What is Machinability? Learn How To Enhancing Material Processing Efficiency

Dive into the world of Machinability through our comprehensive blog. Explore the factors influencing material processing, evaluation methods, and comparisons of materials. Learn to enhance Machinability practically and understand its applications in engineering. Stay ahead of future trends and dispel misconceptions. Join us on this insightful journey to efficient material machining.

Table of Contents

What is Machinability?

Machinability is the ease of material removal during machining, impacting production efficiency and quality. Material selection based on machinability ensures smoother manufacturing processes and cost reduction.

Manufacturing relies on machinability for efficient material shaping. Poor machinability causes tool wear and slower machining. Materials with good machinability, such as aluminum, lead to higher productivity and better products.

Factors Affecting Machinability

Machinability depends on factors like material hardness, strength, ductility, fracture toughness, and thermal conductivity. For instance, stainless steel, a hard material, causes tool wear during machining. In contrast, aluminum, a softer material, is easily machinable but yields less precise components.

Diverse material properties impact machining performance. Hard materials demand slower cutting speeds and robust tools to avoid wear. Ductility influences chip formation and tool life; brittle materials may cause abrupt tool failure. Thermal conductivity affects heat dissipation during machining, impacting tool life and surface finish.

Proper material selection significantly enhances machinability. Engineers select materials based on project requirements. For precision components, low-hardness, high-machinability materials are preferred. Informed material choices lead to greater efficiency and improved machining quality.

Global Machinability Standards and Key Evaluation Metrics

Different countries and regions may have their own standardization organizations and corresponding standards. If you need to find specific Machinability standards documents for a particular country or region, it is best to check the official websites of relevant standardization organizations or government agencies, or seek assistance from local libraries, universities, or professional associations. And below is some common standard.

  • ISO Standards: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published several standards related to Machinability, such as ISO 3685:1993 “Tool life testing with single-point turning tools” and ISO 3002-2:1982 “Geometrical product specifications (GPS) – Surface texture: Profile method – Terms, definitions and surface texture parameters.”
  • American Standards:The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) have issued various standards related to Machinability, including ASTM A1038-2005 “Standard Test Method for Portable Hardness Testing by the Ultrasonic Contact Impedance Method.”
  • European Standards:The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has released several standards related to Machinability, such as EN ISO 3685:2016 “Tool-life testing with single-point turning tools.”
  • Japanese Standards:The Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) have published several standards related to Machinability, such as JIS B 0651:1993 “Test conditions for turning and plain milling metal-cutting tests.”

But the Machinability rate evaluation standards are not a set of official standards, but rather some common measures of material machinability as below.

  • Cutting Force and Power:Measures the force exerted by the material on the cutting tool and the energy required during machining; lower values indicate better Machinability.
  • Cutting Temperature:Evaluates the heat generated during machining; lower cutting temperatures contribute to improved Machinability.
  • Cutting Edge Wear:Observes the degree of wear on the cutting tool’s edge; good Machinability reduces rapid tool wear.
  • Chip Form:Examines the shape and length of chips produced during machining; easy-to-handle and short chips enhance Machinability.
  • Surface Roughness:Measures the smoothness of the machined surface; good Machinability results in better surface quality.
  • Machined Surface Quality:Considers the achieved surface smoothness and accuracy during machining.
  • Machining Precision:Evaluates the accuracy of the dimensions and shape of the workpiece during machining.
  • Tool Life:Studies the lifespan of the cutting tool during machining; better Machinability prolongs tool life.
  • Cutting Force Coefficient Curve: Plots the relationship between cutting force and cutting speed, aiding in understanding material performance at different cutting speeds.
  • Machining Stability:Assesses the stability and consistency of the machining process under various cutting conditions.

These evaluation methods are crucial in material machining. They provide insights into material behavior during machining, enabling appropriate conditions. Understanding cutting performance helps choose suitable tools and parameters. Monitoring Machinability index cutting forces prevents tool breakage. Surface roughness ensures product quality, while tracking Machinability rates cutting temperatures avoids thermal damage.

Machinability Comparison of Common Materials

Comparing the machinability of different materials machinability examples, such as steel, aluminum, copper and alloys reveals significant differences between them. The hardness of steel requires more care in machining than the relatively soft aluminum. Copper is known for its excellent thermal conductivity, but affects machining differently. Alloys have a wide range of properties and their machining rates vary, making material selection critical.

Below is the machinability chart of some common materials, which is an important reference for selecting materials based on their machinability.

Material Hardness (HRC) Machinability
Aluminum 20-70 Excellent
Steel 30-60 Fair to Good
Stainless Steel 30-60 Fair to Good
Copper 40-95 Good
Brass 50-90 Good
Cast Iron 20-60 Fair to Good
Titanium 30-48 Fair to Good
Plastics Varies Excellent (Generally)
Wood Varies Excellent (Generally)
Nickel 50-70 Fair to Good
Zinc 30-70 Good to Excellent
Bronze 60-90 Good to Excellent
Magnesium 30-55 Fair to Good
Tool Steel 55-65 Fair to Good
Inconel 20-45 Fair to Good
Tungsten Carbide 70-90 Poor to Fair
Ceramic Varies Poor
Carbon Fiber Varies Excellent (Generally)
Glass Varies Poor

Methods to Improve Machinability

Lubricants minimize friction and heat during cutting. Properly selected cutting tools, like carbide tools, enhance efficiency. Optimizing cutting parameters, including feed rate and speed, significantly influences outcomes. For example, a water-based coolant improves Machinability rates.

Implementing these approaches augments efficiency, curbing costs and tool wear. Lubricants reduce friction, extending tool life. Carefully selected cutting tools impact the Machinability index. Optimizing cutting parameters leads to elevated Machinability rates, enhancing productivity and saving expenses.

Welcome to our CNC machining shop, specializing in precision manufacturing. Our services include milling, turning, and drilling processes, catering to industries like automotive and aerospace.Our CNC machines handle aluminum, steel, and plastic, achieving exceptional precision and intricate designs for medical devices and electronics prototypes.


On-demand CNC Machining prototyping and parts with Custom Finishes and low volume manufacturing.

Share this article with your friends.

Get a help or information from us

Add Your Heading Text Here