Home 9 CNC Machining 9 5 Features of Processing Polyurethane on CNC Machines

Polyurethane materials are gaining more and more popularity in industrial production due to their invariable qualities. Basically, it is strength and relatively light compared to other types of materials. Another exceptional property of this material is its chemical resistance to various substances and media, which makes it possible to use polyurethane as a sealing element for various machine assemblies.

In addition, the material is widely used in interior design, and various decorative plates and many other architectural solutions are created from it.

CNC Milling machine mill part

CNC Milling

In this review, we will talk about the main features of processing polyurethane on a CNC milling machine.


Polyurethane Processing: Mechanical Aspects

The popularity and “love” for this material are also explained by the fact that the material practically does not produce waste during milling, it is easy and without difficulty cut on the machine.

Moreover, comfortable cutting occurs even with manual processing, however, even greater accuracy can be achieved on a CNC milling machine, especially when it comes to mass production.

The only disadvantage of polyurethane is its temperature characteristics. In other words, this material can maintain its optimal physical properties at a temperature not exceeding eighty degrees. This creates some difficulties in milling.

In this case, machining is faced with the fact that during intensive cutting of the material, the chips begin to melt and stick to the milling knives, during the same process; the grooves for chip removal are clogged with adhering molten material.


Optimal Ratio of the Spindle Rotational Frequency

Spindle Rotational Frequency CNC Milling Machine

Many specialists find the solution to this problem in the optimal ratio of the spindle rotational frequency and tool feed. In other words, the specialist should choose the optimal mode of operation of the milling machine.

At high speeds of the milling cutters and not quite a large feed of the tool, the polyurethane begins to melt. Also, troubles arise if the machine is equipped with somewhat dull knives.

The best effect when processing polyurethane is guaranteed by the so-called “corn” – the informal and rather comic name for special cutters that are equipped with bristle tips.


Model Plastic Processing on a CNC Milling Machine

One of the varieties of our polyurethane is another interesting material – the so-called model plastic. In general, this material is in no way inferior in its properties to classic polyurethane. Its processing is also carried out quite easily, there are practically no chips, and its physical properties are at a high level – strong, hard, and wear-resistant.

The main scope of modeling plastic is the development of various model architectural structures, and design projects. This material has found such an application due to the fact that there are practically no various roughnesses on its surface, and the material itself is distinguished by the high dimensional accuracy of geometric shapes.

However, the design and architectural scope of modeling plastic is not the only possible one. This material is used not only to create models and layouts of future architectural structures, original design structures.

As we have already noted, modeling plastic lends itself to fairly simple and easy milling on a CNC mill. And therefore, after such processing with the help of modeling plastic, you can create various matrices, shapes, or so-called master models.


CNC Milling Machine Advantages

As for the production of matrices, here a CNC milling machine gives one undoubted advantage – it eliminates the multi-stage process, and the whole process is reduced only to processing on milling cutters. In other words, to create a matrix on a CNC milling machine, there is no need for casting afterward. If you are looking for CNC milling Service, you can always trust Prolean, equipped with a state-of-the-art facility and experienced team, we can handle all kinds of CNC milling projects.

The final processing of the material on the machine gives an excellent result: the surface can be processed with sandpaper, and the model plastic turns into an almost mirror-like material.


Dense Foam: Features of Material Milling

Dense foam plastic is very often used in various design and architectural solutions – the creation of various facade elements, panels, and artistic sculptures for private houses. Here are a few features of foam processing with a CNC milling machine:

  • Processing can be carried out with great accuracy: the depth is from forty to sixty millimeters, and the accuracy of the milling itself is one millimeter;
  • Due to its physical properties (lack of hardness), the foam is easy to mill;
  • Under moderate cutting conditions, foam processing can be carried out even to a depth of up to seventy millimeters.

However, the processing of this material also has its own nuances, which are similar to polyurethane milling. Here, too, care must be taken when selecting cutters. Styrofoam must not be processed on a machine equipped with blunt knives.

After all, we have already managed to find out that the cutter, which has become dull from countless treatments, does not cut our material at all, but only begins to melt it.

single tooth thread milling cutter

single tooth thread milling cutter

Therefore, it will be relevant to use a single-thread end mill model for foam plastic. In the case of a double-start cutter, absolutely uneven wear of the teeth occurs. In turn, such wear causes vibration processes during processing. And in the situation of foam processing, even the smallest shocks can lead to damage to the material.


Features of Foam Material Processing Equipment

We have already found out that CNC milling machines are universal units that can handle a wide range of materials. Only in this review, we mentioned three popular and widely used materials at once – polyurethane, modeling plastic, and foam. But despite its versatility, there is specialized equipment for foam materials.

In terms of their design features, such units are practically no different from classic CNC milling models. However, there are still some nuances here. Instead of cutters, special threads are used here, which can be made from various metals – tungsten, titanium, and nichrome. Moreover, in the process of cutting the foam, such a thread is necessarily hot.

But the similarity with the classic milling machine is that here, too, a specially set program is responsible for the movement of the thread. Accordingly, the user of such a machine can program a special sketch, which will allow the machine to be used for cutting a figured type using a complex profile.



The only drawback of such machines is the fact that the cutting threads used instead of classic milling cutters have a rather limited field of action, in other words, limited mobility. For example, on such a machine, the possibility of creating three-dimensional 3D models from foam is excluded.

From this point of view, even the most budgetary CNC milling machine, where it is possible to create bulk workpieces, is preferable to such equipment with cutting hot threads.


Let’s Start A New Project Today