Machinable Metals

Material Grade/Alloy Description
Alloy Steel EDT150, 41L40, 86L20, 4130, 4140, 4142, 4150, 4330, 4340, 6150, 8620, 9310, 52100 Steels that contain specified amounts of alloying elements -- other than carbon and the commonly accepted amounts of manganese, copper, silicon, sulfur, and phosphorus are known as alloy steels. Alloying elements are added to change mechanical or physical properties.
Aluminum 1100, 2011, 2024, 3003, 6061, 6063, 7075 Aluminum comes in many different shapes and grades. The type of aluminum grade you choose ultimately depends on how you intend to use the metal. Your intended use allows you to rank the characteristics of each grade from most important to least important. This will help you narrow down the list of suitable grades. For example, for machinabilitiy and streangth are important to your project, it may make sense to choose Alloy 2011, as this aluminum grade may be machined at high speeds with relatively heavy feeds. Its corrosion resistance is good with excellent hardness and strength.
Brass 230, 240, 260, 270, 330, 340, 360, 377 Brass is a metal made of copper and zinc, having a muted yellow color, somewhat similar to gold. Brass parts are easy to machine, look great and benefit from the unique properties of this special metal. Parts made from brass can leverage density and attractive appearance as in many decorative parts. Brass parts often get by without a surface finish, saving on cost and delivery time.
Bronze C903, C905, C907, C916, C862, C863, C864, C865, C867, C932, C934, C935, C936, C937, C938, C943, C945, C952, C953, C954, C955, C956, C958 When it comes to machining bronze components, it's all about knowing what speeds and feeds to use, and what type of tooling is required. Many of these variables depend on the machinability of the material. With a wide variety of bronze alloys to choose from it is critical to understand the application. Alloys such as C954 or C955 can be quenched and tempered to reach even higher strengths when necessary. Resistance to seawater corrosion is extremely high in nickel aluminum bronzes such as C955. Due to its resistance to corrosion, erosion, and cavitation, it is widely used for propellers and other marine hardware.
Carbon Steel A36, A529-50, A53, A106, A311, A366, A500, A513, A514, A516-70, A519, A569, A572, A572-50, A588, A606, A653, A786, A787, A992, AR235, AR400F, AR500F, J524, J525, 12L14, 100, 1008, 1011, 1018, 1020, 1025, 1044, 1045, 1060, 1117, 1141, 1144, 1147, 1215 Carbon steel is commonly used across many industries. It is affordable while still providing excellent mechanical properties. Carbon steel is typically composed of 0.05% to about 2.0% carbon measured by weight, along with iron and trace amounts of other elements. There are many types of carbon steel that can be easily machined, but there are also many that may prove to be difficult. Grades of lower carbon steel such as C1010 and C1018 have good machinability. Alternatively, carbon steel with higher amounts of carbon such as C1141 and C1144 can also be machined without difficulty due to the sulfur that is added to their chemical composition.
Cast Iron 65-45-12, 80-55,06 Cast iron is typically much easier to machine than steel. The graphite structure in cast iron breaks away more easily, and in a more uniform manner. Harder irons, such as white iron, are much more difficult to machine due to their brittleness. Depending on the final application, cast parts may need to be machined to achieve specific tolerances, or to create a desired finish.
Copper 101, 110, 122, 145, 147, 172, 182 Copper alloys exhibit good to excellent corrosion resistance and high thermal conductivity and very high electrical conductivity. Applications include architectural uses, coinage, condenser/heat exchangers, plumbing, radiator cores, musical instruments, locks, fasteners, hinges, ammunition components, and electrical connectors.
Nickel A286, C276, K500, R405, 200, 400, 600, 625 Nickel alloys are used primarily in applications involving electrical properties or requiring good corrosion resistance or high strength and oxidation resistance at high temperatures.
Tool Steel A-2, A-6, D-2, DC-53, G2, H-13, L-6, M-2, M-4, O-1, O-6, P-20, S-5, W-1 Tool steel is a term used for a variety of high-hardness, abrasion resistant steels. Specific tool applications are dies (stamping or extrusion), cutting, mold making, or impact applications like hammers (personal or industrial). It is also a common material used to make knives.
Stainless Steel N50, N60, 13-8, 15-5, 17-4, 201, 301, 302, 303, 304, 304L, 316, 316L, 321, 347, 410, 416, 420, 430, 440, 440C, 1505 Stainless steel is often thought of as a singular material, but in fact there are approximately 150 separate and distinct compositions. Each one formulated to serve a specific application and/or manufacturing requirements. For example, Type 304, one of the most frequent used stainless steel compositions having application in a broad range of products from cookware to chemical plant equipment.

