Aluminum is a lightweight and versatile material that has many practical uses in modern manufacturing. In order to create a finished product utilizing aluminum, mechanical milling processes must take place. These processes require the use of specialized tools that are designed to mold and manipulate the raw aluminum.

Although it's fairly easy to work with aluminum, there are some potential pitfalls to watch out for. One of these pitfalls is the built up edge. A built up edge occurs when small slivers of aluminum accumulate on the edge of a tool's surface. Working with a built up edge can lead to some significant milling problems.

1. Scratching

Aluminum is a fairly soft and pliable material. This means that the surface of a piece of aluminum can be scratched easily when it comes into contact with an abrasive substance. The shards of aluminum that accumulate on the edge of milling tools can be quite abrasive, resulting in the scratching of the work surface when aluminum is processed.

You can reduce the likelihood of scratching by choosing to maintain a polished edge on your milling tools at all times.

2. Cloudy Finish

Another problem that you might encounter when using milling tools that are affected by a built up edge is a cloudy finish. Aluminum can be polished to create a highly reflective surface. The reflective properties of raw aluminum can be compromised when you work with a built up edge.

The uneven edge that accompanies built up aluminum on milling tools can cause excessive heat during the milling process. This heat is the catalyst for a chemical reaction that makes the surface of aluminum appear to be cloudy. Make sure that you are using adequate coolant in your milling processes to help reduce heat-induced clouding.

3. Tool Breakage

As the aluminum shards accumulate on the edge of your metal milling tools, this built up material makes your milling tools more vulnerable to sudden failure. Eventually, a piece of the built up edge will break off during use. Unfortunately, a piece of your milling tool's edge is often broken off along with the aluminum buildup.

Managing your tools properly by keeping them free from aluminum buildup will help improve the safety of your mechanical milling processes and ensure the quality of your manufactured products in the future.

Be vigilant in eliminating the built up edge on your tools when working with aluminum to improve the quality of your mechanical milling.

For more information, talk to companies like Allied High Tech.