How to cut 1050 aluminium!


(Luke) #1

Hi guys

Unwittingly I’ve ended up with a bunch of 1050 aluminium. I spent some time trying to cut this today and only had bad results. It’s just gummy!

Even if I managed to cut through they would be so hot the glue holding them down melted and released leaving shocking cuts. Looked like amateur hour.

I tried increasing my feeds and slowing them down. Both spindle and feeds. No real success.

Does anyone have any wise ideas?

I was using a 2 flute 1/8bit spindle between 6000 and 14000 rpm. At around 9000 is seemed OK. Feeds from 600 up to 1200.

Luke


(Mad Hatter) #2

Funny you mention that now. Will just posted an interesting article about that exact issue the other day. I can’t promise it will help in your specific situation, but it is worth trying.


(Luke) #3

I did read this, but think about cutting a 2mm bit of aluminium 0.2doc would be a real pain in the ass.

However I think I know how to fix this! I spent 3 hours trying this earlier. I then read this evening that single flute bits might cut better…

So here is a 1/8 single flue bit - it cost about 50p shipped from china. I have only used them on acrylic before.

I then ran the same code - 800mm a min, ramp 0.1 degree and 0.2 doc…

Chips! and shut the front door! Clean cuts.

In front is one I just did in 3 minutes the one behind took 3 hours and was not repeatable even then wasn’t great!


(Mad Hatter) #4

Nice! I know Onsrud makes single flute bits for cutting aluminum, but I could never come to paying what they want for a single 1/8" bit. Now that I know that the large single flute bits [EDIT] originally made for plastic work on aluminum, I’ll have to give them a try.


(Luke) #5

These are the bits I used… £5 for 10.

I went through 3 dual flute cutters last week cutting the same material… prior to this I had only ever broken a handful of end mills in 2 years.

@WillAdams I feel this is wiki worthy :wink:


(Jerry Gray) #6

That is Awesome results! 3 hours of crap to 3 Minutes, and beautiful!
You deserve a raise! :slight_smile:


(Phil Thien) #7

I can’t remember everything I learn by reading these threads.


(Dan Nelson) #8

1XXX series aluminum is mostly pure aluminum, which means it’s soft and likely why you’re having issues cutting it. I have never seen it used in my biz (aerospace) as I don’t believe it’s really useful for anything load bearing, but super corrosion resistant.

Dan


(Luke) #9

Yep, in the UK 1050 is rife in sheet. I actually ordered 6061 and this arrived. Seems like anything under 5mm is 1050.


(Luke) #10

Just ran an hour long job. 16 little brackets.

They came out great and none came unstuck. I checked the tool paths with my digital thermometer and it was reading 40 degrees.

I’m now running a 32pc job. See if I’m as lucky


(Stuart) #11

that difference is incredible! I have a heap of these laying around that I didn’t bother trying on aluminium because they were terrible at cutting plastics… I’ll have to give them a go.

Would you mind sharing speed, feed and DOC?


(Luke) #12

800mm a min, ramp 0.1 degree and 0.2 doc…

I did 48 parts in 3 hours. Not a singlr issue


(Stuart) #13

That’s quite impressive, I cut this 5083 in about 5 hours with a 2 Flute 1/4" endmill and was impressed with that :stuck_out_tongue: it’s about 400x300mm x 6mm thick.


(Luke) #14

Motorcycle related so instantly impressed :smiley:

Most of my work is with thicker aluminium stock. For instance this 60x60mm part I will mill out in around 10 min.


(Stuart) #15

I will have to give those endmills a try! I think maybe the rigidity of my Z is a factor too(we all know the answer to that ha ha).

I have had the most luck with mine doing adaptive toolpaths, otherwise I run into issues with the Aluminium welding to the endmill. I’m keen to get home (I work 4500km from home) and do a bit more experimenting, especially with the single flute 1/8 bit you’re using


(Luke) #16

Ha ha sounds like I can shameless plug the HDZ :smiley: on a serious note though it’s one of the reasons i created the HDZ. I was finding aluminium a pain in the ass…

On 6061 and 5083 I don’t have issue with the welding. I would say keep a shallow DOC mind. I use cutting oil on most ali these days too which helps.

I’m going to buy an expensive single flute cutter locally to see what it might do to other grades…


(mikep) #17

I’ve had awful luck with these on anything I’ve tried, I’ve clearly been using them wrong!


(Dan Nelson) #18

Might try looking for 6082 T6 for sheet and T651 for plate thicknesses. European somewhat equivalent to 6061 is 6082. If you want to use 2XXX series like 2024 you might look at 2017, it may also be more available to you.

Dan


(Luke) #19

It is but also at 3/4 times the price in thin sheet. 2 series is harder to come by.


(Dan Oelke) #20

Sounds like you got a good solution there.

I’ve had good luck cutting 6061 using these single flute bits:

And I also hit the bit with some compressed air and when things get sticky I use denatured alcohol as a misting agent. No oily cleanup with the alcohol and it keeps things cool.