CNC Turned Parts: How To Choose The Best Materials

CNC turned parts are crucial elements of every automobile. You know, they usually have a diverse range of variations. You may find different shapes, patterns, and functionalities. In addition, the diversity of CNC turned parts materials is also extensive. Well, this diversity mainly comes from different needs of applications. Therefore, you can realize understanding these materials’ properties and applications is crucial. By doing so, you can choose the best material for your project.

In the following few sections, we will highlight the properties and applications of each CNC turned parts material. You can mainly focus on these two aspects to determine the most suitable one. While considering the properties, you should also think about some sub-aspects. Overall, this guide will help you choose the best material for making various types of CNC turned parts.

Precision Turned Parts Market Trends

According to Mordor Intelligence, the global market for CNC turning machines has been growing steadily and strongly over the past few years. If you observe the statistics, you will see that this curve is projected to grow at a CAGR rate of 6.25% during 2024-2029.
Their figures indicate that the market for manufacturing precision turned parts is expected to reach a size of roughly USD 113.93 billion by 2024. And by 2029, they project it to reach USD 154.29 billion.
The graph shows that the need for contemporary machining solutions drives this sales development. In addition, people are now focusing on reducing downtime. You are aware that machine operations, production speed, and accuracy can all be improved by using precision CNC turning.

1: Aluminum CNC Turned Parts

Aluminum is lightweight and also durable. It offers excellent machinability. Thus, you may often find it a good choice for CNC turned parts. Since it has low density, it allows for intricate machining with reduced tool wear. As a result, it enhances cost-effectiveness in production. In addition, aluminum is corrosion-resistant and has good thermal & electrical conductivity.
CNC turned parts: Shafts, bushings, fittings, couplings, knobs, spacers, pulleys, housings, connectors, valves, etc. Aluminum CNC turned parts are primarily suitable for automotive, machinery, aerospace, and electronics assembly.

2: Brass CNC Turned Parts

Brass also offers excellent machinability. This means that you can easily achieve precise and intricate designs. Brass is also popular for its excellent corrosion resistance abilities. As a result, it is suitable for applications where exposure to moisture is a concern. It has an attractive golden appearance. Except for CNC turned parts, you can also use this material for decorative & functional applications.
CNC turned parts: Fittings, inserts, connectors, terminals, knobs & handles, bushings, valve components, pins & screws, etc. Brass CNC turned parts are primarily suitable for electronic, automotive, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems.

3: Copper CNC Turned Parts

Copper possesses exceptional electrical and thermal conductivity. As a result, you can find it ideal for CNC turned components in various industries. Besides, copper has excellent malleability. It means you can easily achieve intricate designs and tight tolerances. Moreover, copper is also famous for its excellent corrosion resistance, aesthetic appeal and recyclability.
CNC turned parts: Electric terminals, connectors, contacts, valves, couplings, inserts, heat sinks, etc. Copper CNC turned parts are primarily suitable for electrical and HVAC systems.

4: Titanium CNC Turned Parts

Titanium is especially renowned for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. It also has excellent corrosion resistance ability. Since they have remarkable biocompatibility, they are ideal for use in medical equipment. Since titanium offers high strength, you can make intricate designs and tight tolerances in CNC turned parts.
CNC turned parts: bolts, fasteners, dental implants, bone screws, prosthetic devices, aerospace engine parts, bicycle components, valves & fittings, watch bezels & cases, etc. Titanium CNC turned parts are primarily suitable for high-performance machinery.

5: Steel CNC Turned Parts

Steel is a widely used material in CNC turned parts. They offer excellent durability, strength, and versatility. You know, there are different types of steel. Each has unique properties. Common variants are carbon steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel.

CNC turned parts: industrial machinery shafts, bearings, bushings, fasteners, hydraulic fittings, valve components, etc. Steel CNC turned parts are prevalent in industrial, automotive and construction applications.

6: Stainless Steel CNC Turned Parts

Stainless steel is famous for its excellent strength and corrosion resistance abilities. Since it is strong, you can get a long-lasting performance from its CNC turned parts. However, its non-reactive nature makes it widely popular in applications where cleanliness and hygiene are crucial.

CNC turned parts: shafts, fasteners, valve components, fittings & connectors, medical implants, surgical instruments, diagnostic tools, electric pins, connectors, housings, etc. Stainless steel CNC turned parts are widely popular in the automotive, food processing, medical, pharmaceutical, chemical and machinery industries.

