Cutting Aircraft Grade Aluminum

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Cutting Aircraft Grade Aluminum

Postby TimSchubach » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:37 pm

I have a friend who needs to cut a fair amount of aircraft grade aluminum ( 6061T6 ). He has a head start on it, but he's been cutting all by hand. I'd like to be able to some cutting for him on my CNC, but I have never cut metal before and don't know anything about the tooling required for something like this.

Can anyone tell me if this can be done, and if so, what kind of tooling would be required?

TIA,
Tim
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Re: Cutting Aircraft Grade Aluminum

Postby martin54 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:51 am

Tim try a search on the forum as it is something that gets asked quite often so there is already quite a bit of info on cutting Aluminium.
Simple answer is yes it is something that can be done, good chip extraction is very important & feeds & speeds are not quite so forgiving as they are for wood so have a bit of a practice to get things set up on a bit of scrap :lol: :lol:
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Re: Cutting Aircraft Grade Aluminum

Postby Mobius » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:23 am

I've recently gotten into it. I use 'Aluminum Spiral O Single Flute" bits from Amana Tools (ToolsToday), and they work well. For me I like to keep it at 0.02" DOC and about 40-50IPM @ 16k RPM. No coolant or anything; the bit stays cool and it makes a nice clean cut with well defined chips.
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Re: Cutting Aircraft Grade Aluminum

Postby plcamp » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:45 pm

6061 machines clean when using the 0-flute cutter. Speed and feed are key, just keep an eye on the chip because of running it dry.
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