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Mastering Copper Machining: A Comprehensive Guide to Speeds and Feeds

Copper is a highly versatile and sought-after material in the world of manufacturing due to its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as its resistance to corrosion. However, machining copper can be a challenge due to its high ductility and tendency to create long, stringy chips. To ensure a successful machining process, it's crucial to understand the proper speeds and feeds for copper. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the best practices for copper machining and help you optimize your process for maximum efficiency and quality.

Understanding Copper Alloys

Before diving into the speeds and feeds, it's essential to understand that copper is often alloyed with other metals to enhance its mechanical properties. Some common copper alloys include:

Brass: Copper and zinc

Bronze: Copper and tin

Copper-Nickel: Copper and nickel

Each alloy has different machining characteristics, so it's essential to choose the right speeds and feeds based on the specific alloy you're working with.

Recommended Cutting Speeds

Cutting speeds for copper and its alloys depend on the material's hardness and the type of machining operation. Here are some general guidelines for cutting speeds:

Pure Copper: 60-100 surface feet per minute (SFM)

Brass: 200-300 SFM

Bronze: 70-150 SFM

Copper-Nickel: 60-100 SFM

Keep in mind that these are general recommendations, and it's crucial to consult your tooling manufacturer or machine tool builder for specific recommendations based on your equipment and application.

Feed Rates

Feed rates for copper machining depend on the cutting tool diameter, number of flutes, and the material's hardness. Here are some general guidelines for feed rates:

Pure Copper: 0.001-0.003 inches per tooth (IPT)

Brass: 0.002-0.006 IPT

Bronze: 0.001-0.004 IPT

Copper-Nickel: 0.001-0.003 IPT

Again, consult your tooling manufacturer or machine tool builder for specific recommendations.

Tips for Successful Copper Machining

1. Use sharp cutting tools: Copper and its alloys are prone to work hardening, which can lead to premature tool wear and poor surface finishes. Using sharp cutting tools can help minimize work hardening and extend tool life.

2. Opt for coated tools: Tool coatings, such as TiN or TiCN, can help reduce friction and improve tool life when machining copper alloys.

3. Employ proper chip control: Copper's high ductility can lead to long, stringy chips that can clog the cutting zone and cause issues. Implementing proper chip control techniques, such as using chip breakers or high-pressure coolant, can help mitigate this issue.

4. Maintain proper coolant flow: Copper is an excellent heat conductor, which means that heat generated during machining can quickly transfer to the workpiece and cause issues. Maintaining proper coolant flow can help manage heat buildup and improve surface finishes.

5. Adjust speeds and feeds based on specific conditions: The recommendations provided in this guide are general guidelines. It's essential to adjust speeds and feeds based on your specific machining conditions, such as machine rigidity, tooling, and workpiece geometry.

By following these guidelines and understanding the intricacies of copper machining, you can optimize your process for maximum efficiency and quality. Happy machining!

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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