Why Aluminium Is Superior For Prototyping Application?

CNC Machining

Today, we are going to discuss how to decrease prototyping aluminium lead time using CNC. With advanced processes and technologies, prototyping and product design activities have been accelerated accompanied by a reduction in lead time, a decrease in wastage, and increase in on-demand production. All these developments have even allowed the implementation of various complex industrial design and automotive design processes at a faster rate. Since we are discussing prototyping and the benefit of decreased lead times using aluminium workpiece in industrial, automotive, R&D design, and more, let us look into these specific terms individually.

Prototyping

Prototyping is the process of implementation of efficient methods to create a prototype which acts as the primary model or structure that lays out the base for subsequent production and design activities. In simple terms, prototyping assists you in generating prototypes that act as a blueprint for future models. The biggest advantage of prototyping is that it allows you chances to make any changes or rectifications before the production of the final product. After getting a brief idea about prototyping, it’s time we understand CNC Machining and its
working.

CNC Machining

CNC or Computer Numeric Control refers to the automation of machining activities such as drilling, boring, casting, and more with the help of computers. With the absence of any manual operator, CNC helps you design a product of any material, be it metal, wood, ceramic, or plastic with accurate specifications by making use of the programmes provided. The models or prototypes or the product design is created depending upon the design files obtained from Computer Aided Design, or CAD Software which are subjected to machine control activities and executed further for obtaining the desired model. Moving on, we should delve into understanding the use of aluminium in prototyping using CNC machining that has recently sparked interest among numerous industries. What is unique about using Aluminum? How does Aluminum help in reducing the lead time while prototyping? These are some of the questions that we are going to address further.

Aluminium and its engineering properties:

Aluminium has properties such as lightweight, ductile, soft, durable, and highly operational. It is not attracted by magnets and is highly malleable. With its melting point nearly about 640 degrees, it does not ignite conveniently and has a density of around 2.68. It is the third most commonly found element in Earth following Oxygen and Silicon and occupies 8% and more of the core mass of planet Earth. It is extremely strong and can be rolled into thinner foils with constant annealing. In addition to all these properties, it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and is highly corrosion resistant. Another interesting fact is aluminium recycling. It is a process in which we reuse the scrap aluminium after it is created in the primary stage of production. You will be amazed to know that the process of recycling of scrap aluminium needs a minimal of 5% of the energy expended in creating a new aluminium out of the raw ore. In fact, in the U.S. nearly 36% of the total aluminium produced is derived from the recycled aluminium scrap. As compared to the conventional process of creating aluminium, aluminium recycling is quite simpler and is obtained just from the re-melting of metal. With this, the tooling costs and machining time are also drastically reduced. The industries can save much in the construction of new tools, i.e., around 5-10% savings. They will also be able to diminish the tooling lead times by a huge 10% or more as opposed to the steel ones. There is also a subsequent decrease in the molding cycle time by an amount of 20% to 40%. You can owe the drastic reduction in tooling costs and machining time to the excellent strength, exceptional thermal conductivity, less warpage, and greater tolerances of aluminium.

Let us now look into the application of aluminium in various industries.

At Chizel We offer CNC Machining with Aluminium with an online quoting system that makes it easier to get a quotation for Aluminium Machining, It’s a complete tech integrated online system that you can use to Get Quotation, Order the part & track your order. We also have a wide post-processing option for Aluminium as well. 

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Industrial applications of Aluminium:

Automotive Industry:

In the automotive industry, aluminium alloy is used that provides a safer, quicker, and cost-effective way to build automobiles. It boosts the fuel economy and decreases harmful emissions. Aluminium, being lighter helps in creating thick body panels irrespective of less weight, thus increasing the dent resistance. It also generates improved acceleration, efficient braking, and good handling. Aluminium helps in reducing weight by nearly 50% as compared to the conventional mild steel structures. A recent study has suggested that a vehicle built by aluminium can achieve a decrease of 20% in the energy consumption over the complete life cycle along with a reduction in CO2 emissions by 20%.

