I am building a mounting system to quickly attach/disconnect 2 flat aluminum plates together. Plate One will have 2 slots at the edge which shoulder bolts will slide into. This plate needs to be flat, parallel and consistent thickness. Plate Two has the shoulder bolt attached and needs to be flat on the one mating surface. They will both be 3/8" material. They will be cut by waterjet, edged with a dry router and drilled and tapped, but no welding.
Cost is a factor as I anticipate getting these parts into production. It looks like tooling plate, such as Mic 6 or C250, is more economical than aluminum with a ground finish. I read the post by Geof at:
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39707 (mic 6 Al vs. extruded/rolled 6061 t6)
in which he states the strength (relative to plastic deformation) of the tooling plate is similar to other aluminum alloys.
Please, any thoughts on other materials/alloys/processes I should consider or is tooling plate the way to go? Will finishing the edges with a dry router introduce too much heat causing loss of flatness?
Last edited by asylum; 04-27-2010 at 09:51 AM.
I worked with Alum 6061 and Mic 6 and personally think 6061 is more durable than Mic 6 and dents less when dropped on the floor. One interesting thing I found out that if you pick up a plate of 6061 vs Mic 6, you will notice 6061 is heaver.
However, for your use, Mic 6 will probably be a better choice cause it is much flatter and constant in thickness. Although some Mic 6 sheets we got at the shop (40x60x3/4) are only .017 flatness, but most are under .009". You will also have a much easier time cutting it dry cause the chips break up easier that 6061 and is less gummy. Although you might find it helpful if you had a mister setup. But, if you can find the right tool with the right coating, you can probably cut it dry with OK results.