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Everything You Should Know Before Custom Titanium Products

Table of Contents

Overview

Titanium – the word came from the Greek word “Titans” which basically means the Gods. The strong material has the atomic number 22 in the periodic table and has an atomic weight of 47.87. The metal is now one of the most popular metals used in modern era industry-shaping with high durability, ductility and strength. Technically it is now ruling most of the metal industries along with stainless steel and aluminum.

Understanding What Is Titanium

Titanium is a very lightweight and highly durable metal that can be used to build many parts from many industries. From watches, earrings to aerospace parts, surgical and military equipment – titanium are being used everywhere nowadays.

The Name Of Titanium Came From Greek Word Titan

The name came from the Greek word for Gods, “Titan”.  So, we can understand the strength and durability behind this marvelous material. For the following reasons, titanium is a very popular material and being more and more popular day by day –

  • As we have stated, you can find the material very strong but lightweight to work with. Compared to steel, a titanium bar is 40-45% lightweight.
  • Parts made from titanium are rust and corrosion-resistant.
  • Titanium can be easily alloyed with iron, molybdenum, or aluminum which makes it perfect for a vast range of industries.
  • For lightweight, it has aerospace applications while for salt resistance, Titanium also has many underwater and marine applications.

Nowadays, it is one of the most popular metals in the market.

Why Use Titanium Machining Services?

For many reasons, you can use titanium machining Services. It is a very good metal to work with because of –

  • Its high strength and durability but low density. For these reasons, it’s best to put in those parts where you need low weight but good strength.

You Can Use Titanium In Many Industries

  • Lightweight and resistant to temperature makes it perfect for aerospace industries.
  • For corrosion resistance and salt resistance, you can certainly use it in ships and boats which gives it underwater and marine applications.
  • Last but not the least, even in watch industries, they are praised and appreciated for being lightweight on the wrists.

Moreover, as they can be alloyed easily with many other metals, machining them becomes quite easy.

Common Applications of Titanium Machining Parts

Titanium machining parts find application in various industries due to the unique properties of titanium. Some common applications include:

  • Aerospace and Automotive: Titanium sheet and tubing are pivotal in designing lighter, more efficient aircraft and vehicles. Its resistance to extreme temperatures and corrosion contributes to safer, more reliable transportation.
  • Medical Innovations: The medical sector benefits greatly from titanium. Its use in dental implants and body-friendly jewelry highlights its biocompatibility, ensuring that medical devices are safe and long-lasting.
  • Chemical Processing: Corrosion-resistant, suitable for reactors, heat exchangers, and pipes in harsh chemical environments.
  • Military and Defense: Valued for strength, durability, and corrosion resistance in armor, missile components, and military equipment.
  • Oil and Gas: Crucial for corrosion-resistant equipment, including offshore platforms, pipelines, and downhole components.
  • Power Generation: Used in power plants for heat exchangers and condensers due to resistance to corrosion and high temperatures.
  • Electronics and Consumer Goods: Utilized in smartphones, laptops, and watches for durability and modern aesthetic appeal.
  • Marine: Essential in marine applications for corrosion-resistant components like propeller shafts, valves, and underwater equipment.
  • Everyday Titanium: Beyond the specialized fields, titanium’s presence in consumer goods—like sports equipment and kitchenware—brings its superior properties into our daily lives. Customization options, such as anodized titanium, offer both aesthetic beauty and functional benefits.

The unique combination of strength, low density, and corrosion resistance makes titanium versatile for various applications in various industries.titanium machining services 1

Advantages of Using Titanium in Machining Services

Using titanium in machining services offers several advantages, making it a preferred material in various industries. Here are some key advantages:

High Strength-to-Weight Ratio:

  • Titanium is strong and durable yet lightweight, crucial for weight-sensitive applications like aerospace.

Corrosion Resistance:

  • Exhibits excellent corrosion resistance, enhancing the longevity and reliability of machined parts.

Biocompatibility:

  • Biocompatible and non-toxic, making it ideal for medical implants.

Heat Resistance:

  • Withstands high temperatures without compromising strength, suitable for aerospace, power generation, and automotive components.

Low Thermal Expansion:

  • Minimal expansion/contraction with temperature changes, ensuring dimensional stability.

Excellent Machinability:

  • Machinable with modern tools and techniques, allowing for efficient and precise machining.

Aesthetic Appeal:

  • Modern and attractive appearance, popular in consumer goods and high-end applications.

