There are several different issues to consider when choosing an aluminum plate option for a specific fabrication or production job. With some parts, components and materials the choice is not a critical factor as there isn’t a need for specific tolerances and slight variations and deviations from perfectly straight or flat may not be relevant.
Keep in mind, these slight deviations are still small enough to be undetected by the human eye in many instances. When the part or component is small they can be impossible to detect without specialized equipment. This is not the case with all applications.
For these types of demands, the use of precision aluminum plate will be an important part of the material choice. This is a specially designed aluminum plate that is manufactured to have very tight tolerances to create a superior surface when it comes to flatness.
When it comes to the best in precision aluminum plate the machining process is completed on both sides and to specific standards with regards to surface roughness. This can be achieved by precision sawing or precision milling, with the resulting surfaces providing a completely flat surface to the specifications provided by the manufacturer.
Different plate options for flatness will typically be less than a plus or minus range of 0.015 to 0.005. This will depend on the specific flatness requirement and the type of precision that the material requires for a specific application.
Using the Plate
Depending on the specific type of precision aluminum plate there will be different levels of corrosion resistance, weldability, machinability and finishing by either anodizing or polishing.
In general, precision plate will usually be rated very good to excellent in welding and machinability. However, corrosion resistance will vary based on the alloying ingredients.
Polishing and hard anodizing will likewise be rated very good to excellent for all of the alloys and brands offered in precision plate. It is not considered a decorative anodization, but this is rarely a factor in the types of applications where these plates are used.
You will find precision plate used in many different applications. It can be used in the automotive and aerospace industries where the high corrosion resistance options have a significant advantage. You will also find it used in components and parts in machines and equipment in the food and beverage processing industries.
As you may expect, it is also in demand for creating molds, thermoforming tools, packaging industries, medical equipment, computers, electronics as well as in pharmaceutical production plants and facilities.