When it comes to aluminium machining, there has been a general consensus that cutting fluids or lubricants are not entirely necessary. Still, there are some contentions that for best results, a certain amount of cutting lubricant should be introduced in the cutting process. |
Nevertheless, in the modern machining workplace, cutting fluids are used in less than 20 percent of many machine job orders. This is actually the case in many aluminium machining requests these days. In short, making use of cutting fluids is no longer the norm.
There are actually several advantages when cutting lubricants are removed from the traditional machine cutting process, if not used for a limited time. For one, expenses will go down as the lubricants will no longer be included regularly in the budget list.
The effectiveness of cutting lubricants remains questionable and can even shorten the life of many machine tools. Cutting fluids were prepared to provide the needed cooling effect on the cut edge of a given piece of aluminium sheet. Machine experts, however, claim that this does not really take place. They explained that what actually happens is that the fluid only cools the surrounding areas of the cut piece, but does not really reach the cut edge itself, the so-called cutting zone.
In the case of aluminium machining, the metal is considered as having cutting temperatures that are generally low. As such, using cutting fluids is not actually needed. Since aluminium can conduct heat quite well, there should be little difficulty when this is placed through a machining process without necessarily being treated with any cutting lubricant.
This is not to say that cutting fluids have already outlived their purpose. There are still situations when they can come in quite handy. A good example of this is when aluminium and other metals is being machine cut at a generally high speed rate.
Under such conditions, heat temperature could inevitably rise in and around the sheet being cut. When this happens, it will become necessary for cutting fluids to complete the cutting process by playing out its role as the resident coolant. Of course, for the cooling effect to be felt, the fluids should ideally be prepared at high pressure conditions.
As for the cutting tools, the general recommendation is that for aluminium machining, rake angles should be generally larger when compared to those used in cutting steel. For larger but significantly softer aluminium sheets and their alloyed versions, much larger rake angles may have to be considered.
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