What Are the Most Durable Materials for CNC Machining?

Introduction to Durable Materials in CNC Machining

Choosing the right material for CNC machining plays a crucial role in the success of manufacturing. The material's durability directly impacts the quality, performance, and lifecycle of the finished product. With a range of materials available, understanding their properties is essential for selecting the best one for specific applications.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel stands out as one of the most durable materials for CNC machining. It offers a balance of strength, corrosion resistance, and versatility which makes it particularly valuable for various industries, including medical, automotive, and aerospace.

  • Grade 304: Known for excellent corrosion resistance, thermal properties, and an ability to withstand sanitizing chemicals. Tensile strength ranges between 515-750 MPa.
  • Grade 316: Provides added resistance to chloride environments. Tensile strength is typically around 515 MPa.
  • Grade 416: It is easy to machine while offering increased strength and hardness. Tensile strength ranges from 520 to 880 MPa.


Titanium offers a superb strength-to-weight ratio while being highly resistant to corrosion and heat. This material thrives in extreme environments, making it suitable for aerospace, medical implants, and high-performance automotive parts.

  • Grade 2: Commercially pure titanium offering moderate strength and excellent corrosion resistance. Tensile strength typically ranges from 275–410 MPa.
  • Grade 5: Known as Ti-6Al-4V, this alloy combines superior strength (up to 1100 MPa tensile strength) with good corrosion resistance.


Inconel is a superalloy famed for its excellent high-temperature strength and resistance to oxidation and corrosion. It is predominantly used in aerospace, chemical processing, and marine applications.

  • Inconel 625: Offers outstanding fatigue and thermal-fatigue strength, oxidation and corrosion resistance. Tensile strength typically ranges from 828 MPa.
  • Inconel 718: Provides high yield, tensile, and creep-rupture properties at temperatures up to 700 °C. Tensile strength can exceed 1200 MPa.

Tool Steels

Tool steels are tailored for use in cutting and machining tools due to their distinctive hardness, resistance to abrasion, and ability to retain a cutting edge. These materials are integral in industries requiring robust and precise components.

  • A2: Known for its good toughness and high dimensional stability after hardening. Tensile strength ranges from 1450 to 2040 MPa.
  • D2: Offers high wear and abrasion resistance, making it suitable for tooling, dies, and cutting applications. Tensile strength ranges from 2040 to 2340 MPa after heat treatment.


Carbide deserves a mention due to its incredible hardness and wear resistance. Primarily used in tooling and cutting applications, it ensures longevity and precise machining capabilities.

  • Composition: Typically consists of tungsten carbide particles bonded with cobalt.
  • Hardness: Ranges from 1600 to 1700 HV, making it one of the hardest materials used in CNC machining.


Selecting the most suitable material depends on the specific requirements, including mechanical properties, environmental conditions, and cost. By understanding the attributes of various durable materials, manufacturers can make informed decisions to optimize the performance and longevity of their CNC machined parts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top