Due to its low weight, high durability, and high strength, titanium is a material utilized in a wide variety of applications across sectors, including automotive, aerospace, marine, and military. Because of the metal’s unparalleled hardness and strength, it is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most desirable types of metal. Because it has a low coefficient of friction and great wear resistance, the metal is an excellent choice for applications subjected to high-stress levels. It is difficult to shape this metal using conventional machining techniques due to its exceptional features, which include a high degree of hardness and poor thermal conductivity.
The use of computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining, a precise procedure that allows titanium to be carved into complicated forms and sizes while maintaining a specific tolerance, becomes relevant at this point. It is a special procedure that must be carried out with great care to achieve the highest possible precision.
Bead blasting, powder coating, and electrophoresis are all procedures that provide excellent results when applied to titanium. Titanium is a material that is favorable to practically all surface finishing methods. Titanium may not have the highest degree of machinability compared to other metals. Still, it has an excellent balance between its ability to be formed and its performance in mechanical applications.
Developing and manufacturing components made of titanium is not necessarily comparable to designing and manufacturing components made of aluminum or components manufactured from low-cost materials. In addition, titanium blanks are around ten times more expensive than aluminum blanks made from 6061, so you will want to be sure that the pieces you create are perfect the first time.
This article introduces the fundamentals of CNC machining titanium, covering topics such as the advantages of titanium CNC machining, the motivation behind CNC machining titanium, the applications that are the best fit, machining implications, and the surface finishing options available.
Introduction to Titanium
Titanium metal, denoted by the symbol Ti and assigned the atomic number 22, is a glossy transition metal that is silver in color. It has a low density and excellent strength. It is among the strongest metals for its outstanding fatigue strength, superior corrosion resistance, and low weight. It is often used in aviation, healthcare, the armed forces, nuclear power, and the oil industry. Used extensively in manufacturing, titanium is usually alloyed with other elements, including iron, aluminum, and vanadium.
Benefits of Titanium CNC Machining
Titanium represents one of the metals that may be found in the greatest abundance in the planet’s crust. The following characteristics of this metal contribute to the popularity of titanium CNC machining among the businesses we work with in the sector.
- Titanium is a metal resistant to corrosion, biocompatible with living organisms, and non-toxic. Because of these two characteristics, it is an excellent option for use in the medical field.
- The titanium components are non-magnetic and have a greater strength-to-weight ratio than other metals.
- This metal does not exhibit magnetic properties and has great oxidation resistance.
- Titanium is a versatile metal that may be readily alloyed with other elements such as iron, vanadium, molybdenum, aluminum, and nickel to form durable metal components.
- The fact that the metal can be recycled indefinitely makes it a good material for the environment.
- Because titanium is so durable, CNC machined components are often utilized in applications where the parts might be subjected to hostile conditions.
Why Consider CNC Machine Titanium?
CNC machining is nearly always going to be the superior production technology to use to achieve the most precise and cost-effective titanium components. Let’s look at other possibilities to help you understand why.
Casting titanium components is a unique manufacturing method. This is because oxygen and hot titanium react violently when combined. Many refractory materials used in casting include tiny quantities of oxygen.
The use of rammed graphite casting, which involves an oxygen-free graphite cast, is a workaround that may be used; however, this results in the production of components with a very rough surface roughness that is unsuitable for the majority of medical, aeronautical, and industrial applications. The lost wax casting method may also be used to produce titanium components; however, to do so, a vacuum chamber is required.
The use of additive manufacturing or 3D printing for the production of titanium components is a more recent alternative. There are a few different 3D printing processes capable of processing titanium 3D printing materials, including Selective Laser Melting, Electron Beam Melting, and Direct Energy Deposition. Unfortunately, these 3D printing equipment are rather expensive, and many sectors have not yet approved the use of 3D-printed titanium for end-use items that need a high level of safety.
Compared to the other options, CNC machining is an efficient method for fabricating titanium components that is also safe, flexible, and inexpensive.
Things to Realize When Machining Titanium
Titanium is a fantastic material that can be used in a wide variety of contexts, yet, it has its own set of distinctive qualities that must be considered throughout the CNC machining process. When machining titanium, some things to keep in mind are as follows:
Titanium alloys have a higher hardness than other commonly machined materials, such as aluminum alloys. Because of this, higher tool wear and increased heat accumulation at the site of contact are both possible outcomes.
Because of the increased hardness of certain titanium alloys, the RPM of the CNC machine may need to be slowed down when the chipload is increased. In addition to reducing the load on your cutting tools, a high-pressure coolant may assist in the production of titanium components of better quality.
Even if there is a possibility that less heat may be generated by certain economically pure forms of titanium (Grades 1–2), safety measures should still be implemented.
Galling and built-up edge are two problems that are more prevalent with pure titanium than they are with titanium alloys.
Titanium grades 1–2 tend to become gummy during the machining process, which might cause them to adhere to the cutting tool. Nevertheless, this risk may be reduced by using a high-pressure coolant and guaranteeing chip removal occurs as quickly as possible.
If you don’t handle this issue, it might worsen the heat accumulation problem, which would speed up the process of the cutting tools becoming less effective.
Titanium and the alloys that may be machined from it are less flexible than other commonly used metals. As a result, CNC machining of these materials requires a firmer grasp.
In addition to establishing a stiff machine, it might be advantageous to keep the tool in a state of continual motion without causing the cut to be interrupted.
Available Surface Finishes for Machined Titanium
To enhance the functional and aesthetic properties for CNC machined titanium parts, there usually comes with a wide variety of surface finishing operations including:
- Powder coating
- Bead blasting
- PVD coating
Main Grades of Titanium Materials
|1||High||Low||High||Heat exchangers, Airframe components, |
Condenser tubing, Cryogenic vessels
|2||High||Medium||High||Medical, Aerospace, Marine industry|
|3||Medium||High||High||Aircraft engines, Airframes|
|4||Medium||High||High||Medical, Hydraulics, |
Airframes, Aircraft engines
|5 (6AL-4V)||High||Medium||High||Turbine engines, Aerospace|
Runsom – Titanium CNC Machining Manufacturer
Runsom is an expert specializing in titanium CNC machining, and we offer high-quality CNC machining services at competitive prices for broad manufacturing industries around the world. Whether for one piece of prototype for functional testing or small to large production runs, we can flexibly handle that fitting clients’ critical requirements. Just submit your CAD files and drawings online and you will get a rapid quotation within 24 hours to know how incredible our custom titanium machining capability is.
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