Machinable Plastics

Material Grade/Alloy Description
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) NA ABS offers high mechanical strength and stiffness at a low cost. This low-cost engineering plastic offers exceptional mechanical and surface strength for a wide range of parts used in high-impact applications. Easily machined, thermoformed and heatformed, ABS can also be painted and glued for added versatility. Excellent thermal and dimensional stability expand its machinability to preproduction prototypes.
Acrylic (PMMA) NA Acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. The same material can be used as a casting resin, in inks and coatings, and has many other uses.
Nylon 6, 6/6 Nylon is a tough, lightweight, elastic synthetic polymer with a proteinlike chemical structure, able to be produced as filaments, sheets, or molded objects. Parts machined from nylon are used in: bearings, sleeves, bushings, nuts and bolts, gears, valves parts, hinges, screws and nuts.
Polylactide (PLA) NA PLA is one of two common plastics used on FDM machines (3D printing) and is commonly available as a 3D printable filament. Polylactic Acid could be CNC machined but it is typically not available in sheet stock or rod form. It is, however, typically available as a thin film for thermoforming or in the form of plastic pellets for injection molding.
Polycarbonate (PC) NA Polycarbonate is a type of amorphous thermoplastic, soft and pliable above a significantly high temperature but strong when cooled and solidified. Today it is widely used for a number of different purposes and is one of the reasons the machining polycarbonate services we offer are high in demand. We can create any type and size of product you need to meet your unique requirements.
Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK) NA PEEK polymer is available in two basic grades: industrial and medical. Industrial-grade PEEK is a strong thermoplastic that retains its mechanical properties even at elevated temperatures. The flame-retardant material is abrasion resistant, has high impact strength and a low coefficient of friction. Industrial-grade PEEK components are used in the aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronics, petroleum, and food and beverage industries. Medical-grade PEEK possesses those same physical properties in addition to biocompatibility, high chemical resistance and compatibility with several different sterilization methods. It is also naturally radiotranslucent when viewed using X-ray, MRI or computer tomography (CT).
Polyethylene (PE) NA NA
Polyurethane (PU) NA NA
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) NA At lower temperatures, economical PVC offers a combination of excellent chemical resistance, high mechanical strength, and low moisture absorption. CPVC increases both weather and temperature resistance, expanding design versatility. Both materials are easily vacuum formed, thermoformed and fabricated, and can be glued, cemented, welded and varnished.
Teflon (PTFE) NA With the highest heat resistance of all fluoroplastics, Teflon/PTFE 7B is also the most widely used material in its class. Noted for its exceptional mechanical strength, resistance to nearly all industrial chemicals and solvents, and a unique, non-stick surface, Teflon/PTFE 7B is utilized in applications ranging from electrical components to small kitchen appliances. The resin retains its properties across an extensive range of temperatures and under high load.