7: Carbon Steel CNC Turned Parts

Carbon steel is exceptionally strong and durable. Its excellent machineability makes it the preferred choice for making CNC turned parts. Its high carbon content enhances hardness and wear resistance. As a result, you may often find it ideal for components subjected to heavy loads and harsh environments.
CNC turned parts: industrial gears, shafts, spindles, pulleys, door handles, fixtures, decorative items, etc. Carbon steel CNC turned parts are primarily suitable for industrial settings, machinery, automotive, construction and household appliances.

8: Basic & Engineering Plastic CNC Turned Parts

Plastics are cheap and easily machinable. Their lightweight nature makes them widely popular in many applications. Engineered plastics offer enhanced mechanical properties, such as high strength and heat resistance. However, plastics have some limitations.
CNC turned parts: Insulators, caps & plugs, electronic enclosures, etc. Plastic CNC turned parts are often prevalent in electric components, automotive, consumer electronics and medical devices.

In the preceding section, you have learned the diversity of CNC turned parts materials. Now you realize that choosing the best material for CNC turned parts is necessary. Because it ensures that your project performs optimally and lasts in various applications.

Factor #1 Intended Application

The intended application is the first thing that determines the suitability of CNC turned parts materials. So, when you evaluate the application, check for mechanical stress, environmental conditions, and functional requirements. For example, in the automobile industry, durability is the most critical factor. In such cases, you must choose steel or stainless steel.

Factor #2 Weight

Weight is another important factor you should consider. You must take it seriously, especially in applications where weight reduction is crucial. In such applications, lighter materials like aluminum or engineering plastics are suitable. Lighter materials enhance fuel efficiency and maneuverability.

Factor #3 Heat Resistivity

There are some applications where extreme temperatures are encountered. In such cases, heat resistivity is a crucial factor to consider. You can choose materials with high heat resistance, like titanium or stainless steel.

Factor #4 Electrical Conductivity

Electrical conductivity is significant in electrical applications. You can choose materials with high electrical conductivity, like copper or brass. You know they are commonly used in electrical and electronic components. Conversely, insulating materials like plastics are ideal in applications where electrical insulation is necessary.

Factor #5 Hardness

Material hardness technically influences the durability and performance of CNC turned parts. Hard materials are steel, titanium and stainless steel. They offer superior wear resistance and durability. These materials are ideal for applications like cutting tools or bearings. Conversely, you can use softer materials like aluminum for flexible applications.

Factor #6 Surface Finish

The surface finish is not only crucial for functionality but also for aesthetics. You know, stainless steel or brass offers excellent machinability. They allow for smooth surface finishes.

MK CNC part manufacturer stands at the forefront of precision engineering. We specialize in the production of top-tier CNC turned parts. If you explore our expertise, you will find our popularity in making precise and accurate components. You can be assured that our machinery and team of skilled professionals ensure the highest quality standards in every piece we manufacture.

You can get a wide range of machining services from the MK CNC factory. Some busy services include custom part fabrication, rapid prototyping, and batch production. Our commitment to innovation, reliability, and prompt delivery makes us different from other manufacturers.

Returning Questions

Q1. What is the most common material used for CNC tooling?

The most common material used for CNC tooling is high-speed steel (HSS). You know, CNC tooling must be hard enough to cut through other materials. Material hardness and durability are two critical parameters to consider here. HSS is favored in various machining applications. It offers excellent performance and precision.

Q2. Is aluminum or steel better for CNC?

It depends on your project application. Sometimes, you may find aluminum the best option. On the other hand, you may also find steel the best option. But it totally depends on various uses. For example, aluminum is a lightweight material. It is suitable for flexible applications. On the other hand, steel provides superior strength and durability. So, steel is an excellent choice for heavy-duty applications.

Q3. Is aluminum easily machinable?

Yes, aluminum is highly machinable. Because it offers flexibility and a low melting point. These properties allow for efficient cutting and shaping processes during CNC machining. Because of this, aluminum is a preferred choice for various applications.


In CNC operation, you have multiple options to choose from. After the discussion, you now know that each material is suitable for specific applications. Check out the following summary table to get an overview of their applications.

AluminumAluminum heat sink, aluminum electronics enclosure, aluminum camera shell, computer electronic housing
BrassLead frame, electrical terminal connectors, crimp pin
CopperJammer, terminal, cable connector, engine part
Titanium Electronic housings, connected audio device, smart Lock, smart watch
SteelAutomotive parts, medical parts,
Stainless steelRefrigeration equipment, medical instruments, machinery equipment
Carbon steelAutomotive chassis, industrial machinery, construction equipment
Engineering plasticsBearings, gears, insulating components

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