So ive been toying with the idea of using a single flute carbide bit to cut thicker aluminum (test on 6mm treadplate). I want to do some 12mm soon, here was the (awesome) results from a quick test. 4mm carbide single flute specs in photo. 350mm min 300mm min plunge rate .5mm pass here are the results
Wuhu, thats nice!!
Shinny tread plate is typically alloy 3003
Dull tread plate is typically alloy 6061 and at least 1/8" thick or thicker
6061 mills great,
3003 is horrible and tends to get stuck on the bit. Using a lubricant can help and they make special bits with negative rakes to cut softer aluminum alloys.
bend a corner off, if it cracks off its 6061, if it just bends then it’s 3003
There is also 4017, but I have never used. it.
The moral being there are many types of aluminum. 6061 is the best to mill and I’d recommend trying that first before going to the software grades that are more difficult to work with.
@aluminumwelder Thats good to know, this is marine grade, leftover from a boat build I believe it is 5083. The shipyard gets it router cut so it must machine ok as well?