Non-Magnetic:

  • Non-magnetic, minimizing interference in certain medical and electronic applications.

Long Service Life:

  • High strength, corrosion resistance, and durability contribute to a prolonged service life.

Environmental Resistance:

  • Resistant to environmental factors, suitable for outdoor and marine applications.

titanium machining services 2Challenges of Machining Using Titanium Alloys

Machining titanium alloys presents challenges due to their high hardness, low thermal conductivity, and chemical reactivity. The hardness requires specialized tools to prevent accelerated wear, while low thermal conductivity leads to heat-related issues during machining. Chemical reactivity with elements like oxygen forms abrasive titanium oxides, affecting tool life and surface finish. Work hardening introduces cutting force challenges, and low elastic modulus contributes to spring back and deflection.

Meeting stringent surface finish requirements, especially in aerospace and medical applications, can be demanding. Rigorous machine tools are essential for handling high forces and vibrations to prevent chatter and maintain accuracy. Adhesive tool wear, variations in material elasticity, and the higher cost of machining titanium alloys due to specialized tools and raw material expenses further contribute to the challenges. Overcoming these issues demands expertise, advanced tooling, and precise machining parameters, ensuring optimal results in producing high-quality titanium components within the constraints of increased costs and intricate machining processes.titanium machining services 3

Common Compositions of Titanium Alloys Used for Machining

Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5):

  • 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium. Widely used for its high strength, low weight, and corrosion resistance in aerospace and medical applications.

Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-2Mo (Ti 6-2-4-2):

  • 6% aluminum, 2% tin, 4% zirconium, 2% molybdenum. Offers strength and creep resistance at high temperatures, suitable for aircraft engine components.

Ti-3Al-2.5V (Grade 9):

  • 3% aluminum, 2.5% vanadium. Known for high strength, weldability, and formability, used in bicycle frames and exhaust systems.

Ti-6Al-6V-2Sn (Ti 6-6-2):

  • 6% aluminum, 6% vanadium, 2% tin. Provides enhanced strength at elevated temperatures, utilized in aerospace applications.

Ti-5Al-2.5Sn (Ti 5-2.5):

  • 5% aluminum, 2.5% tin. Offers good weldability and corrosion resistance, commonly used in aircraft components.

Ti-15V-3Al-3Sn-3Cr (Beta C):

  • 15% vanadium, 3% aluminum, 3% tin, 3% chromium. Known for good fatigue resistance, used in aerospace, especially landing gear components.

Commercially Pure Titanium (Grade 2 and Grade 4):

  • Grade 2 is unalloyed, Grade 4 contains small amounts of palladium. Both offer excellent corrosion resistance and find applications in chemical processing and medical implants.

The selection of a specific titanium alloy is based on the desired characteristics for the intended application, such as strength, temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, and formability.

titanium machining services 4

Anticipated Future Trends in Titanium Machining

Future trends in titanium machining are likely to be shaped by advancements in cutting tools and coatings, aiming to enhance tool life and efficiency. High-speed machining techniques will see increased adoption, offering improved productivity and precision. The integration of additive manufacturing (3D printing) for complex titanium components is anticipated to grow, providing design flexibility and minimizing material waste.

Smart machining technologies, including sensors and real-time monitoring, are expected to optimize processes and detect anomalies. Robotics and automation will play a larger role in titanium machining, reducing labor costs and enhancing overall production efficiency. Sustainability will be a key focus, with innovations in eco-friendly coolant systems and recycling strategies to minimize the environmental impact.

Advancements in coolant and lubrication systems will address the heat generated during machining, improving tool life and surface finish. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) applications will contribute to predictive maintenance, tool path optimization, and overall process efficiency. Ongoing research in alloy development aims to create titanium alloys with enhanced machinability, balancing strength, and other properties.

The future also holds a rise in customized machining solutions tailored to specific industries and applications, allowing for more efficient and cost-effective production of titanium components. These trends collectively reflect the industry’s pursuit of efficiency, precision, and sustainability through technological and process innovations.

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Current Titanium Price per Kilogram or Pound

The price of titanium and its derivatives, such as titanium dioxide, fluctuates based on factors like market demand, raw material availability, and production costs. Insights into the current trends and factors affecting titanium prices can help consumers and businesses make informed decisions.

