CNC Machining Materials

Copper

At a glance

Processes

CNC Mill
CNC Lathe

Lead Time

3 days (rush)
5-7 days (standard)

Finishing Options

Available as-machined, media blasted, or hand-polished

Tolerance

ISO 2768

Price

$$$

Applications

Bus bars, gaskets, wire connectors, and other electrical applications

Alloys

101, 110

About the material

101 and 110 copper alloys offer excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, which make them natural choices for bus bars, wire connectors, and other electrical applications. While 101 (also known as super-conductive copper) offers higher conductivity due to its purity (99.99% copper), 110 is generally easier to machine and thus more cost-effective.

Material Properties

110 Copper

Tensile Strength

42,000 psi (1/2 hard)

Elongation at Break

20%

Hardness

Rockwell F40

Density

0.322 lbs / cu. in.

Maximum Temp

500° F

McMaster Part Number

8963KK149

101 Copper

Tensile Strength

37,000 psi (1/2 hard)

Elongation at Break

14%

Hardness

Rockwell F60

Density

0.323 lbs / cu. in.

Maximum Temp

500° F

McMaster Part Number

2554T511

Material Finish

Copper has a shiny reddish-orange finish, which varies slightly based on the surface finish method. Copper can be media-blasted and polished to achieve many different cosmetic surface finishes.

Design Recommendations

Min Wall Thickness

0.5 mm

Min End Mill Size

0.8 mm (0.03 in)

Min Drill Size

0.5 mm (0.02 in)

Max Part Size

1200 x 500 x 152 mm [x,y,z] (mill)
152 x 394 mm [d,h] (lathe)

Undercuts

Square profile, full radius, dovetail profiles

Radii : Depth

Depth must not exceed 12x drill bit diameter.
For end mills, depth must not exceed 10x tool diameter.

Cost Saving Tip

To reduce costs, limit the number of part setups, the number of inspection dimensions or tight tolerances, and deep pockets with small radii.

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN

Tolerance Stack Ups 501: Going Beyond Mechanical Fit and Into Predictive Design

Tolerance Stack-Ups are a vital component of any engineer’s workflow, to ensure successful mechanical design fit. But successful engineers in demanding industries such as medical, aerospace, and automotive, need to rely on data to do more than this. They need data to improve real design outcomes beyond “guess and check” — to improve design understanding […]

Learn More

3-Axis to 12-Axis: CNC Milling Machine Capabilities Compared

Computer Numerical Control (or CNC) machining combines the efficiency of computer programming with the accuracy of lathe machines. The programmed software controls the movement of the tools and other machinery, thereby automating the manufacturing process and maintaining design consistency. Modern-day multi-axis CNC Milling Machines come with a wide range of features, which adds value and […]

Learn More