Ultimate Guide to High-Speed Titanium Machining
Most manufacturers out there find themselves overlooking titanium as a raw material. This is mainly due to its unique features. Recent advancements in tech and metallurgy are allowing us to view titanium from another standpoint. There are, however, an array of issues that arise from the use of titanium. Luckily, our team of experts at Creatingway is adept at the challenge. We offer good quality control on machined titanium parts after some high-precision machining. The following guide will cover how we can achieve high-speed titanium machining.
Titanium ideally offers a better weight to strength ratio than steel. It is also highly resistant to corrosion and pairs well with human tissue. Also, it provides excellent performance even at very high temperatures. Its lightweight nature and strength, make it ideal for use in the aerospace sector.
What Are the Most Common Types of Titanium Alloys?
Titanium comes in different forms owing to added elements. These elements aid in improving the function of titanium parts. Titanium may transform at temperatures of over 800 degrees. Certain elements lower the temp of titanium used. We call them beta stabilizers. Certain elements raise the temp of titanium used. We call these alpha stabilizers. We divide titanium alloys into 4 groups. This varies depending on the type of stabilizer present. Knowing the alloy variant that you are dealing with is key to high-speed titanium machining. The groups are namely:
This simply refers to the basic form of titanium. This unalloyed titanium form offers the best corrosion resistance. However, it offers lower strength in comparison to other variants.
Alpha Titanium Alloys
This type of titanium offers better creep resistance. We thus use it for high-temp performance.
This is the most diverse group as it offers awesome features. The alpha component present adds heat resistance while the beta component adds strength. This mixture sometimes makes up about 50% of the entire titanium alloy market.
It is the hardest alloy group at the present. It is also denser than the previous alloy groups.
What Are the Reasons that Limit High-Speed Titanium Machining?
There is an array of reasons why titanium is hard to machine. We will cover them without delving deep into the mechanics of titanium grinding, milling, or turning. Below are the main points why titanium is tasking to machines.
- Firstly, titanium keeps its immense strength even after applying high temp to it. Moreover, it retains its resistance to plastic distortion even at high cutting speeds. We thus end up using a greater cutting force unlike in steel. This eventually impairs high-speed titanium machining.
- Secondly, its chips are very thin after forming. Therefore, the contact area between the tool and chip ends up being 3x smaller than in steel. The tool’s tip thus ends up bearing most of the cutting force.
- Thirdly, titanium alloys often have a greater friction coefficient than most cutting tools. We end up having to raise the cutting force and temp. This thus limits high-speed titanium machining.
- Fourthly, titanium sometimes reacts with tool materials at a temp of over 500 degrees. It also tends to self-ignite when cut after a high heat build-up. We thus end up using a coolant when we cut titanium alloys. The time this process takes up interferes with high-speed titanium machining.
- Fifthly, most of the heat arising from the cutting process goes into the cutting. This is due to the thinness of the chips as well as the low contact area. This ends up lowering its life. We end up using high-pressure coolants to keep the heat from building up.
How Do We Achieve High-Speed Titanium Machining?
Using Cutting Tools
Choosing the right cutting tool is the first step towards a proper machining process. There are a few cutting materials that can deal with the hardness titanium offers. They must avail the right hardness at a high temp and awesome resistance to match. Also, they are chemically neutral to titanium at a high temp. We use this type of material in high-speed titanium machining.
Using Ledge Tools
This refers to tools that have a thin ledge that protrudes. Rather than have the entire tool, we use this ledge in cutting the titanium. The ledge normally wears slowly and is easier to sharpen. Its flank, however, wears quickly then remains constant as the rest of the ledge wears. This happens slowly with constant flanks. This allows us to carry out high-speed titanium machining.
Use of Rotary Inserts
We usually use rotary inserts in titanium turning. It initially was impossible to use as they lack accuracy in machine tool design. Luckily, the current manufacturing tech allows us to make use of it. Its tools insert has a round form. It proceeds to revolve the fixture while the tool cuts the stock. There is, therefore, a faster heat exchange that prevents it from building up. This allows us to increase the speed to meet the demands of high-speed titanium machining. Contact us now, if you have any inquiries or orders regarding titanium machining.
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