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Old Oct 07, 2012, 09:16 AM
Bill H
Guest
n/a Posts
Titanium welding

First. One of my colleagues at work asked if I knew where to obtain
titanium sheet. He wants to make a smaller tank for a racing
motorbike. Can anyone suggest a source for small quantities of
titanium sheet?

Second. This isn't a material I have had dealings with. How
difficult is is to form? How difficult is it to weld? Any advice.

Third. I assume this material has different alloys like aluminium.
Any particular grades we should be looking for?


Bill H
Derby
Old Oct 07, 2012, 10:31 AM
David Littlewood
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

In article <v93378ti5qi7t4e7bd53t0fg9vevn0ek4u@4ax.com>, Bill H
<howkersNOSPAM@lycos.co.uk> writes

>First. One of my colleagues at work asked if I knew where to obtain
>titanium sheet. He wants to make a smaller tank for a racing
>motorbike. Can anyone suggest a source for small quantities of
>titanium sheet?
>
>Second. This isn't a material I have had dealings with. How
>difficult is is to form? How difficult is it to weld? Any advice.
>
>Third. I assume this material has different alloys like aluminium.
>Any particular grades we should be looking for?
>
>
>Bill H
>Derby


Bill,

I have a rather small practical experience of working titanium alloys,
but did do quite a bit of research in preparation. To answer your
questions in reverse order (may make more sense that way):

Yes, there are numerous grades. One of the most popular, having very
high strength, is 6-4 (6% Al, 4% V (vanadium)).

All titanium grades are bloody difficult to work with. It work hardens
like buggery, it absorbs oxygen and even nitrogen when heated to form a
brittle surface layer (or even deeper on prolonged heating) so has to be
welded in an inert (usually argon) atmosphere. It can even catch fire if
machined too vigorously, and the fires are difficult to extinguish.

I never found a convenient retail source in the UK. You can find modest
sized sheets on eBay. Google throws up a few specialist suppliers (a few
in the UK, many more in the USA) but all the ones I found are of the
"contact us for a quote" type. At least one UK seller proudly proclaims
"no minimum order", so I'd try them first.

Oh, and it's pretty expensive.

If that sounds like I'm trying to put you off, well it's more that you
need to be aware of what you are letting yourself in for. Do bear in
mind my opening caveat; my hands-on experience was limited to turning a
few discs; if someone comes a long with more experience, their views
will be worth correspondingly more.

David
--
David Littlewood
Old Oct 07, 2012, 01:28 PM
etpm@whidbey.com
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

On Sun, 07 Oct 2012 15:16:11 +0100, Bill H <howkersNOSPAM@lycos.co.uk>
wrote:


>First. One of my colleagues at work asked if I knew where to obtain
>titanium sheet. He wants to make a smaller tank for a racing
>motorbike. Can anyone suggest a source for small quantities of
>titanium sheet?
>
>Second. This isn't a material I have had dealings with. How
>difficult is is to form? How difficult is it to weld? Any advice.
>
>Third. I assume this material has different alloys like aluminium.
>Any particular grades we should be looking for?
>
>
>Bill H
>Derby

Having welded 6al-4v titanium recently I can say that it is easy to
TIG weld. You MUST use argon or a similar inert gas to completely
shield the hot metal until cool. Any discoloration of the weld zone
means the titanium has become contaminated. So if you can build a box
to hold the argon, which is fairly easy, and know how to TIG weld
stainless then you can weld titanium. Since titanium transmits heat so
slowly you will need even less amperage than needed for SS.
ERic
Old Oct 07, 2012, 01:33 PM
Peter Fairbrother
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

On 07/10/12 16:31, David Littlewood wrote:

> In article <v93378ti5qi7t4e7bd53t0fg9vevn0ek4u@4ax.com>, Bill H
> <howkersNOSPAM@lycos.co.uk> writes

>> First. One of my colleagues at work asked if I knew where to obtain
>> titanium sheet. He wants to make a smaller tank for a racing
>> motorbike. Can anyone suggest a source for small quantities of
>> titanium sheet?
>>
>> Second. This isn't a material I have had dealings with. How
>> difficult is is to form? How difficult is it to weld? Any advice.
>>
>> Third. I assume this material has different alloys like aluminium.
>> Any particular grades we should be looking for?
>>
>>
>> Bill H
>> Derby

