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What Type of Materials are CNC Machine Tools Made From?

Sage Metal Parts > Blog > What Type of Materials are CNC Machine Tools Made From?

There’s no doubt that there is no CNC machining without the CNC machining tools. We use these tools for a variety of operations, and they make the job easier and automated. They are different CNC machine tools, from the milling to the turning, drilling, or electrical discharge tools.

The type of material your CNC machine tools are made from will determine the type of manufacturing process you can use them for. Let’s look at a few types of materials and the types of jobs CNC machine tools made out of them can handle:

Carbon Steel
This is the cheapest material used in the making of milling cutters. It contains 0.6 – 1.5% carbon, silicon, and manganese. The reason for its cheap price is because it is not a really durable material. Therefore, machinists use it only for low-speed operations like turning. If used for high-speed operations, the carbon steel will tend to degenerate faster as carbon steel has a melting point of 200 degrees Celsius. Due to its low melting point, it can only cut relatively soft materials like plastics or foam.

High-Speed Steel
High-speed steel, a better and more durable material than carbon steel, loses its hardness at 600 degrees Celsius. Its high melting point is due to the addition of some alloying metals like chromium, tungsten, and molybdenum in its manufacture. Just as the name implies, it is suitable for higher miller speeds and can withstand higher operating temperatures. This means it can cut even harder materials like steel or aluminium.

Cemented Carbides
Although this material is harder than high-speed steel, it is not as tough as high-speed steel. This means that although you can use them at higher operating temperatures without losing its hardness, it is more susceptible to cracking and chipping than high-speed steel. Due to their tendencies to crack, machinists mostly use them for high-quality surface finishes instead of cutting.

Cutting Ceramics
In the hardness aspect, cutting ceramics is the strongest of all four materials. However, they also remain very susceptible to cracking and whipping when used on hard materials. Machinists use them to cut tough, strong materials like superalloys and cast iron. Although they are resistant to corrosion and heat, we wouldn’t recommend them to be used as machining tools as they tend to have a short tool life. However, due to their ability to withstand high heat operations, they can work on tools like superalloys, cast iron, or hard steels.

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