Last updated: July 21, 2020

What Does Machinability Mean?

Machinability defines the ease at which a material (mainly metal) can be cut or shaped while providing a satisfactory surface finish. A material with good machinability requires little power to cut, produces a smooth surface finish and minimizes wear on the tooling. By contrast, a material with poor machinability requires more power to cut, gives a poor surface finish and wears the cutting tool. As such, materials with poor machinability cost more to process.


Corrosionpedia Explains Machinability

The machinability of a material depends on its physical and mechanical properties, as well as its condition. Some physical and mechanical properties that can determine a metal’s machinability include hardness, yield strength, modulus of elasticity and compressive strength.

Condition refers to the composition of the material, including but not limited to its microstructure, chemical composition, grain size and heat treatment process.

The American Iron and Steel Institute has adopted ratings for measuring the machinability of metals. AISI No. 1112 carbon steel is arbitrarily assigned a machinability rating of 100%. All other machinability ratings are, therefore, rated against this value.


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