>
> Bill,
>
> I have a rather small practical experience of working titanium alloys,
> but did do quite a bit of research in preparation. To answer your
> questions in reverse order (may make more sense that way):
>
> Yes, there are numerous grades. One of the most popular, having very
> high strength, is 6-4 (6% Al, 4% V (vanadium)).
>
> All titanium grades are bloody difficult to work with. It work hardens
> like buggery, it absorbs oxygen and even nitrogen when heated to form a
> brittle surface layer (or even deeper on prolonged heating) so has to be
> welded in an inert (usually argon) atmosphere. It can even catch fire if
> machined too vigorously, and the fires are difficult to extinguish.
>
> I never found a convenient retail source in the UK. You can find modest
> sized sheets on eBay. Google throws up a few specialist suppliers (a few
> in the UK, many more in the USA) but all the ones I found are of the
> "contact us for a quote" type. At least one UK seller proudly proclaims
> "no minimum order", so I'd try them first.
>
> Oh, and it's pretty expensive.
>
> If that sounds like I'm trying to put you off, well it's more that you
> need to be aware of what you are letting yourself in for. Do bear in
> mind my opening caveat; my hands-on experience was limited to turning a
> few discs; if someone comes a long with more experience, their views
> will be worth correspondingly more.
>
> David


I agree with all the above, except maybe the fire part[1], and would
just add that I have done a little titanium welding.

You need to use dcen TIG with pure argon, a large trailing cup and a
loooong postflow, and you need for the back sides of the parts to be
thoroughly covered with argon too. Even medium-hot titanium turns to
glass if it's in contact with air.

An argon-filled glove box is useful, but not essential. Either way, you
will use a LOT of argon. No disposable cylinders here.

And the titanium has to be very very clean.

It's not _that_ tricky, there are a whole slew of sites and youtube vids
etc available to show you how, but it is a new skill even for the
exerienced TIG welder.


-- Peter Fairbrother

[1] I have never seen a lump of Ti on fire, or heard of anyone else
doing so, and I doubt it would continue to burn. Powder, sponge,
shavings, yes, lump??
Old Oct 07, 2012, 01:41 PM
David Littlewood
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

In article <5071cb04$0$1142$5b6aafb4@news.zen.co.uk>, Peter Fairbrother
<zenadsl6186@zen.co.uk> writes

>On 07/10/12 16:31, David Littlewood wrote:

>> Bill,
>>
>> All titanium grades are bloody difficult to work with. It work hardens
>> like buggery, it absorbs oxygen and even nitrogen when heated to form a
>> brittle surface layer (or even deeper on prolonged heating) so has to be
>> welded in an inert (usually argon) atmosphere. It can even catch fire if
>> machined too vigorously, and the fires are difficult to extinguish.
>>

>
>I agree with all the above, except maybe the fire part[1], and would
>just add that I have done a little titanium welding.
>
>You need to use dcen TIG with pure argon, a large trailing cup and a
>loooong postflow, and you need for the back sides of the parts to be
>thoroughly covered with argon too. Even medium-hot titanium turns to
>glass if it's in contact with air.
>
>An argon-filled glove box is useful, but not essential. Either way, you
>will use a LOT of argon. No disposable cylinders here.
>
>And the titanium has to be very very clean.
>
>It's not _that_ tricky, there are a whole slew of sites and youtube
>vids etc available to show you how, but it is a new skill even for the
>exerienced TIG welder.
>
>
>-- Peter Fairbrother
>
>[1] I have never seen a lump of Ti on fire, or heard of anyone else
>doing so, and I doubt it would continue to burn. Powder, sponge,
>shavings, yes, lump??


Peter,

Which is why I referred to machining; yes, it is only dust or fine
turning that pose a serious threat - but then it can be quite serious.
The following may be of interest:

http://www.titanium.org/files/ItemFileA4650.pdf

David
--
David Littlewood
Old Oct 07, 2012, 02:34 PM
Peter Fairbrother
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

On 07/10/12 19:41, David Littlewood wrote:
[...]

> Which is why I referred to machining; yes, it is only dust or fine
> turning that pose a serious threat - but then it can be quite serious.
> The following may be of interest:
>
> http://www.titanium.org/files/ItemFileA4650.pdf
>
> David


Yes.

If grinding is avoided then there will not be any titanium fines
produced in making a motorcycle fuel tank.

One tip for cutting titanium sheet is to use a cold chisel against an
anvil or similar. Works well for up to 1.5mm sheet, haven't tried on
thicker, but you wouldn't want to use thicker sheet for a fuel tank.
Aviation shears work too.


Oh, on buying Ti sheet from ebay - wait and watch for a bit before you
buy, sometimes there is cheap (-er) sheet available, usually from
eastern europe, sometimes only expensive sheet is available.


