One of the advantages of working with a specialty aluminum supplier is the option that is available in the various products offered. Just as there are different types of metal used in various applications in fabrication, manufacturing, processing and construction, there are different alloys and options for the particular application.
Difference in Plate and CT & J Plate
This is true when it comes to aluminum cast tool and jig plate as well as other types of aluminum plate, bar, and rod. It is essential to recognize there is a difference between aluminum cast tool and jig plate and aluminum plate.
Any type of aluminum alloy can be sold as plate. This is simply the shape designation of the aluminum alloy. Most general aluminum suppliers will offer aluminum plate, sometimes called sheet, in most alloys from the 1100 series through to 7075. This plate is typically offered in thickness of less than an inch to up to twelve inches, but this will vary between suppliers.
Aluminum cast tool and jig plate are produced with a very fine grain aluminum. This is made using precision machining techniques that undergoes a thermal stress relieving treatment. The treatment allows for the release of internal stress that provides stability to the plate for future machining.
The lack of internal stress means that the CT & J plate will not distort with typical machining applications. For use in tool and jig manufacturing, this is an essential element to allow for precise parts and components without the need to complete additional operations on the parts after machining.
There are different thicknesses of this type of plate as well. The exact tolerances for the surface, reported as the maximum deviation from flat, will have some variance based on the thickness and the quality of the CT & J plate selected.