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Exquisite metal phone case processing technology

The number of clicks: Updated: 2017-07-05

Since the iPhone 5 started the metal trend with all-magnesium aluminum alloys, many mobile phone manufacturers have begun to adopt metal appearance parts to varying degrees. How many processes does a piece of metal casting need to go through to become a beautiful mobile phone case in our hands?

LeTV's mobile phone Le Max uses all-metal phones, and each metal body is more than 100 minutes in the production line. Let's reveal the 16 exquisite craftsmanship that it has gone from a piece of aluminum weighing 357g to the final 37.5g finished shell.

铝挤 Aluminum extrusion

CNC mobile phone processing

The first step is to cut and extrude the cylindrical aluminum material. This process is called aluminum extrusion, which will make the aluminum material into a 10mm aluminum plate for easy processing, and at the same time, it will be more dense and hard.

DDG 2. DDG

Mobile CNC processing

Using a CNC machine tool ( high-speed drilling and tapping center ), the aluminum plate is accurately milled into a regular three-dimensional volume of 152.2 × 86.1 × 10mm through DDG to facilitate subsequent CNC finishing.

粗铣内腔 3. Rough milling inner cavity

Mobile CNC processing

In order to facilitate CNC processing, the metal body is clamped with a wall fixture. Rough milling the inner cavity, and processing the inner cavity and the positioning column combined with the fixture are very important for subsequent processing.

铣天线槽 4.Milling Antenna Slots

Mobile CNC processing

For all-metal mobile phones, the most difficult problem is the signal problem. When the iPhone 4 was just launched, it also encountered the problem of poor signal caused by the metal frame. Similarly, metal aluminum can also shield (weaken) the radio frequency signal of the mobile phone, so it must go through a slot method to allow the signal to have an in and out path. Therefore, milling the antenna slot is the most important and difficult step. The antenna slot must be milled uniformly, and the necessary link points must be maintained to ensure the strength and overall feel of the metal case.

T处理 5. T processing

Mobile CNC processing

After milling the antenna groove, the "T treatment" is used to process the aluminum into a surface that can be combined with engineering plastics. The metal body needs to be placed in a special T fluid and other chemical agents to form nano-scale holes (1 nanometer = 10 to 9th cubic meters) on the surface of the aluminum material to prepare for the next nano injection molding.

NMT纳米注塑 6. NMT Nano Injection

CNC machining center

The "injection" link allows the NMT nano-injection process to be realized because of the metal body processed by T before. NMT nano injection molding is to squeeze special plastics under high temperature and high pressure into T-treated metal materials, so that the plastic and the nano-scale small holes on the metal surface layer are tightly combined to achieve the purpose of fastening the antenna.

精铣弧面 7.Fine milling arc surface

Mobile CNC processing

For all-metal mobile phones, in addition to the signal antenna being difficult to handle, there is also the 3D shaping of the metal body, which is also the most time-consuming process, which takes more than 1,000 seconds.

精铣侧边 8.Fine milling side

Mobile CNC machining milling machine

Attentive friends may notice that the 3D arc surface of the metal body has been milled by the CNC , but there is still a circle of redundancy on the edge. At this time, the side needs to be finely milled, and then the prototype of the metal shell can be seen .

抛光 9. Polishing

Mobile CNC processing

Before using the top high-speed precision CNC machine tools , but also can only achieve A1 ~ A2 grade finish, in order to meet the needs of subsequent processing, it needs to be polished to A0 grade finish, can be a mirror effect.

喷砂 10. Sandblasting

CNC machining center

However, the all-metal phone is not a full-gloss effect, but a matte surface. This requires that the metal surface be treated to a matte effect through a "sandblasting" process.

一次阳极 11. Primary anode

CNC machining center

Aluminum alloy is relatively stable, so it must be anodized in order not to be disturbed by external factors such as sweat. At the same time, this is also the process of coloring the mobile phone. Through anodizing, the aluminum color becomes golden. The process of dyeing aluminum alloy is very difficult to control. If the control is not good, color differences and spots will appear, which will also reduce the yield.

高光处理 12. Highlight processing

CNC machining center

The extremely shiny cutting edge design requires the use of the highest grade ultra-high-speed CNC machine to cut the corners. This process is also called drilling or high-gloss processing.

精铣内腔 13.Fine milling inner cavity

CNC Plus Center

After 12 steps of processing, the metal shell has begun to take shape. At this time, excess materials such as positioning posts used for fixture locking must be removed to keep the metal shell completely clean.

二次阳极 14. Secondary anode

CNC machining center

The shell that has been processed by CNC also needs a second anodizing process to oxidize the surface to form a dense, hard oxide film, making it more wear-resistant and less prone to staining.

铣导电位 15.Milling electrical potential

CNC machining center

The conductive effect of the aluminum alloy shell after anodizing becomes worse, so it is necessary to remove the local anodized film to expose the metal to obtain a good grounding effect, and it also needs to undergo another CNC treatment of milling the conductive position.

热熔螺母 16.Hot melt nut

CNC machining

Finally, a robotic arm is used to embed the assembly nut into the prepared plastic to ensure future phone assembly.

In the past, plastic mobile phone casings could be mass-produced by manufacturing molds, but they could not meet people's requirements for high-quality mobile phones. The current metal mobile phone case is completely made by CNC precision machine tools one by one. After the phone is made, it looks more beautiful, looks dazzling, feels more amazing and feels more comfortable to use.

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