The current price of titanium varies by form and quality, with titanium sponge priced at approximately 51.5 CNY per kilogram as of March 11, 2024. Titanium ingots, plates, and tubes have different prices, with ingots (TA1) at about 61,000 CNY per metric ton, plates (TA2/3-8mm) at 75 CNY per kilogram, and tubes (TA2/25*2mm) at 112.5 CNY per kilogram. 

Cost Consideration When Purchasing Titanium Machining Services

  • Material Costs: Choose titanium alloy and form wisely to manage material expenses.
  • Machining Time and Labor Costs: Account for slower machining due to titanium’s hardness; efficient programming is key.
  • Tooling Costs: Invest in high-performance tools designed for titanium to improve efficiency.
  • Tool Change Frequency: Minimize tool changes through durable tool coatings and optimized cutting parameters.
  • Energy Consumption: Opt for energy-efficient machining processes to control operational costs.
  • Quality Assurance and Inspection Costs: Ensure compliance with standards to avoid rework expenses.
  • Waste and Scrap: Minimize waste through efficient cutting practices and recycling.
  • Post-Machining Processes: Factor in additional processes like heat treatment or finishing.
  • Supplier Expertise: Choose a reputable supplier with expertise in titanium machining.
  • Lead Time and Turnaround: Balance speed and cost-effectiveness in project timelines.

Considering these factors comprehensively allows for a more accurate assessment of the total cost of titanium machining services and helps in making informed decisions to optimize both cost and quality.

titanium machining services 6

The Most Common Types Of Titanium Alloys

Titanium alloys are very strong, durable, and lightweight. You can work with them very easily. The alloys can be categorized as Alpha, near-Alpha, Beta, and near-Beta alloys.

Grade 1-4 alloys are non-alloyed titanium that is low in strength but has high corrosion.

Among all the alloys, Grade 5 titanium Ti 6Al-4V is very popular to work with. Minimum 50% of the world’s titanium is used in this form. This is actually an Alpha-Beta alloy that has 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, 0.25% iron, 0.2% oxygen in it. Most of aerospace fasteners, structures, and turbines are made of this alloy. Besides, engine parts, sports and marine equipment parts are also made with this alloy.

Ti 5Al-2.5Sn (Grade 6) is another alloy known for its applications in aerospace parts. It is a non-heat treatable alloy with much popularity to work with because of its durability, strength, and temperature tolerance.

Most Of The Aerospace Parts Are Titanium Made Now

Another alloy has versatile usage in different industries like aerospace, marine, and medical sectors. It is Ti Grade 9 (Titanium 3-2.5). Besides Titanium, it has 3% Aluminum and 2.5% Vanadium.

In the medical sector, the most used Titanium alloy is Ti 6AL-4V ELI (Grade 23). This can be easily molded and has good performance in bone and joint fixation surgeries.

Other popular alloys are Titanium Beta 21S, Ti 3Al 2.5 (Grade 12), and Titanium 15-3-3-3.

Things To Consider In Titanium Machining Services

Titanium CNC Machining is a popular process for manufacturing many parts from numerous industries like Medical, Automotive, Marine and Aerospace. Whatever your part is and whichever industry it is a part of, you must consider the following points while doing CNC machining with Titanium –

  • There are possibilities of adhesive wear or galling if two parts of Titanium are cold-welded.  The machining should be in such a way that seizing up can be avoided of two contact points of the metal.

Galling Can Happen While Machining Titanium

  • You should consider reducing RPM in a CNC machine while working with Titanium. Besides, you can also use a cooling machine as Titanium produces much heat at the contact points while CNC machining.
  • As Titanium is rather less flexible compared to other metals and their alloys, you should provide a hard grip on the CNC machine while working with this metal. The automation should be kept running while working on a big scale for maximum benefits.
  • The CNC machine parts should be stronger and durable compared to Titanium. Otherwise, it may lead to broken parts.
  • The tools should be as sharp as they can be because of the strong nature of this material. Besides, adding a secondary finishing stage can also help you give good polished results.

The Reason That Titanium is Difficult To Machine

Many reasons make Titanium a little difficult to work with –

  • The formation of Titanium requires much more strength than other materials
  • Because of surface oxidation and lower thermal conductivity, the tools cutting the material can lose their edge quite easily
  • The swarf of Titanium are flammable and can create problem in case of a fire in the working place
  • It has a 40-50% lower elasticity modulus than that of steel and its alloys which can increase uncomfortability to work with it
  • Automation is very difficult if you are not working with the right people. A slight difference in the automation process from the recommended one can lead to the jeopardy of your production

How To Achieve High-Speed Titanium Machining?

