For Matt Bloomer, Q8Oils Technical Manager, the answer is quite a lot! Matt has compiled a paper to give you the key facts about aluminium, from its properties and classification to important considerations in the machining process.
Aluminium is the world’s third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon and makes up around 8% of the earth’s crust. It’s a vital material in many industries from aerospace and automotive to the construction, electrical and consumer sectors. Global demand is growing steadily and in the automotive industry alone, between 2014 and 2020 it is predicted that consumption will have doubled.
Aluminium is commonly mixed with other metals to form alloys and the paper explains how the Aluminium Association classifies wrought and cast aluminum, and its designation system.
The requirements for machining aluminium, and the best type of metalworking fluid to use, are dictated by the type of aluminium alloy and the process. There are many tests to determine the characteristics of a metalworking fluid, not just its lubricity but also stain protection, cleanliness and emulsion stability.
The paper describes the characteristics of Q8Oils’ metalworking fluids and shows how you can choose the best product, depending on your priority. For example, Q8 Brunel XF 280 gives outstanding lubricity on aluminium alloys but if emulsion stability is most important to you, Q8 Brunel XF 343 may be the better option.
Staining and corrosion are common problems on aluminium alloys and Matt summarises the different causes to give guidance on how these problems can be addressed.