and cutting tools.

Consider the shape and material of the part:

The shape and material of the part determine the machining method and difficulty. For different shapes of parts, choose the appropriate processing methods, such as milling, turning, drilling, etc.

For parts of different materials, it is necessary to consider the material characteristics’ hardness, strength, and toughness and select the appropriate processing methods and cutting tools.

Analysis of parts processing difficulty and cost:

We need to consider the processing difficulty and cost in selecting a processing scheme.

Generally speaking, the difficulty and cost of processing are related to the part’s shape, size, and material. More complex parts require advanced processing equipment and technology, so that the cost will be higher.

Consider machining equipment and techniques:

The choice of machining equipment and techniques depends on the shape and material of the part. Common processing equipment and techniques can be used for simple parts, such as hand milling, drilling, etc. For complex parts, the need to use advanced processing equipment and technology, such as CNC machining, laser cutting, etc.

Optimize the processing scheme:

Optimizing the processing scheme can improve the factory’s processing efficiency and reduce the costs of stainless steel products, and it is necessary to optimize the process constantly. The processing scheme can be optimized by improving the process flow, optimizing the processing parameters, selecting efficient tools, etc.

Preparation Of Parts Before CNC Machining

Determining the machining scheme is a very important step in parts design, which involves many aspects such as machining technology, equipment, person-hour, and cost. The following are some common ways to determine the processing plan:

Tools Selection:

Aluminum Machining Tooling

Choosing the right cutting tool is the key to ensuring the machining quality. The hardness of stainless steel materials is high, generally need to choose high-speed steel, hard alloy, and other high-hardness materials made of cutting tools. At the same time, according to the machining scheme and tool parameters to determine the feed speed, cutting speed, and other parameters.

Sectional Fixture:

According to the shape and processing requirements of the parts, select the appropriate fixture; the parts are fixed on the processing equipment to ensure that the fixture clamping strength is appropriate, stable, and reliable.

Preprocessed Material

The pretreatment of processed materials improves the surface quality and machining accuracy of processed materials to perform the subsequent processing process better. Stainless steel, as a kind of high-strength, corrosion-resistant metal material, needs to carry out the following pretreatment:

Cleaning:

Stainless steel materials in the transportation and storage process will be attached to some impurities and dirt that need to be cleaned. You can use warm water or a cleaning agent to clean the surface. Avoid using acid or alkaline cleaning agents so as not to produce corrosion on the surface of stainless steel materials.

Eliminate Stress:

The stainless steel processing process may produce internal stress, affecting parts’ dimensional accuracy and stability. Heat treatment or annealing process can be carried out to eliminate stress and improve parts’ stability and machining accuracy.

Stainless Steel CNC Machining

Stainless steel CNC machining is a high-precision, high-efficiency processing method suitable for all kinds of stainless steel parts processing, including parts precision processing, complex shape parts processing, etc. Stainless steel Machining generally includes the following steps:

Write CAM program:

CAM program to convert CAD drawings into CNC machine tools that can understand the code, including cutting path, processing parameters, tool selection, and other information.

Install the tool and workpiece:

Install the appropriate tool and workpiece according to the requirements of the CAM program, and adjust the position and attitude of the machine tool to begin machining.

Machine debugging:

Before starting traditional machining, it is necessary to calibrate the machine tool and test cut the tool. Calibration includes adjusting the machine coordinate system, tool center deviation, machining parameters, etc. Test cutting is to verify the correctness of machining parameters and tool performance.

Processing operation:

Custom CNC Machining Parts

When processing operation, the workpiece needs to be fixed on the processing platform, adjust the position of the tool and processing parameters, and then start the CNC processing equipment starts automatic processing. In processing, paying attention to the timely cleaning of chips and lubricating oil is necessary to keep the processing environment clean and safe.

Check machining quality:

In the process of stainless steel CNC Machining, paying attention to the timely cleaning of chips and lubricating oil is necessary to keep the processing environment clean and safe. And check the machining quality and surface quality of the parts regularly to ensure that the machining accuracy and surface finish meet the requirements.