Railway Industry:

Aluminium is extensive to both the goods and passenger trains. The minimal weight of aluminium helps in transportation of heavier payloads. As opposed to the steel walls, aluminium walls for trains can be created with the use of lesser parts which is convenient to be created and lighter as well. Nowadays, it is commonly seen that passenger cars are built with single aluminium extrusions that are about 75 feet long. With the requirement of a lesser number of parts and streamlined assembly processes, manufacturing of parts using aluminium is more adept than using steel. The final product is also lighter, cost-effective, and aerodynamically efficient as well.

Medical:

In the medical industry, electroplated aluminium finds wide use because this coating helps in the protection of various medical devices. Anodized aluminium is used for medical components due to the formation of an oxide that is extremely inert and wears resistant. In addition, the elongated life span of electroplated aluminium components increases the overall longevity of the medical devices. Also, the aluminium molecule is quite stable and is able to cope up with extreme acidic and alkaline situations even in higher temperatures.

Robotics:

In Robotics, Aluminum A380 is used as an alloy in die casting. By using aluminium, you can get the best amalgamation of material properties and the castability features which helps in creating housing in the robot’s arm, elbow, wrist, and more. Weighing 1/3 rd of the weight of steel, being abundantly available, non-magnetic, and a good conductor of heat and electricity, aluminium is found suitable for robotic industry.

Aircraft Industry:

The use of stronger aluminium alloys in the aircraft industry makes it viable for the mass production of commercial aircraft. They are effective in high altitude flying where these stronger aluminium alloys are able to withstand excessive stress. Various wafer-thin aluminium panels are also used here which helps in keeping the cold outside while keeping the air in. There are numerous internal fittings done in the plane seats that help in saving fuel by reducing the overall weight. Additionally, aluminium doesn’t corrode and thus there is no need to paint the planes as well.

Custom Parts for performance racing:

In the building of performance racing cars, aluminium parts and bodies are created to increase the overall performance. The birdcage is known to be one of the crucial parts of performance racing cars. These bird cages made up of aluminium are equally effective as the steel ones with a benefit of weighing less. EFR-9174, an engine part with the requirement of increased performance has its super core made up of aluminium housing that helps in drastic weight reduction.

Micro-forged aluminium wheels also assist in reducing the weight of the wheels. Spring plates and the lock nuts built with aluminium help in increasing stability while reducing the overall weight. Keeping in view, the advantages of aluminium, Research, and Development activities are being implemented to develop effective lightweight aluminium alloys, or extrusion alloys, or composites that will increase the overall productivity of the fabrication processes.

Various aluminium extruders, vehicle designers and producers have collaborated with R&D authorities and organizations to come up with innovative solutions to prune the car and truck weights consistently. It has been estimated by Ducker Worldwide that by the year 2025, 75% of the body parts of the pickup trucks, 24% of the body parts of bigger sedans, 22% of those of SUVs, and more will be built with aluminium.

Conclusion:

Thus, it can be concluded that aluminium has proved itself useful in reducing the lead times and increasing the overall efficiency of the parts built with them, thanks to its lightweight, corrosion resistant, excellent conduction of heat and electricity, and other properties. With the less emission of CO2, it also helps in creating a green planet that is devoid of any harmful pollutants.

You can also conduct various post-processing activities for aluminium parts using powder coating, anodizing, and painting conveniently. In powder coating, there is no requirement of solvents or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which does not have any harmful effect on the environment while it is sprayed on the parts. Anodizing the aluminium parts is quite cost-effective and does not peel off easily.

So, don’t you think aluminium is the ultimate solution to all the manufacturing and environmental issues?

Do let us know what you think about the information provided about aluminium in this article and how you are planning to implement this in your product building processes.

At Chizel We offer CNC Machining with Aluminium with an online quoting system that makes it easier to get a quotation for Aluminium Machining, It’s a complete tech integrated online system that you can use to Get Quotation, Order the part & track your order. We also have a wide post-processing option for Aluminium as well. 
 

 

Get Quotation For Aluminium

 

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