Because of its properties, Titanium is a good material to work with. But for the same reasons, you may find it difficult to increase the production speed with Titanium machining. But there are certain techniques to increase the speed.

You Should Choose The Perfect Cutting Tools For High Speed Machining

Cutting Tools

Cutting Tools must be chosen according to the properties of Titanium to get the best speed possible. The material used in the cutting tools is the key for high-speed manufacturing. The material in the tool should be –

  • Highly resistant to temperature
  • They cannot mix with Titanium chemically while the temperature is high
  • The strength and durability of the material should be pretty high
  • Need good thermal conductivity rate
Turning With Rotary Inserts

This technology has around passing path for the material and cuts the metal without giving it the time to heat up. So, this can be easily used for turning Titanium without having risk of temperature.

Cutting With Ledge Tools

You can use tools that have thin protruding ledges to cut Titanium. Chipping and flanking with these tools can be easy and speedy. The chips are very thin and can be used in many parts’ production. These types of tools were first developed by General Electric.

Ultrasonic Vibration

You can use ultrasonic vibration to remove the extra metal for giving Titanium the shape you desire. If you use ultrasonic vibration to your tools, the process becomes much easier and the force helps to give the cutting tools better longevity.

If you can apply the above-mentioned strategies, then you can surely pace up the speed of titanium machining. Certainly elasticity, temperature and high strength are the three key parts that can meddle with titanium machining. If you can match your tools with these properties, then you can certainly have a high-speed manufacturing process.

Which Grade Of Titanium Is Best For Machining?

Various grades of titanium are available in the market. Titanium alloys are good in strength, ductility, and durability.

Grade 1-4 titanium has hardness 100, 90, 80, and 70 giving them machinability 46%, 40%, 35%, and 28%. These are basically the easiest materials to machine.

Many Surgical Accessories Are Made From Titanium

When it comes to alloys, almost 50% of all titanium used in machining are of Grade 5 Titanium Ti-6Al-4V, 4906, 4920, 4928. This Alpha-Beta alloy has good properties for machining and manufacturing products for different industries like medical, marine, and aerospace.

Ti-3Al-2.5V, 4943, 4944 are also popular for versatile industries. The alloy has 28% machinability and works quite well even in the medical field.

Finishes Available for Titanium Products

  • Anodized Titanium: Offers a wide range of colors through an electrochemical process, enhancing both the aesthetics and corrosion resistance of titanium products.
  • Polished: Creates a shiny, reflective surface, commonly used in titanium jewelry and decorative items for an elegant look.
  • Matte: Provides a non-reflective finish, ideal for applications where a subdued appearance is preferred.
  • Sandblasted: Offers a uniform, rough texture that enhances grip and reduces the visibility of fingerprints and smudges.
  • Brushed: Features fine lines for a textured appearance that can hide minor scratches and wear.
  • Black Titanium: Achieved through chemical treatment or physical vapor deposition, resulting in a sleek, modern finish that’s scratch-resistant.

These finishes can be applied to various titanium products such as sheets, tubing, jewelry, and foils, depending on the desired outcome in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

Find The Best Titanium Machining Services Company

You can find some tips here to help you with finding out the best titanium machining service provider –titanium grade 5 8

  • Quality Control:
    Check out the paper trail and numbering regarding the quality control process of the CNC machining provider to find out if their quality control process is up to the mark.

  • Experience In Titanium:
    CNC machining is a modern-day cutting-edge technology. You must learn if a service provider has enough experience in titanium as it has many unusual properties to work with.

  • Minimum Order Quantity:
    Check out the MOQ of the company. If it has a lower minimum order quantity for titanium products, then it can help you enter the market easily.
  • Delivery Schedule:
    You should find out the delivery time required for an order from the company. If their past records show delivery on time has been achieved, then you can proceed.
  • Customer Care:
    Customer care services can be measured through communication and quotation achievements. If you go through it, then you can measure easily if they are going to give you comfort in working or not.

If you are satisfied with these points of different CNC machining companies, then you should analyze the market and proceed to a field visit, then you can absolutely understand which is the best one to work with.

Conclusion

Titanium is a popular material nowadays. The parts manufactured with this strong material are ruling many industries, from medical to vehicles and even ornaments and accessories. For lightweight titanium ornaments and watches are even embraced by everyone around you. These are all the reasons you should go for titanium machining for your next project.

 
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