How to Weld Titanium

Titanium and its metals are famous for giving incredible corrosion that can resist acid chlorides, salt the thickest and heavy metal ratio, and extreme and continuous temperature such as the liquid nitrogen of about 1100 degrees. For instance, the most generally utilized grade of titanium metal, the ASTM Grade 5, has a yielding quality of 130,000 psi and a thickness of 282 pounds per three feet. However, ASTM A36 iron has a yielding quality of 35,000 psi and a thickness of 487 pounds per three feet, while the 6061-T6 aluminum has a yielding quality of 40,000 psi and thickness of 169 pounds per three feet. 

To put it plainly, titanium is around 46 % lighter than steel, 60 % heavier than aluminum, and almost 3 times harder than both of them. While it is costly at first, titanium brings down life cycle costs due to its long work life and a decreased or non-existing management and fix costs. For instance, the Naval force changed copper-nickel with titanium for seawater piping frameworks on some of its large ships since it anticipates that titanium should last the whole 50-year life of the ships. 

Apart from the military applications, other basic uses for this light, solid and rust safe metal consists of those for aviation, chemical plants, marine, process plants, oil and gas extraction, power supply, clinical, and sports. 

A nicely welded titanium weld is like solidified mercury: sparkling and bright. There are some fundamental components that make titanium not quite the same as the remaining metals. These rare qualities, and an abstract knowledge about them, can make the regularly held conception that titanium is simply too difficult to even consider welding. 

Where do you start to make great gas tungsten arcwelds? Titanium is a reactive metal that contains a compound with below unique properties. If welded in air, the surface part contains crackable carbides, oxides, and nitrides, every one of which can decrease the fatigue restraint and high durability of the weld and the heat-affected zone (haz). In addition to the fact that you need to shield the surface being welded, you may additionally need to shield the rear side of the weld, which is also as delicate. 

Copper cleaned fixtures guide the argon over the body of the weld. Aluminum or copper purges that have not been hard-nickel-plated to hinder metal scraping can permit restricted alloying on the body of titanium parts. 

Chlorine from the sweat on your hands can produce restricted corrosion. White-glove processes are not only an indication of value in welding titanium; employing dust-free gloves after the last cleaning before welding might be important for the most excellent welds. 

Whenever the metal arrives at a temperature of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, a crackable oxygen-balanced alpha phase can manifest not just on the weld surface and its rear part, but also on granulating tools And the heat by friction, particularly from the aluminum oxide wheels, can make sufficiently high temperatures to crack the surface. The carbide coarse wheels are better since they have no aluminum to pollute the weld. A delicate touch is the ideal one since titanium has a low hot conductivity and as a result should be kept underneath the five hundred degrees F mark, where scaling starts. 

Making a Great Welding of Titanium – The Miracle Metal 

Titanium is as solid as steel, about half of its weight, and has high resistance against corrosion, which makes it an exceptionally tempting, best cheap choice for industry, particularly aviation and defense. 

Benefits of using Titanium in Welding 

  • Thirty percent better durability in weight proportion over aluminum or steel. 
  • It is forty percent lighter than steel, high elasticity. 
  • Highly resistant to corrosion. In fact the titanium rod is desired for marine applications due to its astounding resistance from saltwater. 
  • Low heat conductivity and expansion. 
  • More strong firmness than the aluminum or magnesium. 
  • Working temperatures are up to nine hundred degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Self-protection against several corrosives (builds up titanium dioxide on its surface). 

Downsides of using Titanium in Welding  

  • Less soft and hard than steel. 
  • Poor wear and tear properties. 
  • Elasticity diminishes with higher temperatures (low elastic quality). 
  • Highly flammable when in powder form in the air. 

The Difficulty Experienced in Welding With Titanium

A lot of titanium’s downsides influence welding operation, giving it notoriety for being hard to work with. At high temperatures, titanium turns out to be very sensitive to the chemicals in its environment. In normal air, welding pollutes titanium with nitrides, carbides, and oxides that make the weld and heat-influenced zone (HAZ) crackable, bringing about lower fatigue restraint and high durability. 

Also, the chlorine from your perspiration or from polishing compounds can cause corrosion on the weld area. In this manner, the weld and its rear need to be shielded from pollution to guarantee a nice weld. Also, the friction from the grinding wheels (particularly aluminum oxide wheels) can grow enough hotness and give the pollutants to ruin the weld. 

Thinking about all these plans, with thorough zeal, any expert welder can get quality titanium welds. 

Welding the Titanium Metal

Since pollution is an essential concern, titanium fabrication calls for critical attention regarding the tidiness of the metal itself and the workshop condition. Regularly welders working with titanium and different metals will put a section aside solely for titanium fabrication. For a nice outcome, that section must be liberated from dampness, air drafts, debris, oil, and many other pollution patrons and contaminants. That implies that painting, machining, pounding, torch cutting, and such stuff must not happen in a similar section. Preferably, you ought to limit dampness to keep up a low dew point. 

Getting the Welding Materials Ready  

Maybe the most significant factor in acquiring quality titanium welds is the appropriate readiness and management of the welding materials. The ejection of surface contaminants is critical. 

