How Do You Stop A Thin Aluminum Workpiece From Curling?
The material condition is more likely to be the culprit than any particular choice at the machine tool.
Personnel from Boeing's Research & Technology group recently answered readers' questions. One reader asked the following.
I milled some 6061 T6 aluminum into some long flat tapered wedges, 0.040 inch on the thick end to 0.005 inch over a span of 20 inches, and they curled when I released them from my fixture. I tried different tool geometries, speeds, feeds, and depths of cuts. Do you have any suggestions?
Response from Boeing’s Research & Technology group
It sounds like you are using material that is not stress-relieved. 6061 T6 is in the "quenched and aged" condition. I would recommend buying material in a stretched condition (6061 T651) and making sure to machine equal amounts of material from both sides in order to balance the stresses.
By using specialized cutter geometry and incorporating smooth finishes with tough coatings, Toolmex Corp., created an end mill well suited to cut aluminum aggressively. This tool called the "Mako" is part of the SharC line of specialized tools from the same company.
Simple process considerations can increase your productivity in milling titanium alloys.
What’s it going to cost? How much space do I need? What environmental hassles will I encounter? How steep is the learning curve? Exactly what is anodizing? Here are answers to preliminary questions shops have about bringing anodizing in-house.