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Machinability of Copper: A Comprehensive Guide to Working with this Versatile Metal

Welcome to our blog, where today we'll be discussing the machinability of copper and offering insights into the techniques and best practices for working with this versatile metal. Known for its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, copper is a popular choice for a wide range of applications, from electrical wiring to heat exchangers. Understanding the machinability of copper is crucial for achieving optimal results when working with this material.

The Machinability Factor

Machinability refers to the ease with which a material can be cut, shaped, or otherwise manipulated using various machining processes, such as milling, turning, and drilling. Factors that influence machinability include the material's hardness, ductility, and thermal conductivity. In general, copper is considered to have good machinability, although its properties can vary depending on the specific alloy or grade.

Copper Alloys and Their Machinability

Copper can be alloyed with various elements to enhance its properties and improve its machinability. Some common copper alloys and their machinability characteristics include:

1. C11000 (Electrolytic Tough Pitch Copper): This is the most common form of pure copper, known for its excellent electrical conductivity. While it can be machined, its ductility and high thermal conductivity can make it challenging to work with, resulting in a lower machinability rating compared to other copper alloys.

2. C14500 (Tellurium Copper): This alloy is created by adding small amounts of tellurium to copper, which significantly improves its machinability without compromising its electrical conductivity. C14500 is often used for electrical connectors and other components that require intricate machining.

3. C17200 (Beryllium Copper): Beryllium copper is an alloy with high strength, excellent electrical conductivity, and good machinability. It is commonly used in applications that require high strength and wear resistance, such as electrical contacts, springs, and bearings.

Tips for Machining Copper

When working with copper, it's essential to use the right techniques and tools to ensure a smooth and efficient machining process. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results:

1. Use sharp tools: Copper is a soft and ductile material, which can cause it to adhere to cutting tools, resulting in a poor surface finish. Using sharp tools can help minimize this issue and ensure a cleaner cut.

2. Control heat generation: Copper's high thermal conductivity can lead to rapid heat generation during machining, which can cause tools to wear out quickly. Using coolant and selecting the appropriate cutting speed can help manage heat generation and prolong tool life.

3. Choose the right cutting speed and feed rate: The optimal cutting speed and feed rate for machining copper will depend on the specific alloy and the desired surface finish. In general, slower cutting speeds and higher feed rates are recommended for pure copper, while faster cutting speeds and lower feed rates may be suitable for copper alloys with improved machinability.

4. Consider using lubricants: Applying lubricants during the machining process can help reduce friction and heat generation, resulting in a smoother cut and improved surface finish.


Understanding the machinability of copper and its various alloys is essential for achieving optimal results when working with this versatile material. By selecting the appropriate alloy, using the right machining techniques, and employing proper tooling, you can successfully machine copper for a wide range of applications. With its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity properties, copper remains a popular choice for many industries, and mastering its machinability is a valuable skill for any machinist or fabricator.

CNC Copper Machining

CNC Machining Copper Material is good electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, it is soft and good for machining as it has high plasticity, it is easily and rapidly to carry out desired shape as machining cutter can run faster than other steel materials, and also reach high precision.

Copper has a shiny reddish-orange finish, which varies slightly based on the surface finish method. Copper can be media-blasted and polished to achieve many different cosmetic surface finishes.

CNC Machining Copper Parts are widely used in the manufacture of electrical wires, cables, electric brushes, electric spark, and other electrical devices and products.

CNC Copper Machining

Benefits of CNC Copper Machining

1/ CNC Machining Copper Parts are excellent in electricity conductivity, supporting very good electric function

2/ CNC Machining Copper Parts are soft, easy to design into different shape, also suitable for many processes

3/ Copper is easy for cutting and machining, its production efficiency is much higher than steel series

4/ Good propriety for bending and shaping

5/ Heat transferring function very good, high resistance, temperature stability, long durable using

6/ Stable surface, non-surface treatment is durable, electroplating is also used on copper parts

CNC Copper Machining

Composition And Property of CNC Machining Copper

Copper Property Alloy Type Content Melting Point Hardness Tensile Strength Density
Cu-based Zn, Sn, Si, Al, Ni 1083°C HB35-45 Low 8.9 g/cm3

Common Materials Code of CNC Machining Copper

Copper Alloy Workable Processes Surface Finishing for Copper Parts Materials Code
CNC Turning, CNC Milling, CNC Drilling, Molding, Forging, Fabrication, Welding, etc. Passivation, Anodizing, Plating, Chemical Polishing, etc. Copper 110
Copper 101
Copper 145
other more Copper Alloy

Asianstar: Professional CNC Machining Supplier

From year of 2005, Asianstar Company establish the CNC Machining Factory in Guangdong Province, China.
We mostly provide CNC Turning, Milling, Drilling, Grinding, and Multi Machining processes service on various materials.
With the Belief of becoming a key supplier in the supply-chain of Precision Components, we strictly control our product quality, keep high precision on our components production, buildup the whole-process QC System and submit the satisfaction for every order.
By long term development, we have buildup partnership with world-wide clients, supporting our partners in Designing, Optimizing, Producing and Testing on each type of components.


Advantages of Asianstar CNC Copper Machining

Strong Facilities

Asianstar many CNC and stamp machines allow us to produce various copper parts, different sizes, and structures are all well done by suitable solution

Long-term Skills

Asianstar professional engineers team has experience from year 2005, producing copper parts for world wide electric products

Stable Quality

Asianstar QC system and QC tools guarantee our products are perfect result. We have procedures to control copper parts quality during production

Competitive Price

Asianstar aim to buildup partnership with clients, always choose best suitable facilities to carry out the components in competitive prices


CNC Brass Machining


CNC Machining Brass material is used for wide range components, we support clients to produce a variety of parts such as gears, locks, electronics, pipe fittings, etc.

CNC Copper Machining


CNC Machining Copper material is soft and easy to machining on different shape of components. We mostly produce copper components for electric devices by machining and stamping

CNC Aluminum Machining


CNC Machining Aluminum materials is one of our most used materials. We support clients to turning, drilling or milling on aluminum material from size 0.5mm to 470mm

CNC Stainless Steel Machining

Stainless Steel

CNC Machining Stainless Steel are common material for wide range components, we produce Stainless Steel turning parts, milling parts, high smoothness components, etc.

CNC Titanium Machining


CNC Machining Titanium material brings components superb features, we use titanium to produce high precision work-piece for clients from aircraft, aerospace, medical devices

CNC Plastic Machining


Our CNC Machining Plastic materials includes ABS, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon, POM, Peek, Polycarbonate, etc. We produce them in high precision and high smoothness.


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