Tips For Selecting Aluminum Tooling Plate

When it comes to tooling plate, choosing the right type of aluminum plate for the job will make a difference in the final product. All of the different aluminum tooling plate manufacturers offer various lines or options in the aluminum grade as well as in the properties of the plate.

Understanding the differences in what each manufacturer is offering will help in determining which type of aluminum tooling plate is the right plate for the job. Physical properties, mechanical strength, size options and even how the plate responds to processing will always be a factor in the choice.

Size

Not all aluminum plate suitable for tooling and jigs will be offered in the same thicknesses, lengths, and widths. Some types of tooling plate are available in non-standard measurements as well.

While standard sizes of aluminum tooling plate will be available through distributors, custom sizes will have to be ordered. When this occurs, be sure to verify lead or turnaround time required as some aluminum manufacturers are very good at fast custom production while others are considerably less responsive.

Processing Characteristics

The various processing characteristics that may be relevant in the selection of aluminum tool and jig plate include the weldability, machinability and corrosion resistance.

Remember, all aluminum will have some corrosion resistance, but not all alloys are ideal for either inland or marine type of environments. Highly specialized applications may forgo some of the corrosion resistance for increased weldability, machinability or mechanical strength for applications where this is not a concern.

Ideally, discuss the needs for aluminum tool and jig plate with your supplier. Make sure to note any special issues of concern for the application and discuss the need for welding, machining, corrosion resistance and the mechanical properties. This will provide you with a good idea of the most suitable type of aluminum tool and jig plate to meet the specific requirements.

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    Author: Timothy Harvard

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