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Aluminum Nitride CNC Machined Parts

Aluminum Nitride (ALN) CNC Machining Services

CNC Machining Aluminum Nitride (ALN) Utilizing 4 Axis And 5-Axis CNC Machines
Valley Design has expanded its existing 4 Axis CNC Aluminum Nitride machining capabilities with the acquisition of new 5 Axis CNC equipment. We are excited to announce that our AlN CNC machining services will be greatly improved with the addition of 5 Axis capabilities. Now CNC machining of Aluminum Nitride ceramics will be performed with increased efficiency, accuracy, and improved quality. Valley can machine AlN into complex 3 dimensional parts, and utilizing 5 Axis technology features such as steps, slots, holes, channels, chamfers, pockets, counterbores, notches and radii are now more readily producible. Our 4 axis and 5 axis CNC machines are fully programmable on all axes, and are accurate to micron levels. The Haas CNC equipment has positional accuracy of 5 microns, and repeatability of 2.5 microns on the X, Y and Z axes. Having the capability of multiple tool changes within a single cycle, means that features in Aluminum Nitride can be made with extreme accuracy. The placement of holes, notches, flats and cavities along with custom profiles and unique features can be produced efficiently and accurately.

Aluminum Nitride (AlN) CNC Machining Services provided by Valley Design:

  • AlN CNC Milling
  • Aluminum Nitride CNC Grinding
  • AlN CNC Hole Drilling
  • Aluminum Nitride CNC Core Drilling
  • AlN CNC Edging
  • Aluminum Nitride 3-D Contouring
  • CNC Machined Custom Features and Custom Shaping

CNC machining using 5 axis technology involves using a CNC milling machine to move a part or cutting tool along 5 different axes simultaneously. This enables the machining of very complex parts out of a wide variety of materials including Aluminum Nitride (AlN) ceramics. The 5 axes are the typical X, Y and Z, as well as 2 rotational axes A and C. The A axis rotates in the X, while the C axis rotates in the Z axis. 5 axis CNC machining on Aluminum Nitride can significantly improve accuracy, registration and true position, and at times 5 different operations can be reduced to 1 or 2 operations, increasing efficiency. That is why 5 axis CNC machining is especially useful for critical applications such as aerospace, medical, telecommunications, semiconductor and micro electronics. Utilizing 5 axis CNC machining on Aluminum Nitride can reduce processing time, as there is a push towards single set up machining (sometimes referred to as “done in one” to reduce lead time and increase efficiency.

Workholding is a major element in producing successful results from CNC machining of Aluminum Nitride and other ceramics. Valley Design has 50 years of experience in workholding and custom tooling and fixturing. This experience has been gained through the many years of working with a wide variety of materials, both hard and soft. We have also applied the knowledge learned from all of the various other machining functions we perform including precision lapping and polishing, backgrinding, core drilling, dicing, edge and angle polishing, OD and ID grinding, Blanchard grinding and more. In our facility, we operate our own machine shop for producing custom tooling and fixturing for even the most challenging projects.

Valley can process Aluminum Nitride parts from as small as .127mm square to as large as 4.5 “square as a stocked standard size. Larger geometries are available on a custom order basis. Typical stock thicknesses range from .001″ up to .500″ thick, thicker AlN is also available as a custom ordered item. Valley can thin and polish AlN parts 1cm square to as thin as 15-20 microns. A wide range of surface textures and surface finishes are available on CNC machined Aluminum Nitride from 40-60″ Ra, to fine machined 25 Ra”. Valley also polishes Aluminum Nitride to 10-15 Ra”, or can fine polish to as low as 1″ Ra. The Haas CNC has a size limitation of 30″ in the X axis, 20″ in the Y axis, and 16″ in the Z axis. Machine travel in the B axis tilt is +110 degrees to -35 degrees, and in the C axis is 360 degrees.

Measuring and inspecting complex 3D parts is often one of the more difficult tasks to perform as a function of manufacturing these types of parts. When a Certified First Article is required, Valley has the capability to offer CMM metrology services. A Coordinate Measurement Machine is used to measure the physical geometrical characteristics of an object, and measurements are defined by a probe which precisely records the X, Y and Z coordinates of an object. Valley also utilizes a Keyence IM Instant Measurement system which is a state-of-the-art, high precision, non contact metrology instrument, capable of measuring up to 99 different features per part.

CNC Machining Aluminum Nitride, Lapping, Polishing, Dicing

Many companies offer traditional CNC machining services on materials such as aluminum, stainless steel and other metal alloys. Valley Design is unique in that along with CNC machining of these standard metals, we can also provide CNC machining services on a wide variety of hard materials including Aluminum Nitride and other ceramics. Aluminum Nitride (AlN) is the perfect material if high thermal conductivity and electrical insulation is required. Aluminum Nitride has a coefficient of thermal expansion and electrical insulation properties that closely match Silicon, making it a useful material for electronic applications where high temperatures and heat dissipation is often a problem.

Applications for Aluminum Nitride CNC Machining:

  • Heat Sinks
  • Heat Spreaders
  • Substrates for electronic packages
  • Insulators for high power semiconductors
  • Thermocouple insulators
  • Microwave electronics
  • High power electronics
  • Chip carriers for sensors and detectors
  • Chucks and clamp rings for semiconductor processing equipment

Valley Design can provide all your CNC machined Aluminum Nitride (AlN) requirements. We also have a large inventory of raw Aluminum Nitride, as well as 1000’s of lapped and polished AlN finished wafers and substrates. Our Aluminum Nitride CNC machining is backed by 50 years of experience. We can provide any desired finished part by combining our CNC machining capabilities with our other conventional machining techniques including lapping, polishing, dicing, ultrasonic drilling, corner chamfering and radii forming. Along with CNC machining of AlN, we also lap, polish, dice and CNC machine a wide range of other materials such as Fused Silica, Glass, Quartz, Sapphire, other ceramics such as 96% and 99.6% Alumina, Macor, Silicon, Germanium and metals including Aluminum, Stainless Steel and other alloys. We also have experience with exotic alloys such as Inconel and Hastelloy, and plastics including glass filled plastics such as PEEK and Ultem. We can also CNC machine, lap and polish your provided material of any type. See our online stock list for readily available parts or contact us with your specific project requirements, and we will be happy to work with you.

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