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Thread: DIY Aluminium bronze, machined on Chinese CNC6090

  1. #1

    DIY Aluminium bronze, machined on Chinese CNC6090

    Hi Chaps,

    Newbie here to foundry, melting, cnc.

    I've been lurking for a month or so, done a few melts in my furness making cupcake ignots

    I wanted to try something new, and I have access to copper and aluminium punchings from my work.

    So I tried my hand at aluminium bronze, used %12 aluminium, balance copper.

    I read a heap about machining aluminium bronze, with almost 99% of people sayings its as difficult as 316 stainless.

    My setup was:-

    2KW, 24000rpm spindle @ 24000rpm
    1mm depth of cut
    40% step over
    1000mm per min feed

    2 flute carbide 'aluminium' end mill.

    Coolant is ethanol sprayed with a airbrush gun

    it was easy as pie.


    not sure why they say its hard to do... ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member nudge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    NorthShore,Auckland New Zealand
    Nice work! I guess it is hard if you dont have sharp cutters. I find is easy to cut, but the cutters need to be sharp... sand is a cutter killer!
    If the spelins rong blam the wife!

    How to build a Nudge burner (oil)

  3. #3
    I take it all back, this stuff is as hard as.

    I now call it "Devils Gold" by by a few cutters.

    I must now go off and try and understand how two soft metals make one very hard alloy....

  4. #4
    Senior Member Spelter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Hudson shoreline
    Ohms--what's going on with the hardness is the formation of an intermetallic compound, a chemical reaction between the two elements. Most alloys are straightforward mixtures, but sometimes intermetallics form.They tend to behave more like ceramics than metals. Small amounts of intermetallics can be useful in toughening a metal, but large doses can impart a glassy brittleness.
    "The former lives of objects need not interfere with their current use."

  5. #5
    I'm starting to understand now:-

    What made it all come together for me was the fact that the volume of aluminium bronze is less then the volume of the aluminium and copper separate.


  6. #6
    Ive heard alot of people saying that that stuff is impossible to cast anything out of but I still havnt seen anyone actually try it and fail, or even really try it. Ive heard it tends to oxidize extremely bad, how was your experiences with it?

    I absolutely love the look of that stuff and thought it would be really nice to make handles and a nameplate out of, Im a bit abusive on my handles and such from trying to rush to do stuff all the time. Ive also seen people using them as bushing materials and it looks really great for that. What would your opinions of this compared to lets say sintered bearings?
    Last edited by cae2100; 12-17-2015 at 05:43 PM.

  7. #7
    I sand cast a belt buckle and a finger ring from aluminum bronze,The result(belt buckle) has been worn daily for over a year and if anything it's shinier than it was when made.The buckle was cast too thick and had to be milled from the back to reduce the weight.A two flute cutter was useless in my home made mill set up so a three flute solid carbide one was used and worked well(this stuff is very hard IMHO).The mixture was approximately 10%aluminum 90% copper(actually added a little more aluminum) figuring it would oxidize some since I melted it first making a heal to allow melting the copper at a somewhat lower temperature.I'm happy with the results and will probably do something like this again.

  8. #8
    cool, thanks. Ive been looking for something that is higher melting temp to make a nameplate for my furnace and some handles/knobs for my lathe, which now Im set on alu bronze for the stuff since it's so strong and resistand to pretty much everything that I would deal with.

  9. #9
    I've seen a sword made from this stuff. It had a marble handle I think. It was gorgeous

  10. #10
    Very Impressive. Because it is hard to cut. But if ever want to convert copper or any metal. Just go for nbmmetals.
    Last edited by JoseBower; 07-21-2016 at 12:21 PM.

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