11/1/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Advances in Machining Technology Enable Advantage for Brass

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Through testing, brass proved to machine at high speeds on advanced machine tools with little evidence of tool wear, producing quality surface finishes and chip control.

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As a result of testing with Copper Development Association Inc., brass proved to machine at high speeds on advanced machine tools with little evidence of tool wear, producing quality surface finishes and chip control. These findings disprove misconceptions in the machining industry that lead many manufacturers to underestimate the productivity of brass by up to 85 percent.

On a modern vertical machining center, brass rod alloys—running at 4,000, 2,500 and 2,000 surface feet per minute (SFM) respectively for turning, milling and drilling—created little wear on carbide tools after two hours of continuous cutting. A Swiss-style CNC automatic lathe also produced 63 percent more C36000 brass parts under high-speed conditions compared to conventional speeds in an eight-hour shift, achieving a 38.5 percent reduction in machine time costs.

Optimized speed tests for single-point turning demonstrated that at a hourly rate, machine time cost 86 percent less for brass per cubic inch of material removed through turning than 304L stainless steel and 79 percent less than 12L14 steel. The comparison showed that brass maintains turning speeds of 3,000-4,000 SFM for practical production periods, more than three times the speeds achieved with 304L stainless steel or 12L14 steel. Brass also outpaced both these metals in a drilling test, completing 1,000 holes eight times faster than 304L stainless steel and 2.4 times faster than 12L14 steel.

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