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chepokee 09-03-2009 04:21 PM

i was just wondering if anybody here does any work with titanium or inconel, i'm having alot of trouble with it

tdoty 09-03-2009 05:00 PM

Titanium is too high dollar for me. I've machined it a bit, but that's about it. Titanium's high modulus of elasticity makes me think it would be difficult to shape, since it has quite a bit of "memory" and wants to return to its original shape.

Kerry, did you get a chance to play with the ti that Jeffrey brought to MM08?

Tim D.

kenb 09-03-2009 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by chepokee (Post 3800)
i was just wondering if anybody here does any work with titanium or inconel, i'm having alot of trouble with it

I have a few peices of Ti over here that were sent to me by Geoffery (Gonejunking) from Metalmeet, to make another baseball cap from the same patterns I used to make the previous hats I've made from 3003. I have yet to go to work on that project though, and I anticipate that I'll need a whole new set of procedures to make this one.

Geoffery did mention a couple of things I can share with you though. He says that Titanium has to be worked hot, I'm not sure exactly how hot though. This will force me to rethink my shrinking techniques a bit, as I can't picture myself pounding any red hot peices of titanium on my leather sandbag or my maple stump with UHMW hammerheads!
I'm not sure how hot you have to heat it to trigger the reaction, but titanium apparently turns dark blue when heated, which explains the factory supplied color scheme on the SR71 Blackbird surveillance aircraft. Geoffery suggested that I braze my hat sections together, so that the brass color of the braze will provide an attractive contrast with the dark blue color of the titanium.

Hope this helps.

EDIT: I checked out my notes from talking with Geoffery, and he said that Ti can also be worked cold, but he warns that working it that way makes stainless look like butter! Also, those in the know state that 1000F is the required temperature to trigger the blue color reaction from your titanium.


Larry Hampton 09-03-2009 10:35 PM

My chassis guy welds up stainless or inconel tubing for headers, but I don't think he forms any of it.

kenb 09-04-2009 06:46 PM

I spent a bit of time this afternoon googling the search term "shaping titanium" to see what came up. Among the hits I got, I found these two links that provide some general information about this material that might be of interest:

here's what the wiki collective had to say:

lots of info on turning/milling/cutting/drilling here:

I haven't found much information yet on shaping the stuff, but I'll keep looking around. I found lots of suppliers and fabricator/shapers as well, but they didn't seem too keen on sharing their trade secrets on their public websites for some reason! :confused:

As Tim mentioned previously, shape memory is a seriously dominant trait of this type of metal, so we can expect a good fight when we try to move it around into meaningful shapes. It's a terrific material for making eyeglasses frames that spring back to their original shape after being mangled up, which I suppose would be a good quality for people who tend to get punched in the face alot, but a poor quality for guys like us who want to do some shaping with it. :)

I'll post any new links I find that may be of interest. I think I see another ball-cap project on the horizon.


chepokee 09-07-2009 07:31 PM

as i have found ti is one of the hardest materiel to work with, heat is a great way to get it to move but when it turns blue it is no good for aerospace, and it get brittle. other then heat i can't get it to do what i would like to. if anybody knows how to shape ti and is willing to teach it to me my work would be willing to fly me down and pay for a course.

bobadame 09-07-2009 11:07 PM

Kent White is the man you need to talk to.

Joe Hartson 09-07-2009 11:45 PM

What kind of shapes are you trying to get?

chris@whiterhino 09-15-2009 01:23 AM

I've welded it but never tried to shape it. That must be a fun project.

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