-- Peter Fairbrother
Old Oct 07, 2012, 06:08 PM
Peter Fairbrother
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

On 07/10/12 20:34, Peter Fairbrother wrote:

> On 07/10/12 19:41, David Littlewood wrote:
> [...]

>> Which is why I referred to machining; yes, it is only dust or fine
>> turning that pose a serious threat - but then it can be quite serious.
>> The following may be of interest:
>>
>> http://www.titanium.org/files/ItemFileA4650.pdf
>>
>> David

>
> Yes.
>
> If grinding is avoided then there will not be any titanium fines
> produced in making a motorcycle fuel tank.
>
> One tip for cutting titanium sheet is to use a cold chisel against an
> anvil or similar. Works well for up to 1.5mm sheet, haven't tried on
> thicker, but you wouldn't want to use thicker sheet for a fuel tank.
> Aviation shears work too.
>
>
> Oh, on buying Ti sheet from ebay - wait and watch for a bit before you
> buy, sometimes there is cheap (-er) sheet available, usually from
> eastern europe, sometimes only expensive sheet is available.
>
>
> -- Peter Fairbrother



http://www.titane-services.eu/

seem to have some offcuts etc.eg:
http://www.titane-services.eu/epages...-G5-1x400x1000

1mm thick, 400mm by 1000mm, should be about enough, grade 5. 540 euros
plus postage (and probably VAT).

(there are 3 important grades of Ti, grade 1 which is about 99.9% pure
and mostly used in electroplating, chemical industry, and the like,
grade 2 which is about 99,5% pure and used in more everyday corrosion
resistance applications, and grade 5, aka 6-4, which is alloyed with 6%
aluminium and 4% Vanadium and which is used for strength applications.
You want grade 5, though grade 2 would do in a pinch (and it's half the
price))

Titanium is expensive.

-- Peter Fairbrother
Old Oct 09, 2012, 08:26 AM
Macabre of Auchterloonie
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

Bill H wrote:

> First. One of my colleagues at work asked if I knew where to obtain
> titanium sheet. He wants to make a smaller tank for a racing
> motorbike. Can anyone suggest a source for small quantities of
> titanium sheet?


Not now, but I used to get mine (legally!) from our scrap skip at work.
I used it for motorcycle) con-rods.


> Second. This isn't a material I have had dealings with. How
> difficult is is to form? How difficult is it to weld? Any advice.


Very tough and difficult to form. Think Dural about five times as thick...

Welding - unless you are *VERY* skilled and *VERY* lucky, it must be
welded in an inert gas atmosphere - argon, I think, is usual.

I *have* welded it with oxy-acetylene in air, but it was a small job,
water-cooled and done with a size .5 jet and trepidation.

To weld a tank you will need a cabinet. These usually have a pair of
long gloves set into the acrylic front. Quite easy to make, but a fiddle
for a one-off job. (We used such a caabinet for cutting and 'peeling'
and weighing bits of ingots of sodium metal.


> Third. I assume this material has different alloys like aluminium.
> Any particular grades we should be looking for?


I expect so, but I don't know.

Be warned! Titanium will ignite. Once it is burning the only way
(practically) you can put it out is to smother it with titanium oxide.
Catch a lump alight and drop it into a bucket of water and it continues
to burn, reducing the water and releasing hydrogen. This burns on top,
so you get two fires for the price of one.

--
Old Nick
Old Oct 09, 2012, 08:30 AM
Macabre of Auchterloonie
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

David Littlewood wrote:

/snip/


> If that sounds like I'm trying to put you off, well it's more that you
> need to be aware of what you are letting yourself in for. Do bear in
> mind my opening caveat; my hands-on experience was limited to turning a
> few discs; if someone comes a long with more experience, their views
> will be worth correspondingly more.


I was in the works fire brigade at Murex (BOC) Metallurgical Division,
and we used to get (on average) one fire a week in The Titanium.

When turning or machining titanium it is advisable t clear the swarf as
it is generated.

--
Old Nick
Old Oct 09, 2012, 08:32 AM
Macabre of Auchterloonie
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

Peter Fairbrother wrote:

> On 07/10/12 16:31, David Littlewood wrote:

>> In article <v93378ti5qi7t4e7bd53t0fg9vevn0ek4u@4ax.com>, Bill H
>> <howkersNOSPAM@lycos.co.uk> writes

>>> First. One of my colleagues at work asked if I knew where to obtain
>>> titanium sheet. He wants to make a smaller tank for a racing
>>> motorbike. Can anyone suggest a source for small quantities of
>>> titanium sheet?
>>>
>>> Second. This isn't a material I have had dealings with. How
>>> difficult is is to form? How difficult is it to weld? Any advice.
>>>
>>> Third. I assume this material has different alloys like aluminium.
>>> Any particular grades we should be looking for?
>>>
>>>
>>> Bill H
>>> Derby