Exotic Metals

Material Grade/Alloy Description
Beryllium Beryllium Aluminum, Beryllium Copper, Beryllium Iron, Beryllium Nickel Beryllium improves many physical properties when added as an alloying element to aluminum, copper (notably the alloy beryllium copper), iron and nickel.[5] Beryllium does not form oxides until it reaches very high temperatures. Tools made of beryllium copper alloys are strong and hard and do not create sparks when they strike a steel surface. In structural applications, the combination of high flexural rigidity, thermal stability, thermal conductivity and low density (1.85 times that of water) make beryllium metal a desirable aerospace material for aircraft components, missiles, spacecraft, and satellites.
Cobalt NA Cobalt is considered as an advanced material which is widely gaining popularity in various engineering and medical applications. However, it is categorized as difficult to machine material due to its unique combination of properties which include high strength, toughness, wear resistance and low thermal conductivity.
Invar UNS K93600, UNS K93050 Invar 36 (UNS K93050) alloy, the world's first free-machining Invar alloy, has been used by machine shops that are producing high volumes of parts like controls for hot water heaters, filters for microwave instruments, precision parts for optical mounting in lenses, etc.
Molybdenum TZM Molybdenum – 99% MO, 0.5% Ti, and .0.08 ZR, 50% Rhenium, 30% Tungsten, Molybdenum / Copper Molybdenum metal can be machined with conventional tools and equipment. It has great machinability, corrosion resistance, low thermal expansion, excellent strength and stiffness at high temperature. Common applications include filaments, contacts, heat shields, jet tabs, rocket nozzles, brazing fixtures, boring bars, tools, and missile parts.
Niobium NA Niobium, a ductile, shiny metal that resists corrosion and maintains excellent physical properties at high temperatures. Most of the world’s supply of niobium comes from Brazil & Canada. Some niobium end uses, parts and applications include turbine blades, gas pipelines, automobile components, sputtering targets and capacitors.
Stellite 6, 21, 100 Stellite Alloys are utilized in applications that require high temperature strength and/or wear resistance. These same properties make them difficult to machine compared to more common materials. Stellite 6 is the most popular alloy for commercial applications and has a range of industrial uses.
Tantalum 10% Tungsten, Medical Grade, 2-1/2% Tungsten Tantalum is a ductile metal. Tantalum has excellent corrosion resistance to most chemicals except hydrofluoric acid. Tantalum metal has a melting point exceeded only by tungsten & rhenium. The melting point of tantalum is approximately 3017 degrees Celsius. Tantalum’s main end uses are in capacitors, vacuum furnaces, chemical process equipment, nuclear reactors and aircraft parts.
Tin NA Tin is mostly used as a constituent of solder and as a coating for steel. Tin is also used in bronze, pewter, and bearing alloys. Tin and tin alloys can be cast, rolled, extruded, or atomized. Because pure tin is too weak to be used alone for most mechanical applications, it is usually alloyed with elements such as copper, antimony, lead, bismuth, and zinc.
Titanium 6AL-4V, 6AL-4V ELI Titanium is commonly used for surgical implants such as knee & hip replacements, dental implants, Pins, bone plates, screws, spinal fusion cages piercings & prosthetics. Titanium is widely used in the medical field because it is resistant to corrosion, has the ability to join to the human bone, is light in weight, strong and is biocompatible.
Tungsten MT-17C, MT-17F, MT-175, MT-18C, MT-18F, MT-185 Tungsten has the highest melting point of the refractory metals, high density, and low coefficient of thermal expansion. It offers exceptionally high strength and good electrical resistivity at very high temperatures.
Zinc NA Zinc, a crystalline metal with moderate strength and ductility, is seldom used alone except as a coating. Highly workable and highly forgeable wrought-zinc alloys containing Ti, Al, Pb, Cd, Cu, or Fe in various quantities are easily machined.

