An insight into the process of machining
Machining is an important aspect of manufacturing because it can create a variety of features such as holes, slots, pockets, flat surfaces and complex surface contours. While the most typical material that machining shop Toronto works on is metal, machining can also be done on other materials like plastics, composites and wood. On the other hand, machining is not the most economical choice for some manufacturing processes. During the process of removal, material is cut away and discarded to produce a final part which can be cost prohibitive for large quantities. Machining is therefore more applicable for limited quantities like the fabrication of prototypes or custom tooling for manufacturing processes. Machining is also a secondary process to add or refine precision features on an existing part or to further smoothen a surface to fine finish.
Most common material removal processes
Conventional or traditional machining mechanically cuts away small chips from a material using a sharp tool. Non-conventional machining on the other hand makes use of chemical or thermal means for material removal. Conventional machining processes are divided into three categories:
- Single point cutting – makes use of a cutting tool that has a single sharp edge, the most common of which is turning that is performed on a lathe. A variety of features can be achieved through turning like cylindrical parts, slots, threads, tapers, flat surfaces and complex contours.
- Multi-point cutting – makes use of cutting tool with many sharp teeth that moves against a work piece to remove material and create different features similar to those achieved through single point cutting. The two most common multi-point cutting processes are milling and drilling.
- Abrasive machining – is typically used to improve the surface finish of a part using a tool formed from tiny abrasive particles. The most common abrasive machining process is grinding.
Non-conventional machining processes
The use of electrical energy in machining shop Toronto is considered as a non-conventional process. Electrical energy is used to erode, melt or vaporize material. Examples of work using this principle are electrochemical machining, electroplating and electro discharge machining. Thermal energy is also generated by electrical energy and focused on a very small portion of a work piece. The heat is utilized in melting or evaporating metal. An example is electrical discharge machining. When chemical energy is used to erode material from a work piece, this is referred to as electrochemical machining.