bending titanium 5/32" rod - can I use a torch?

I have a silly project that I need a few kinds of bent-wire pieces
(S-hooks, loops and the like) for. I had some 1/2"-OD ti tubing to use
for part of it and the metals place has assorted titanium, so I thought
it would be cool to use ti wire for the rest of it.
I bought about eight feet of some 5/32" solid round wire (the thinnest
they had). Nobody present could say exactly what alloy it was.
I got it home and clamped it in a vise with 3/4" left sticking up, and
grabbing the free end with a pair of pliers. JEEEESUS CRAP this stuff
doesn't want to bend.
Can I heat it with an oxy-acetylene torch to do this easier? I know I
can't weld it, and I don't need to join it anyway--I just need to bend
the wire into round shapes with curves
Reply to
DougC
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I'd be willing to try it with a carburizing flame. Make _absolutely_ sure the flame is on the fuel-rich side, because oxygen is your enemy with titanium. Err on the side of too rich; titanium melts at about 3500F, and even a rich O/A flame will exceed 4500F.
But be careful. I'm a pyrotechnician by trade. Titanium is the stuff we use to make "silver" sparks. It will burn well in open air, and is a bitch to put out. It throws sparks several feet as it burns.
Hot forming of titanium can be done between 900F and 1450F. I'd suspect hotter is better with hand-forming. 1450 approaches a full cherry red.
It will oxidize heavily upon exposure to air, but the oxide can be removed abrasively. At lower temperatures, the oxides can be quite beautiful with a whole array of peacock colors displayed.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
I don't know why you can't weld it. Do you have a tig? I just welded some 6AL4V and it was easy. Build up a little enclosure out of aluminum foil, set the pats in it, flood with argon for 5 seconds or so before striking an arc, and set post flow for about 15 seconds. No color change means no oxygen or nitrogen absorbtion. Eric
Reply to
etpm
Didn't Lockheed figure out they needed to work titanium in an inert gas atmosphere?
Reply to
Richard
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To prevent surface oxidation, sure. In thin sections, sure. But 5/32" rod won't catch fire unless you heat a section to white heat.
Titanium is hot-formed in air all the time. It has to be cleaned afterwards, that's all. (abrasively or in molten potassium hydroxide).
It can be welded with TIG in the open, too, so long as you keep a stream of argon on both front and back sides _and_ from the torch. You have to keep up the inert gas flow until the temp is somewhat below 800F.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
All I got is the acetylene torch, no TIG.
In fairness it may indeed be possible to weld titanium with /some/ kind of fuel gas and a torch, but as far as I've heard TIG is the only practical method.
I just needed to bend it though.
Reply to
DougC
You got me wondering, so I turned a spiral chip about 0.003" thick and put it in the wood stove. After the oil burned off it needed forced draft and a bright red-orange heat to start one end burning. The fire went out and the rest is still grey with hints of iridescent colors.
It cut nicely with the HSS parting bit, easier than stainless.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Take your tests a bit further. 1. put back in the vice securely. then bend your 1in protrusion to rt angle with a hammer, to get the FEEL of what youve got. Dont be afraid to hit it. 2. My guess is its a standard commercial titanium alloy, incorporating vanadium and aluminium. V4 A6. 3. That alloy will bend ok at a red heat. tho the surface will look bad afterwards. 4. Depends how important appearanceis afterwards. If it is then youll have to work it cold. Polishing it will be an absolute pain if you want it shiny. 5. You wont have a fire risk with rod. only powders of very fine particle size like granulated sugar. Ted a Titanium smith Dorset UK.
Reply to
Ted Frater
You must weld it in an inert atmosphere. It can be done in a chamber but it can also be done, as I've seen the A.F. do it, by plugging titanium ducting with a foam plug and sticking a hose from a second argon regulator through the plug into the duct. That takes care of the "back side" and a little higher argon flow to the torch takes care of the front side.
We used to stainless ducting the same way :-)
-- Cheers,
John B.
Reply to
John B.

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