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Machining OFHC Copper: The Ultimate Guide to Optimize Your Manufacturing Process

Copper is an essential material in various industries due to its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance, and ductility. One of the purest and most popular forms of copper is Oxygen-Free High Conductivity Copper (OFHC). This material is widely used in electrical applications, heat exchangers, and other high-performance parts. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the challenges, techniques, and best practices for machining OFHC copper to optimize your manufacturing process.

Understanding OFHC Copper

OFHC copper is a highly refined copper with a minimum copper content of 99.95% and an oxygen content of 0.001%. The low oxygen content results in a material with excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as improved ductility and resistance to hydrogen embrittlement. These properties make OFHC copper an ideal choice for electrical and electronic components, heat exchangers, and other applications where high performance is required.

Challenges in Machining OFHC Copper

Despite its many advantages, machining OFHC copper can be challenging due to its high ductility, softness, and tendency to generate heat during the cutting process. These factors can lead to tool wear, poor surface finishes, and dimensional inaccuracies. To overcome these challenges, it is essential to use the right cutting tools, cutting parameters, and machining techniques.

Cutting Tools and Tool Materials

Selecting the right cutting tool is critical for successful machining of OFHC copper. Carbide tools are generally recommended due to their excellent wear resistance and ability to withstand high cutting temperatures. Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) tools can also be used for high-speed machining or when a superior surface finish is required.

When choosing a tool geometry, consider using a tool with a large rake angle and a small relief angle to reduce cutting forces and minimize tool wear. Additionally, sharp cutting edges are crucial for reducing the built-up edge (BUE) formation, which can lead to poor surface finishes and tool breakage.

Cutting Parameters and Machining Techniques

Optimizing cutting parameters is essential for minimizing tool wear, heat generation, and workpiece deformation. Some general guidelines for machining OFHC copper include:

Use high cutting speeds to minimize the contact time between the tool and workpiece, reducing heat generation and tool wear.

Employ moderate to low feed rates to minimize cutting forces and reduce the risk of workpiece deformation.

Utilize shallow depths of cut to minimize heat generation and tool engagement.

Apply flood coolant or compressed air to remove heat and chips from the cutting zone, improving tool life and surface finish.

In addition to optimizing cutting parameters, employing the right machining techniques can also help improve the quality and efficiency of your OFHC copper machining process. Some useful techniques include:

Roughing and finishing passes: Use separate roughing and finishing passes to control workpiece deformation and improve surface finishes. A roughing pass removes most of the material, while a finishing pass ensures dimensional accuracy and a smooth surface finish.

Climb milling: Climb milling can help reduce cutting forces, heat generation, and BUE formation. This technique involves feeding the workpiece into the cutting tool in the same direction as the tool's rotation, resulting in a shearing action that reduces cutting forces and heat.

Chip breaking: Employ chip breaking techniques, such as peck drilling or intermittent cutting, to control chip formation and prevent long, continuous chips that can interfere with the machining process.

Post-Machining Processes

After machining, OFHC copper parts may require additional processes to achieve the desired surface finish, dimensional accuracy, or mechanical properties. Some common post-machining processes include:

Deburring: Remove burrs and sharp edges from the machined part using manual or automated deburring techniques, such as tumbling, vibratory finishing, or abrasive blasting.

Surface finishing: Improve the surface finish of the machined part through processes like polishing, electroplating, or chemical treatments.

Heat treatment: Alter the mechanical properties of the machined part through heat treatment processes, such as annealing or stress relieving, to achieve the desired hardness, strength, or ductility.

In conclusion, machining OFHC copper presents unique challenges due to its high ductility, softness, and heat generation during the cutting process. By selecting the right cutting tools, optimizing cutting parameters, employing effective machining techniques, and utilizing post-machining processes, you can overcome these challenges and optimize your OFHC copper manufacturing process. By following the guidelines and best practices outlined in this guide, you can achieve high-quality parts with improved efficiency and reduced tool wear.

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

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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

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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.

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

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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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