Cutter Clogging Issues Machining Aluminium

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Luke
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Joined: Tue 20 Nov , 2018 15:49 pm
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Cutter Clogging Issues Machining Aluminium

Post by Luke » Wed 27 Mar , 2019 17:37 pm

We're having issues machining 20mm holes in 2mm aluminium plate using a 6mm two flute end mill. I've had a look through the forum and tried all of the various settings recommended on other posts but no matter what I try the cutter clogs up and ends up dragging it's way through the plate. I'm just using a simple area clearance toolpath with a 0.5mm stepdown and a 1mm stepover (I've tried both up to 2mm but the machine really starts to struggle above 0.5/1mm). Feed is between 400mm/min and 1000mm/min with spindle speed adjusted accordingly (have tried a range between 4000rpm and 15000rpm but sympathetic to the feed rate). I've tried cuts with and without cutting compound with the same issue. The cutter is brand new (or at least was) but had the same clogging up issue on it's very first cut. I'm not sure whether I'm being daft and missing something or somebody has a suggestion where I'm going wrong? We've had great results with every other material we've cut but we can't seem to get aluminium to play nicely.

Sorry for the mass of numbers, I tried to get all information in one post!

DavidB
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Re: Cutter Clogging Issues Machining Aluminium

Post by DavidB » Thu 28 Mar , 2019 21:38 pm

What alloy are you machining and have you successfully machined it before. I ask because I machine parts from 6061 T6 from time to time and normally don't use any lubricant and it machines fine but a few years ago I got some from a local supplier that was very soft and gummy and even with lubricant it was difficult to get a decent finish. I contacted the main guy at the supplier and explained the problem and he immediately said to get him next time I was in and he would replace the length with new and I could keep the old gratis. He mentioned he had run a production machine shop for some years and things would go fine for months on end then with a new batch of aluminium everything would go wrong, he would contact the mill and they would say metallurgical composition fine but obviously the heat treatment was wrong so the material properties were not what they should be. Maybe this is the issue you are having.

Luke
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue 20 Nov , 2018 15:49 pm
Hardware/Software: Router 2600 pro
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Re: Cutter Clogging Issues Machining Aluminium

Post by Luke » Mon 01 Apr , 2019 16:02 pm

DavidB wrote:
Thu 28 Mar , 2019 21:38 pm
What alloy are you machining and have you successfully machined it before. I ask because I machine parts from 6061 T6 from time to time and normally don't use any lubricant and it machines fine but a few years ago I got some from a local supplier that was very soft and gummy and even with lubricant it was difficult to get a decent finish. I contacted the main guy at the supplier and explained the problem and he immediately said to get him next time I was in and he would replace the length with new and I could keep the old gratis. He mentioned he had run a production machine shop for some years and things would go fine for months on end then with a new batch of aluminium everything would go wrong, he would contact the mill and they would say metallurgical composition fine but obviously the heat treatment was wrong so the material properties were not what they should be. Maybe this is the issue you are having.
I think you're right. I'm not sure what grade of aluminium it is but it's really soft and gummy.
Cheers for the heads up!

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