Exotic Plastics

Material Grade/Alloy Description
Delrin® (Acetal) (POM) NA Delrin® is a crystalline plastic which offers an excellent balance of properties that bridge the gap between metals and plastics. Delrin possesses high tensile strength, creep resistance and toughness. It also exhibits low moisture absorption. It is chemically resistant to hydrocarbons, solvents and neutral chemicals. These properties along with its fatigue endurance make DELRIN® ideal for many industrial applications.
Ertalyte (PET-P) NA Ertalyte is an unreinforced, semi-crystalline thermoplastic polyester based on polyethylene terephthalate (PET-P). Good for both wet and dry environments. High strength and rigidity -- ideal for close tolerance parts. Excellent stain resistance and good wear resistance. Better resistance to acids than nylon or acetal
Fiberglass (Garolite) (G-10) NA Also known as G10 fiberglass, FR4 glass epoxy, or FR4 glass fabric, G10/FR4 electrical grade epoxy resin exhibits extremely high strength, dimensional stability, and creep resistance, even at high temperatures. This composite material is commonly used for PCBs (printed circuit boards), insulators in electromechanical devices, and other similar applications.
GPO-3 TZM Molybdenum – 99% MO, 0.5% Ti, and .0.08 ZR, 50% Rhenium, 30% Tungsten, Molybdenum / Copper Molybdenum metal can be machined with conventional tools and equipment. It has great machinability, corrosion resistance, low thermal expansion, excellent strength and stiffness at high temperature. Common applications include filaments, contacts, heat shields, jet tabs, rocket nozzles, brazing fixtures, boring bars, tools, and missile parts.
Ketron® PEEK 1000 NA Ketron®® PEEK 1000 is a chemically resistant structural, bearing and wear material with inherently good wear and abrasion resistance. It offers chemical and hydrolysis resistance similar to PPS, but can operate at higher temperatures. Characteristics include natural color, steam & wear resistance, highest elongation & toughness of all PEEK grade, unreinforced, excellent chemical resistance, and very low moisture absorption.
Kynar® (PVDF) 1000HD, 740 Manufactured from Kynar® polyvinylidene fluoride resin, this material offers excellent corrosion and chemical resistance at both ambient and elevated temperatures. PVDF is also inherently U.V. stable, mechanically tough, abrasion and flame resistant. Kynar® 1000HD is a whiter grade of PVDF than Kynar® 740.
Nylatron® GS, GSM, NSM Nylatron is a tradename for a family of nylon plastics, typically filled with molybdenum disulfide lubricant powder. It is used to cast plastic parts for machines, because of its mechanical properties and wear-resistance. Nylatron is used in several applications such as rotary lever actuators where unusual shapes are required, heavy-duty caster wheels, normally as a replacement for cast iron or forged steel, and plain bearing material, especially in screw conveyor applications.
Polysulfone NA Polysulfone has one of the highest service temperatures among all melt-processable thermoplastics. Its resistance to high temperatures gives it a role of a flame retardant, without compromising its strength that usually results from addition of flame retardants. Its high hydrolysis stability allows its use in medical applications requiring autoclave and steam sterilization.
Rulon® NA Rulon® is a proprietary, homogeneous material made primarily of PTFE-based resins engineered and developed for specific applications. The Rulon® family of materials combines high compressive strength, a low coefficient of friction, and excellent abrasion and corrosion resistance running without lubrication. They also withstand a variety of harsh environments such as extreme dryness, cryogenic temperatures, water, steam and hydrocarbon fuel. Rulon® products primarily are used for mechanical, electrical and chemical applications.
TIVAR® UHMW-PE® NA For superior wear resistance and part life in wet and dry environments. It has excellent abrasion resistance, low coefficient of friction, no moisture absorption, corrosion resistant, excellent noise abatement, excellent impact strength and maintains key physical properties to -22° F.
Techtron® (PPS) NA PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) products offer the broadest resistance to chemicals of any advanced engineering plastic. It has excellent chemical resistance, essentially zero moisture absorption, machines to tight tolerances and excellent alternative to PEEK at lower temperatures.
Torlon® (PAI) NA Torlon® PAI is a family of polyamide-imides that combines the exceptional performance of thermoset polyimides with the melt-processing advantage of thermoplastics. PAI exhibits greater compressive strength and higher impact resistance than most advanced engineering plastics.
Tygon® NA Recognized as an integral and vital component of fluid transport systems, Tygon® delivers an uncompromising standard of consistent performance in numerous applications. It is offered in a broad range of products, each engineered to meet specific user needs, including resistance to chemicals, temperature fluctuations and abrasion, as well as high purity, pressure variability and long service life.
Ultem® (PEI) NA Ultem® (PEI) (polyetherimide) is a high-strength amorphous polymer with excellent heat and flame resistance with little smoke output. It performs continuously to 340° F, making it superior to commodity plastics such as Nylon and Delrin®. Ultem® is an ideal solution for applications that require high strength and the ability to withstand high temperatures.
Vespel® (PI) NA This high performance polymer is mostly used in aerospace, semiconductor, and transportation technology. It combines heat resistance, lubricity, dimensional stability, chemical resistance, and creep resistance, and can be used in hostile and extreme environmental conditions. Unlike most plastics, it does not produce significant outgassing even at high temperatures, which makes it useful for lightweight heat shields and crucible support. It also performs well in vacuum applications, down to extremely low cryogenic temperatures. However, Vespel® tends to absorb a small amount of water, resulting in longer pump time while placed in a vacuum

Specialty Materials

Additional materials not listed above can be requested during the order process. These are include, but not limited to, materials such as types of woods, ceramics, metals and plastics.