CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. It refers to the automation of machine tools by using pre-programmed sequences that carry out the machine’s commands. Its earlier avatar was NC for Numerical Control. The ‘Computer’ was added in the 70s when computers started getting involved in the control mechanism.
Examples of CNC machines include mills, lathes, plasma cutters, Electric discharge machining (EDM), Water jet cutters and more. CNC machines have wide application. Equally flourishing is the trade in CNC parts, particularly brass CNC parts. Due to high demand, a number of manufacturers today provide brass parts.
Applications of CNC machines
They are found in almost all sectors — from the SME to large-scale companies. CNC machines are found in almost every industry, especially manufacturing. Some of the areas where it is used are
— Industries for removing metal
— Industries for Fabricating Metals
— Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) Industry
— Woodworking industry
— Waterjet machining and more/
Materials used in CNC machines
Almost any material can be used in CNC machines and indeed, a range of materials are used for its components. Apart from brass some of the common metals are copper, aluminum, steel, titanium. Nonmetal components include foam, Fiberglas, wood and plastics.
Aluminum: This metal is used because it can be found easily and is cost-effective. It is also lightweight and corrosion resistant. It is used in medical, automotive and military industries.
Carbon steel: There are many grades of carbon steel and most of these make for good machine materials. Its alloys used for machining are C1018, C1045, C1117, C11L17, C1141 and C1144.
Beryllium Copper: It is used in computer and fiber optic components. It is also utilized in precision measurement devices as well as electrical connectors.
Brass: This alloy of copper and zinc is one of the most popular components of CNC machines. In fact, copper alloys like brass have been used to run various machines for centuries. Their strength, durability and aesthetics made them ideal for machining.
Today brass is commonly found in the latest CNC machines. Brass is soft and easy to cut. Hence, brass CNC parts are machined using specific methods. Let us look at some of the benefits of using brass machining parts:
— Durability: Brass can last a really long time. Although a soft metal, machined brass has strength and toughness that can last years. They do not crack or get deformed easily, staying the course in more heavy-duty industrial uses.
— Cheap: Brass is cheaper than other similar high performing materials, such as carbon steel. Since it is easy to recycle, it is also easy to procure. Its ability to be recycled further brings down the cost benefits.
— Resistant to corrosion: It is highly resistant to a number of corrosive factors like moisture and certain chemicals. This gives it usage potential in a wide range of industries.
— Ability to withstand high temperature: In areas where we are dealing with high temperature, brass is ideal. As CNC parts, it also means that brass can help us avoid over-heating. It will not melt, expand or get distorted as the machine performs its functions.
— Malleability: It is a very easy metal to machine. The soft metal can be easily cut and has a high malleability. It means that it can be bended, beaten and literally made into any shape. This is a huge advantage in procuring precision CNC parts where we are looking at very precise specifications. Brass can be created according to need and demand.
— Versatility: Its composition can also be altered according to function. Since brass is an alloy, its components and their interplay decide its property. By changing the composition, we can derive a vast range of brass CNC parts. In fact, brass parts are already available in a wide variety of designs and functions.
— It is a non-sparking material, which makes it safe and easy to work in a machine. It also reduces its wear and tear.
— Recyclable: Brass never goes to waste. Most of the brass in use today is recycled. We can use the parts we have till they give way and then get them recycled for another purpose. This gives it added economy and functionality.
Of the many materials used today, brass CNC parts have a clear superiority. Perhaps that is why these parts dominate the CNC parts market.