CNC Machining for Aerospace Industry

When manufacturing highly precise machine parts is needed by the defense, medical, and aerospace manufacturing industries, each of these industries has challenges to face.

 And all the mechanical parts work perfectly in Boing aircraft to save cost, lives, and time. All of these benefit from the application of CNC machining for Aerospace components.

In this article, we’ll learn about CNC machining for aerospace parts and the Challenges in Manufacturing Aerospace Components. 

custom sheet metal parts for aerospace

CNC Machined Aerospace Components

In this aircraft industry, where precision, durability, and design are top priorities, the role of precision CNC machining is crucial. CNC machining is used to manufacture many components of planes and helicopters. In airplanes, landing gears, compressors, turbines, braces, torque links, and many other parts are manufactured using CNC machining.

Moreover, housings, shafts, and gears are the bedrock in moving the plans, and they are CNC machined.

Similarly, the helicopter has many CNC machined parts, such as piston engine housing. 


CNC Materials used in Aerospace Industry

There is a wide variety of CNC materials used in the aerospace industry. For example, aluminum, steel, plastic, titanium, and carbon. 

Airplanes and helicopters’ machinery parts often go through harsh working conditions. So, heat and corrosion-resistant, and highly durable CNC materials are used in manufacturing aerospace machining parts.

Titanium grades 2 and 5 are used to manufacture aerospace components because of their insane heat resistance and strength. 

4340 steel is used for manufacturing the aircraft landing gears. And 4130 steel is also used to manufacture the exterior components, fasteners, and gears, due to its high tensile strength and robust strength.

Aluminum has a high strength-to-weight ratio, and aluminum (7075, 2024, 6061) is widely used in manufacturing different aerospace components.

Aluminum 6061 has incredible corrosion resistance and is used to manufacture the wings and fuselages. Aluminum 2024 has remarkable fatigue resistance and is ideal for manufacturing parts that go through repetitive load cycles.

Finally, Aluminum 7075 has both fatigue and corrosion resistance, making it a suitable CNC material for manufacturing aircraft structural components.

5 Common Challenges in Manufacturing Aerospace Components

Every industry be it construction, medical, defense, or aerospace, will pose manufacturing challenges because each industry goes through different situations and require other CNC materials.

There are five common challenges faced during the manufacturing process of aerospace machine parts. Let’s overview each obstruction and find the most suitable solution precision CNC machining offers the aerospace industry.

1. Machining Large Aerospace Components

The aerospace industry is complex, sophisticated, and requires precision manufacturing. For manufacturing each aerospace component, the CNC machine operators must take utmost care. For example, sometimes extensive internal material must be cored out in case of manufacturing transmission housing for helicopter blades.

By the look of it, it may seem a straightforward manufacturing process, but in reality, it can wreak havoc and result in destruction, cost, and time. Taking out an extensive material creates a lot of scraps and leads to residual stresses. Whenever a CNC machine works to manufacture delicate aerospace components, tight tolerance, and high standards are always the requirements.

However, residual stresses can deform, warp, and collapse the material upon load and repetitive use.

Using simple CNC machining for manufacturing significant components with thin walls can create these problems. You can avoid these problems by adopting some alternatives. Such as, you can use a 5-axis CNC machine with power, strength, top-notch precision, and incredible speed.

Moreover, you can also use ADOC (axial depth of cut) and DOC (radial depth of cut) to core out the extensive scrap material without facing tremendous residual stress.

2. Achieving the Specific Aerospace Component Properties

The aerospace industry always requires highly accurate and robust materials to do heavy tasks. However, attaining specific material properties is not a piece of cake. No material can be used for aerospace component manufacturing without strength and harness. So, to keep everything on track, heat-treating is performed.

Heat-treating the CNC material before manufacturing will enhance its strength. But it’ll also pose more challenges. Such as it will increase the hardness, strength, and so difficulty of machines without wearing down the CNC tools. It is possible to heat-treat the CNC material after the CNC machining.

However, that would affect the material specifications and alter the aerospace components’ specifications.

So, there is cost, time, and additional cost of wearing down CNC tools. The best way to tackle this challenge is to accept the extra expense and time. Because compromising the quality can afterward result in millions of dollars of loss. It’s best to heat treat the material after the CNC machining.

Although it will impact the specification, you can always do the CNC machining to adjust the specification for precision.

You can adopt an alternative way instead of heat-treating the CNC material. You can do the tempering and aging to minimize the changes in CNC materials’ dimensions. After the tempering and aging, you can press quench the material instead of oil quenching to decrease the differences in sizes.

3. Sourcing Materials

Before manufacturing any aerospace component, you must source them to CNC machine them. However, sourcing the material is a hell of a task. Superalloys and plastics are expensive, difficult to source, and highly time-consuming to ship. Materials like titanium, aluminum, nickel alloys, and Ultem are used in the aerospace industry.

These challenges will always hover around aerospace component manufacturing. The best way to overcome these issues is to take manufacturing services from reliable companies like Yijin Hardware.

4. Sophisticated Geometry of Aerospace Components

One aspect of the aerospace industry is the complexity of aerospace components. The sophisticated design, the sleek and appealing curves, and the high precision can be daunting. That’s why manufacturing aerospace components pose a severe challenge to CNC machining.

Sometimes, a complex geometric design is not a need. Such as in the case of internal components where the design is complex. It impacts the time of manufacturing these parts, total cost, and durability. The best way to tackle this issue is to simplify the complex geometric design where possible.

For example, the internal components of a plane don’t need fancy curves. The 5-axis CNC machine is the best cure for detailed geometric designs.

5. Low Quantity production of Aerospace Components

Unlike consumer products, aerospace components are manufactured in low quantities. There is no mass production of aerospace parts, so the aerospace industry often struggles to find the right CNC manufacturers. In 2019 only 1,377 aircraft were manufactured and delivered compared to the 40.8 million iPhones.

So, on low profits setting up a big setup for producing low-quantity aerospace components isn’t the best option for many manufacturers. Yet, you can negotiate the terms and conditions with them and increase the order quantity by adding the finishing process. Time and cost are unavoidable for getting the quality.

So, putting some extra bucks into the budget is not a bad idea. for manufacturing aerospace components.


The aerospace industry is challenging, and aerospace components are tricky to manufacture. For manufacturing aerospace parts, there are high-quality CNC materials and ways to reduce costs. More than CNC machining, you need a trustworthy manufacturer.

Especially with the knowledge, expertise, and experience to make precise aerospace components. You can follow the expert guidelines of Yijin Hardware. It has extensive knowledge, proven experience, and delighted clientele worldwide. Moreover, Yijin Hardware can provide you with the best CNC materials and robust aerospace components.

So, next time you wander in search of a reliable manufacturer who can surpass the challenges of CNC machining aerospace components, contact Yijin Hardware.

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