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Common CNC metal machining materials

Metal is the most common material used in CNC machined parts. They have a wide range of beneficial properties such as high strength, hardness, heat resistance and electrical conductivity.

Aluminum (6061, 7075)

Aluminum is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and valuable materials for CNC machining. It has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, is lightweight, corrosion-resistant and has a striking silver appearance. Aluminum is therefore ideally suited for a variety of applications. In addition, its good thermal and electrical properties make it ideal for use in a range of electronics and thermal management applications.

Compared to other CNC metals, like titanium and steel, aluminum is relatively easy to machine, making it a popular choice for manufacturers. However, it should be noted that aluminum is not the cheapest material. And it's more expensive than some other materials, such as stainless steel.

High-quality 6061 and 7075 grades of aluminum are particularly popular in aerospace frames, automotive engine components and lightweight sporting equipment. However, aluminum’s versatility means it can be used in many other industries and applications, including construction, packaging and consumer electronics.

Stainless steel (316, 303, 304)

Stainless steel comes in many grades. But generally speaking, it has high strength and toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance, and has a bright appearance like aluminum. Additionally, it is a mid-priced metal. However, due to its hardness, it is a difficult CNC material to machine.

316 stainless steel is suitable for marine applications, medical equipment and outdoor enclosures due to its ability to withstand heat and corrosion. 303 and 314 are similar in composition and are generally cheaper and easier to process than 316. Their main uses include fasteners (bolts, screws, bushings, etc.), automotive parts, and household appliances.

Carbon and alloy steel

Carbon steel and related alloys offer excellent strength and workability, making them ideal for many applications. They are also compatible with various heat treatment processes, further improving their mechanical properties. Additionally, carbon steel is relatively inexpensive compared to other CNC metals.

However, it's worth noting that unlike materials like stainless steel or aluminum, carbon steel and its alloys are not inherently corrosion-resistant. Additionally, their rough appearance may not be suitable for aesthetic applications.

Nonetheless, carbon steel and its alloys have many practical applications, including mechanical fasteners and structural elements such as beams. Despite their limitations, these materials remain a popular choice for many industrial and manufacturing applications due to their strength, affordability, and processability.


Brass is a versatile metal known for its excellent workability, corrosion resistance, and thermal and electrical conductivity. It also has an attractive appearance due to its copper content and excellent surface friction properties.

Brass has numerous applications in various industries. For example, it is commonly used in consumer products, low-strength fasteners, plumbing, and electrical equipment. Its properties make it ideal for manufacturing parts that require durability and strength while maintaining aesthetics.


Copper is known for its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. However, due to its high ductility, it can be challenging to process. This can make it difficult to generate chips during CNC machining. Additionally, copper is susceptible to corrosion, which can be a problem in some environments.

Despite these challenges, copper is widely used in a variety of industries, including electrical wiring, magnetic products, and jewelry making. Its excellent conductive properties make it ideal for electrical and electronic applications, while its malleability and aesthetic appeal make it an ideal choice for jewelry A popular choice in the industry.


Titanium alloys are known for their excellent strength-to-weight ratio, which makes them both lightweight and strong. They are also resistant to corrosion and have good thermal conductivity. Additionally, titanium is biocompatible and therefore suitable for biomedical applications.

However, there are some disadvantages to using titanium. Poor electrical conductivity and difficult to process. Regular HSS or weaker carbide tools are not suitable for machining it, and it is an expensive material for CNC manufacturing.

Even so, titanium remains a popular material for CNC machining, especially for high-performance aerospace components, military components, and biomedical products such as implants.


Magnesium is a metal that is both strong and lightweight. Its excellent thermal properties make it ideal for use in high temperature environments such as engines. Its lightweight properties allow for the production of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

However, magnesium is also known for its flammability, which makes it a safety issue in some applications. Additionally, it is not as corrosion-resistant as some other metals, such as aluminum, and is more expensive to process.

More details, please contact, our engineering team will support for technical of CNC machining.


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Suntime Precision Mould Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Contact:Rachel Huang

Mobile:+86 13433049023

Add:1st Floor, Building B, Xinsha industrial park, NO2, Yucheng street, Shatou Community,Changan Town, Dongguan, Guangdong of China, 523861

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