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CNC Machining Materials Selection Guide

Check our guide to choose the required properties for your CNC machining project among over 20 materials.

This guide contains all the materials available for CNC machining on our instant quoting platform.

Material TypeMaterials
Aluminum– EN AW-2007 / 3.1645 / AlCuMgPb
– EN AW-6060 / 3.3206 / Al-MgSi
– EN AW-6061 / 3.3211 / Al-Mg1SiCu
– EN AW-6082 / 3.2315 / Al-Si1Mg
– EN AW-7075 / 3.4365 / Al-Zn6MgCu
Steel– 1.0038 / St37-K / S235JR
– 1.0503 / C451.0570 / St52-3 / S355J2G3
Stainless Steel– 1.4301 / X5CrNi18.10(V2A)
– 1.4404 / X2CrNiMo17-12-2 (V4A)
– 1.4571 / X6CrNiMoTi17-12-21.7131 / 16MnCr5
– 1.7225 / 42CrMo4
Copper and Brass– 2.0060 / E-Cu57 / Cu-ETPCW004A
– 2.0065 / E-Cu58Ms58
– 2.0401 / CuZn39Pb3
Titanium– Grade 2 / EN 3.7035
– Grade 5 / 6AL-4V9
Polymers– ABS
– Acrylic 
– Acetal / Delrin / POM
– Nylon / Polycaprolactam
– PEEK / Polyether ether ketone
– PTFE / Teflon
– PC / Polycarbonate
– UHMW PE / Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene

Aluminum

EN AW–2007 / 3.1645 / AlCuMgPb

This is a short chipped aluminum alloy containing between 4.0 – 5.0% copper. It is very suitable for high machining speeds and ideal for threading. In addition to copper, it also contains magnesium and lead. This material is commonly used for the production of machine parts, bolts and nuts. However, its copper content gives it low weldability and low resistance to corrosion.

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EN AW–6060 / 3.3206 / AlMgSi

This is a heat treatable alloy of aluminum with low strength. It has good resistance to corrosion, good weldability and very suitable for cold forming. It is applied in the production of lightings, furniture, flooring and other engineering applications with no special strength requirement.

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EN AW–6061 / 3.3211 / Al-Mg1SiCu

This alloy contains magnesium and silicon as its major alloying elements with trace amounts of copper. With a tensile strength of 180Mpa, this is a high strength alloy and is very suitable for highly loaded structures such as scaffolds, rail coaches, machine and aerospace parts.

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EN AW–6082 / 3.2315 / Al-Si1Mg

Typically formed by rolling and extrusion, this alloy has medium strength with very good weldability and thermal conductivity. It has high stress corrosion cracking resistance. It has a tensile strength that ranges from 140 – 330MPa. It is heavily employed in offshore construction and containers.

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EN AW–7075 / 3.4365 / Al-Zn6MgCu

Zinc is the primary alloying element. It has high strength (57MPa), toughness and excellent resistance to fatigue. The surface can either be mill finished or brush finished. It has very good machinability. It is extensively used in the structural parts for aircrafts.

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Steel

1.0038 / St37-k / S234JR

This is a hot rolled pure structural steel. With good plasticity, toughness and weldability, it has a lower yield strength of 235MPa. This material can be formed into many products such as I beams, channels, plates, angle bars etc. its excellent weldability makes it to be widely used in bridges, transmission towers etc. It is equivalent to Fe360B.

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1.053 / C45

This material has low thermal conductivity and low ductility among wrought carbon steels. With a relatively high tensile strength of 630MPa, it is used for screws, forgings, drills, shafts etc. A combination of size accuracy, straightness and concentricity results in minimal wear in high speed applications.

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1.0570 / St52-3 / S355J2G3

This unalloyed structural steel has a tensile strength of 680Mpa. Compared to other carbon steels, it has high electrical conductivity but low thermal conductivity and low ductility.

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Stainless Steel

1.4301 / X5CrNi18.10 (V2A)

This is chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steel. The chromium element gives it excellent corrosion resistance. It has a tensile strength of 590MPa. It has good machinability but low thermal conductivity. It is used in kitchen equipment such as pans, tubes, sinks and many more. It is easily formable.

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1.4404 / X2CrNiMo17-12-2 (V4A)

The addition of molybdenum results in improved corrosion resistance with good stability against chloric and non oxidizing acid. It has good heat resistance which reduces in continuous use at 425 – 861°C in water. It can be readily formed into different products. It has good machinability and is used in food processing equipment, boat fittings, bolts, nuts and springs.

