Choose the Right Metal for CNC Machining

Find the price, material properties, and key applications for the most popular metals used in CNC machining.
Choosing the suitable metal for your CNC machining project can be daunting. The wide range of metals available for CNC machining can be overwhelming. Each metal has a unique combination of strength, corrosion resistance, heat resistance, and other properties that make it ideal for specific applications. That’s why we have prepared this guide. You’ll find a detailed overview of the most commonly used metal materials in CNC machining, including their compositions, key benefits, and typical applications.

Price Overview

The material you choose dramatically impacts the price you must pay for your part. In addition to the raw material cost, some materials require additional machining costs.

Material Overview

Aluminum 5083 (3.3547)

Aluminum 5083 (3.3547) is a high-strength, non-heat, treatable alloy known for its exceptional performance in extreme environments. It is composed of aluminum, magnesium, and small amounts of manganese. Benefits:
  • High Strength
  • Superior Corrosion Resistance
  • Excellent Formability
Key Applications: Frequently found in marine applications, pressure vessels, and cryogenics

Aluminum 6060 (3.3206)

Aluminum 6060 (3.3206) is a medium-strength heat-treatable alloy with excellent corrosion resistance and weldability. This material consists of aluminum, magnesium, and silicon. Benefits: Medium Strength Excellent Corrosion Resistance Superior Weldability Key Applications: It’s mainly used in architectural applications, electrical components, and pipes.

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Aluminum 6061 (3.3211)

Aluminum 6061 (3.3211) is a versatile, medium to high-strength aluminum alloy typically used in structured environments. It consists primarily of aluminum, with magnesium and silicon contributing to its enhanced features. Benefits:
  • Medium to High Strength
  • Excellent Corrosion Resistance
  • Good Machinability
Key Applications: There’s a wide range of uses, including aerospace components, yachts, automotive parts, and the construction industry.

Aluminum 6082

Overview: Aluminum 6082 is a medium-strength alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. It contains aluminum, magnesium, and silicon. Benefits
  • Medium strength
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Good formability
Key Applications: Commonly used in transport applications, including bridges, trusses, and cranes.

Aluminum 7075 (3.4365)

Aluminum 7075 (3.4365) is a high-strength alloy with good fatigue strength and average machinability. It comprises aluminum, zinc, magnesium, and copper. Benefits:
  • High strength
  • Good fatigue strength
  • Average machinability
Key Applications: Widely used in the aviation, military, and automotive industries.

Brass C360

Brass C360 is a type of free-cutting brass known for its high machinability. It’s made up of copper, zinc, and lead. Benefits:
  • High machinability
  • Good strength
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
Key Applications: This alloy is widely used in automotive, electrical, and industrial applications.

Copper C110

Copper C110 is the most common form of electrical copper and boasts high electrical conductivity. It’s virtually pure copper with minor amounts of oxygen. Benefits:
  • High electrical conductivity
  • Good ductility
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
Key Applications: Used mainly in electrical and electronic products, including wiring and circuit boards.

Stainless Steel 304 (1.4306)

Stainless Steel 304 (1.4306) is a widely used stainless steel with excellent corrosion resistance. It’s made primarily of iron, with substantial amounts of chromium and nickel. Benefits:
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Good mechanical properties
  • Superior formability
Key Applications: Used extensively in kitchen appliances, piping, and architectural elements.

Stainless Steel 316L (1.4404)

Stainless Steel 316L (1.4404) is a low-carbon, high-corrosion-resistant stainless steel used in environments exposed to salt water and various acids. It contains iron, chromium, nickel, and molybdenum. Benefits:
  • High corrosion resistance
  • Good mechanical properties
  • Excellent weldability
Key Applications: It’s widely used in marine applications, chemical processing, and medical implants.

Stainless Steel 17-4PH (1.4542)

Stainless Steel 17-4PH (1.4542) is a martensitic precipitation-hardened stainless steel alloy composed primarily of iron, chromium, nickel, and copper. Benefits:
  • Highs strength
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Good heat resistance
Key Applications: This alloy is frequently utilized in demanding environments such as the aerospace, energy, and chemical processing sectors.

Tool Steel H13 (1.2344)

Tool Steel H13 (1.2344) is a high-quality, chromium-hot work steel characterized by its ability to withstand severe thermal conditions. It contains iron, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium. Benefits:
  • High Toughness
  • Excellent Thermal Fatigue Resistance
  • Good Abrasion Resistance
Key Applications: This steel is often used for forging dies and die casting.

Titanium Grade 2

Titanium Grade 2 is a commercially pure form of titanium characterized by its excellent balance of strength and ductility. It consists primarily of titanium with small amounts of iron and oxygen. Benefits:
  • High strength
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Superior formability
Key Applications: It is often used in aerospace applications, chemical processing, and marine hardware.

Titanium Grade 5

Titanium Grade 5 is an alpha-beta titanium alloy known for its high strength and toughness. It contains titanium, aluminum, and vanadium. Benefits:
  • High strength
  • Good toughness
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
Key Applications: It is widely used in aerospace, medical, and marine applications.

Choosing the Right Metal

One of the main benefits of CNC machining is the wide range of materials. At MakerVerse, you can request materials that are beyond our standard offering. With our global supply chain, we’ll be able to provide you with the parts you need. If you need more assistance finding suitable material for your CNC machining project, we’re happy to help. Upload your part and specify your request as a comment when requesting a quote. Our team of experts can help you.