Cleaning machine tools and parts:

After processing, the machine and parts must be cleaned for the next processing use, including cleaning chips, cutting fluid, and other debris.

Surface Finishes Of Stainless Steel Part

The purpose of surface treatment of stainless steel parts is to improve the corrosion resistance and aesthetics of the parts. The following are several common surfaces
treatment methods for stainless steel parts:

Polishing:

Through grinding, polishing, and other processes, make the surface of stainless steel smooth and bright, improving the appearance quality of parts.

Sandblasting:

What is Bead Blasting

The sandblasting process can remove the surface oxidation layer and oil stains without damaging the surface of stainless steel, improve the surface roughness, and increase the adhesion and coating effect of stainless steel parts.

Electroplating:

By the electrochemical method, a protective layer is formed on the surface of stainless steel, which can improve the corrosion resistance and surface gloss of stainless steel parts. Common electroplating methods include chromium, nickel, gold, etc.

Anodizing:

Suitable for aluminum alloy stainless steel parts, through the anodizing process, the formation of an oxide layer on the surface can improve the parts’ hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance.

The selection of stainless steel parts surface treatment method should be according to the actual use of parts and environmental requirements; choose the appropriate surface treatment method to ensure the performance and life of parts. At the same time, in the surface treatment, attention should be paid to protecting the stainless steel surface to avoid surface damage and corrosion.

Machining Characteristics And Applications Of Common Types Of Stainless Steel

304 stainless steel:

With good machinability, weldability, and excellent corrosion resistance, widely used in the manufacture of pipes, containers, equipment, etc.

Its processing difficulty is low and suitable for normal turning, milling, drilling, and other operations. Still, it must pay attention to selecting cutting tools and controlling parameters.

316 stainless steel:

Stainless Steel

Compared with SUS304, SUS316 nickel content is higher, has better corrosion and high-temperature resistance, and is widely used in the chemical industry, Marine, and other fields. Its processing difficulty is larger, needs to choose more hard cutting tools and control machining parameters, such as cutting speed, feed, and cutting depth.

430 stainless steel:

High chromium content, but no nickel, relatively low price, widely used in manufacturing household appliances, auto parts, etc. Its processing difficulty is relatively low and suitable for normal turning, milling, drilling, and other operations. Still, it must pay attention to selecting cutting tools and controlling parameters.

420 stainless steel:

High carbon content, good hardness, and wear resistance are widely used in manufacturing tools, molds, etc. Its processing difficulty is larger, needs to choose more hard cutting tools and control machining parameters, such as cutting speed, feed, and cutting depth.

The processing properties of stainless steel materials are related to their chemical composition, crystal structure, etc. Different types of stainless steel materials must be selected and controlled reasonably according to their processing characteristics. At the same time, we also need to choose the appropriate cutting tools, cutting parameters, and coolant to ensure the quality and efficiency of processing.

FAQs

Q: What are CNC Machining Services?

A: CNC machining services refer to the provision of CNC machining processes, which involves using computer-controlled machine tools to create complex parts and components from raw materials. CNC machining services may include a range of processes such as milling, turning, drilling, and grinding, among others, and are commonly used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical, and manufacturing.

Q: Austenitic stainless steel Vs. Martensitic Stainless Steel, What is the difference?

A: Austenitic stainless steel has good plasticity and toughness but is relatively soft. Martensitic stainless steel has relatively high hardness but poor toughness and corrosion resistance.

Q: 304 Vs 316 Stainless Steel, What is difference?

A: The price of 316 stainless steel is usually higher than 304 stainless steel because it has better corrosion resistance and strength. Learn More

Author

Gavin Leo is a technical writer at Aria with 8 years of experience in Engineering, He proficient in machining characteristics and surface finish process of various materials. and participated in the development of more than 100complex injection molding and CNC machining projects. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience.

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