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1.4571 / X6CrNiMoTi17-12-2

This stainless steel contains a small amount of titanium ( about 0.5%). The titanium gives the steel a stable structure at temperatures above 800°C. It has excellent corrosion resistance. It has good machinability but cannot be hardened by heat treatment. It is available as sheets, tubes, pipes, plates or bars. It is good for marine environments.

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1.7131 / 16MnCr5

It has high surface hardness and wear resistance with good machinability. With a tensile strength of 600MPa, it is ideal for the manufacturing of gears, worms, bushings and other machine components.

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1.7225 / 42CrMo4

This material has high strength, toughness, good hardenability and good resistance to impact. It is widely used in the construction of machines, axles, gear shafts, wheel and base plates. It is also used for the production of large plastic molds.

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Copper and Brass

2.0060 / E-Cu57 / Cu-ETP

It has high conductivity and high corrosion resistance. It has a tensile strength of 360MPa. It is also known as Electrolytic Tough Pitch copper (ETP). It is normally used for general electrical components such as busbars, motors, windings etc. it has excellent formability and machinability.

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CW004A / 2.0065 / E.Cu58

This has high electrical conductivity. Its good machinability makes it easy to shape into different forms; profiles, sheets and plates. It is heavily used in the electrical/electronics industry.

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Ms58 / 2.0401 / CuZn39Pb3

This material has excellent hot formability and can easily be soldered or brazed. It is suitable for use in the sanitary industry, engine and vehicle construction and swivel parts. It has very good free-cutting.

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Titanium

Grade 2 / EN 3.7035

This unalloyed titanium has excellent strength-to-weight ratio with good resistance to corrosion. Due to its low thermal expansion, thermal stresses are low. It is widely used in weight-saving structures and also suitable in the medical sector due to its outstanding biocompatibility.

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Grade 5 / 6Al-4V9

This contains 6% Aluminum, 4% vanadium and iron in trace amounts. It has exceptional strength compared to pure titanium but retains the same stiffness and thermal properties. It has easy machinability and weldability. With high strength and corrosion resistance, it can withstand a wide range of adverse environmental factors, including seawater. It is often used in subsea oil and gas structures.

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Polymers

ABS

This material has excellent resistance to chemical stress, creep and abrasion. It has good dimensional stability during machining. Its surface hardness, rigidity and tensile strength makes it usable in food processing. It can be easily machined and is particularly suited for CNC milling.

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Acrylic

This is a transparent material with good strength and stiffness. Its qualities are similar to glass in terms of clarity and brilliance. This material gives exceptional versatility, durability and aesthetic qualities and is specifically used for eye-catching fixtures. However, it is highly fragile. Extruded acrylics are more susceptible to cracks during machining. Cast blanks are the best for CNC machining.

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Acetal / Delrin / POM

This plastic is the easiest to machine. It is lightweight with good wear resistance. It has good stability with zero porosity and good electrical properties. It performs excellently in wet or moist environments. It is used for bushings, jigs, electrical parts and manifolds.

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Nylon / Polycaprolactam

This is one of the most widely used thermoplastics. This material is tough, abrasion resistant and has improved surface finish. It is resistant to hydrocarbons. However, it has high water absorption and poor resistance to strong acids and bases. This material is suitable or CNC machining due to its low coefficient of friction and self-lubricating properties.

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PEEK / Polyether ether ketone

With the ability to withstand high temperatures, this material can be used in hot water or steam with no effect to its physical properties. It has exceptional strength, stiffness and is resistant to wear, moisture and chemicals. Its semi-crystalline nature gives it enough elasticity to be machined to various shapes. It is used in medical, aerospace and automotive components.

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PTFE / Teflon

This is a highly slippery material with excellent resistance to extreme temperatures. It has outstanding insulating properties and is resistant to industrial chemicals. Due to its low coefficient of friction, it is widely used in the production of gears, bushings, slide plates, piston rings etc. Teflon’s density and stiffness gives it easy machinability. However, its high coefficient of expansion and stress creep make it difficult to obtain tight tolerances.

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PC / Polycarbonate

This is a transparent material with excellent strength, stiffness, impact resistance and toughness. It has good machinability. It has good electrical properties and can withstand extreme temperatures. It is well suited for CNC milling and turning operations. Its optical properties make it ideal for machine guards, face shields, signs, skylights etc.

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UHMW PE / Ultra High molecular Weight Polyethylene

This plastic is extremely tough and has high resistance to abrasion and wear. It is corrosion resistant and self-lubricating. It has excellent mechanical properties even in sub-zero conditions. It is used in conveyor guides, wear pads, chemical tanks etc. it is available in either sheet or rod form and has easy machinability.

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