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
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wrote:

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
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Bill H wrote:

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

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.

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

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On Tue, 09 Oct 2012 14:26:06 +0100, Macabre of Auchterloonie

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
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"Bill H" wrote...

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

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 > titan ium? They do indeed, mostly for the racers - and if you have to ask the pri ce.... 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 ma terial to use and needs a very good reason to specify it.
John H
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