>>
>> Bill,
>>
>> I have a rather small practical experience of working titanium alloys,
>> but did do quite a bit of research in preparation. To answer your
>> questions in reverse order (may make more sense that way):
>>
>> Yes, there are numerous grades. One of the most popular, having very
>> high strength, is 6-4 (6% Al, 4% V (vanadium)).
>>
>> All titanium grades are bloody difficult to work with. It work hardens
>> like buggery, it absorbs oxygen and even nitrogen when heated to form a
>> brittle surface layer (or even deeper on prolonged heating) so has to be
>> welded in an inert (usually argon) atmosphere. It can even catch fire if
>> machined too vigorously, and the fires are difficult to extinguish.
>>
>> I never found a convenient retail source in the UK. You can find modest
>> sized sheets on eBay. Google throws up a few specialist suppliers (a few
>> in the UK, many more in the USA) but all the ones I found are of the
>> "contact us for a quote" type. At least one UK seller proudly proclaims
>> "no minimum order", so I'd try them first.
>>
>> Oh, and it's pretty expensive.
>>
>> If that sounds like I'm trying to put you off, well it's more that you
>> need to be aware of what you are letting yourself in for. Do bear in
>> mind my opening caveat; my hands-on experience was limited to turning a
>> few discs; if someone comes a long with more experience, their views
>> will be worth correspondingly more.
>>
>> David

>
> I agree with all the above, except maybe the fire part[1], and would
> just add that I have done a little titanium welding.
>
> You need to use dcen TIG with pure argon, a large trailing cup and a
> loooong postflow, and you need for the back sides of the parts to be
> thoroughly covered with argon too. Even medium-hot titanium turns to
> glass if it's in contact with air.
>
> An argon-filled glove box is useful, but not essential. Either way, you
> will use a LOT of argon. No disposable cylinders here.
>
> And the titanium has to be very very clean.
>
> It's not _that_ tricky, there are a whole slew of sites and youtube vids
> etc available to show you how, but it is a new skill even for the
> exerienced TIG welder.
>
>
> -- Peter Fairbrother
>
> [1] I have never seen a lump of Ti on fire, or heard of anyone else
> doing so, and I doubt it would continue to burn. Powder, sponge,
> shavings, yes, lump??


There are (IIRC) non-rentable cylinders available. See ad in this
month's Classic Bike. (Not Classic Motorcycle...)


--
Old Nick
Old Oct 30, 2012, 01:53 PM
Bill H
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

On Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:26:06 +0100, Macabre of Auchterloonie
<nicodemus@foobar.hellsuncles.co.uk> wrote:


>Bill H wrote:

>> First. One of my colleagues at work asked if I knew where to obtain
>> titanium sheet. He wants to make a smaller tank for a racing
>> motorbike. Can anyone suggest a source for small quantities of
>> titanium sheet?

>

Thanks for all the advice on Titanium fabrication and welding. My
work colleague has realised it's trickier than he thought.

Just out of interest do they ever make exhaust systems out of
titanium?
Bill H
Derby
Old Oct 31, 2012, 09:16 AM
news.virginmedia.com
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

"Bill H" wrote...

>>

> Thanks for all the advice on Titanium fabrication and welding. My
> work colleague has realised it's trickier than he thought.
>
> Just out of interest do they ever make exhaust systems out of
> titanium?


They do indeed, mostly for the racers - and if you have to ask the price....

It's notoriously difficult to form Ti tubing, a lot of 'em that I've seen
have been welded up from mitred straight sections, lots and lots of 'em!

Dave H. (the other one)
Old Oct 31, 2012, 04:14 PM
John H
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Titanium welding

On Wednesday, October 31, 2012 2:17:07 PM UTC, news.virginmedia.com wrote:

> "Bill H" wrote... >> > Thanks for all the advice on Titanium fabrication and welding. My > work colleague has realised it's trickier than he thought. > > Just out of interest do they ever make exhaust systems out of > titanium? They do indeed, mostly for the racers - and if you have to ask the price.... It's notoriously difficult to form Ti tubing, a lot of 'em that I've seen have been welded up from mitred straight sections, lots and lots of 'em! Dave H. (the other one)



In the 1960's BSA had frames for their moto cross bikes made from titanium. They were built in a sealed chamber. Even having them built by the country's leading titanium experts they suffered from breakages. Very difficult material to use and needs a very good reason to specify it.

John H
 


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