How to Choose the Best (Cost-Effective) Material for Custom Machined Parts

There are number of factors that you should consider when determining what the best material would be for your custom machined part or component. Whether you’re in the process of designing a new part or you just need to cut manufacturing costs of your machined part, here are five areas to consider when choosing the best (and most cost effective) material for your part.

Consider Manufacturing Time & Cost

If you’re trying to keep overall costs low, you’ll want to sincerely consider the type of material you use. High strength materials such as steel require higher grade milling and turning equipment. Also if you have a custom machine part that requires extreme precision, such as a pneumatic value for a medical machine, it will take more time to manufacture to ensure that each divot, turn, notch, etc. is precise.

Consider Your Use Environment

Whether you need a custom machined part to withhold in an outside environment or an inside environment, it’s important to know which materials are better suited for varying environments. For instance, if you need a part that would function outside, your custom part would best be crafted from stainless steel as opposed to carbon alloy to avoid rust and corroding.

Consider Performance Temperatures

Depending on the environment in which the part will be operating, there may only be certain materials that can withstand significant heat or cool temperatures without breaking down. Some materials will expand under even the smallest temperature changes, so it is important to know which materials are strong and stable enough to operate at different temperatures.

You’ll also want to consider any specifications required based on the environment your part will be used in, such as medical, military, or food production, to ensure that it meets those standards and requirements.

Consider Weight Requirements

The next thing you should consider when choosing the materials for your custom machined part is the weight of the material. Heavy steel or iron weigh more, so if your application is weight-sensitive, you may want to go with a material that is strong, but won’t tip the scales (i.e. polymers, certain alloys).

Consider Strength Requirements

Similar to how material weight influences what you choose to manufacture your part out of, the strength of your custom machined part can vary based on material as well. When choosing the right material for the job, you’ll want to take into consideration factors such as endurance strength (ability to absorb stress), wear resistance, hardness, and tensile strength (ability to pull something).

If you have specific questions on what would be the best materials to run your custom machined part with, ask us!