A Basic Guide to Aluminum Jig Plate

When it comes to cast tool and jig plate, very specific tolerances must be maintained, which is why it is essential to purchase from a top aluminum supplier buying from one of the best aluminum mills.

There are many different types of aluminum jig plate on the market. This is a machined aluminum product that can have tolerances for a thickness of as little as plus or minus 0.005 inches and a surface that is machined to be perfectly flat.

The Importance of Manufacturing

As it is critical for cast tool and jig plate to have these tight tolerances and flat surfaces, aluminum mills require very precise production methods to achieve these requirements. This means that the aluminum is worked to have a stress-relieved granular structure without irregularities.
This is often done with specialized heat treating of the plate at the aluminum mills. With this additional thermal treatment, the cast tool and jig plate becomes very stable, which is essential for further processing of the plate.

Emphasis on production, machining and even temperature variations for final use applications will prevent the formation of distortions in this aluminum jig plate compared to standard aluminum plate.

Machining Cast Tool and Jig Plate

There are several different options that can be used to machine aluminum jig plate. It will be important to use a cutting fluid as well as a coolant during machining to prevent sticking and to also remove the heat through the process.

Circular saws and band saws can be very effective in providing a clean cut on jig plate. Different manufacturers may have different recommended blade speeds and it is essential to consult with the recommendations from the plate producer or the supplier.

Vertical milling and horizontal milling are also possible with quality cast tool and jig plate. High speeds on the tools are required, particularly with horizontal milling to prevent any possible risks of the loading or gumming of the tool.

The jig plate can also be drilled and turned, which makes this a highly versatile plate. It can be welded using gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding and friction stir welding.

As with recommendations for machining, consult the literature on the finishing of cast tool and jig plate. It is possible to anodize the surface using either a standard or a hard coating anodizing process. It can also be dyed through the anodizing process, which is often an important, consideration for retail types of components and applications.

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