Managing and Storing the Material 

  • Store pieces in a neat, dry region, confirming they are covered and secured from the surrounding when not being used including the welding wire. 
  • Even clean hands can exhibit pollution, so utilize clean, dust-free gloves when holding materials. Stay away from elastic rubber gloves since they can contain chlorine. Rather, utilize plastic or cotton gloves. 

Preparing the Materials and Weld Surface 

Welded surfaces must be clean, smooth, and totally liberated from pollution. Weld joints and wire must be liberated from grime, dust, mill scale, oil, oil, dampness, and various pollutants. Any pollutants coming in touch with the titanium will corrupt its work and its resistance to corrosion. 

While setting up the surface just utilize a stainless steel brush that is specially created for titanium to limit cross pollution from different metals. Then on employing the brush, wash it in ethanol and store it in a secured container. 

Utilize a carbide iron to eliminate any burnt marks created by mechanical filing or grinding. Try not to utilize a steel iron, steel wool, or sandpaper, which can create particles in the base metal. And never utilize any chlorine-based solvent for cleaning. 

On the off chance that you use acetone, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), or other combustible solvents, be certain that it is totally vanished before striking the arc. 

Thoroughly clean materials preceding the welding. Steam cleaning or a dunk in a dilute sodium hydroxide mixture can eliminate the greater part of the aforementioned contaminants. But, you may still need to play out the last purification to eliminate any lingering pollutants. 

Utilize a hair-dryer-style blower to evacuate any, maybe undetectable, water buildup preceding welding. Try not to utilize the blower on combustible solvents. 

To accelerate the cleaning procedure, we suggest EZ Wipes, which are dust-free material wipes kept in a shop canister. One side of the wipe is somewhat rough to release stuck pollutants, and the opposite side is smooth for a final go over. The wipes are free from acetone, protected, simple to use, and expendable in ordinary waste with no exceptional care. 

Clean titanium with light oxide scaling by acidic pickling. A typical pickling liquid is 48 percent hydrofluoric acid and 70 percent nitric acid. Metals to be welded ought to be pickled for about fifteen minutes at a shower temperature from 80 to 160°F. After the pickling, flush the parts in heated water. With heavier scaling, you may need to start the pickling by mechanical removal or increasingly high-temperature pickling. 

And if it is still the case that you can’t weld after cleaning, spread the weld joints with plastic or paper to dodge recontamination. 

Grinding

  • Use carbide coarse wheels for pounding. Leave aluminum wheels that can create pollution. 
  • When pounding, be moderate and delicate to hold the titanium’s temperature low. Above 500oF scaling can happen. Since titanium has low hot conductivity, the heat won’t disperse as fast as with the other metals. 

Welding 

When welding starts, the air itself turns a pollutant to the liquid titanium. Oxygen pollution is a very normal reason for bad welds. The weld itself, as well as the HAZ and root side of the weld, must be protected from the air when their temperature ascends to over eight hundred degrees. Generally, unadulterated argon is the favorite shield gas. Sometimes, you’ll see argon blended with helium. For some superior applications, cryogenic (fluid) argon will be utilized. 

Gas Quality 

Ensure to purchase your gas from a confident provider. The argon must be totally unadulterated to guarantee the weld is not stained from pollution. That is 10 sections per million or less pollution. An ideal titanium weld looks like solidified mercury and has almost no stain. Any blue mottling or stain frequently implies the argon was not clean. 

Pollutants Related to Welding and Leaks

  • Ensure all the fittings, leads, and supply hoses have been tried for leaks to guarantee there is no oxygen pollution. Make certain to look at torch insulators and O-rings for appropriate fit and seal. 
  • Utilize a top-notch TIG/GTAW light to limit the probability of leaks.
  • Fixtures and clamps close to 750 degrees may pollute the weld.

The Gas Shield 

Maybe the greatest distinction when welding titanium is the principal necessity to manage a shield on the weld’s rear on thin materials where the rear is determined by heat. With difficult smaller pieces, it is usually beautiful to utilize a glove box loaded up with argon. For bigger pieces, utilize specific polyethylene purge gas chambers or glove sacks. You can buy a selection of these for different uses, including clamshell models to match a collection of pipe sizes. Many wholesalers would have a wide range of purge-gas shielding components, including bladders, purge baffles, plugs, and movies. 

Utilize an oxygen screener to guarantee the competence of your purge gas shield. Many suppliers would offer a collection of models from very cheap ones, hand-held ones to precision ones that identify oxygen down to1 ppm. 

Employ a quality trailing shield appended to the trailing side of your TIG light to give extra protection and secure the liquid weld puddle. By and large, trailing shields need a supporting gas source that are frequently specially crafted for a specific torch and application but off-the-shelf thoroughly designed gadgets will give more reliable outcomes. Many suppliers would normally a total line of high-grade trail shields and different gadgets. 

  • Change the gas stream rate for perfect coverage and torch cooling without causing disruption. 
  • Apply a 1 (25.4mm) big nozzle including a gas lens or gas flow straightener. 
  • Many suppliers offer a very cheap but top-notch choice to trail cups and different purge welding tools called the Gas Saver Pack, with a Pyrex outlet 1/8″ in width. It gives a total in gas covering and ideal for making an inert environment with an increased gas flow that will limit turbulence. 
  • To strengthen coverage, you have to start the argon streaming for a few seconds before welding. 
  • The shielding argon current must stay on until the titanium has cooled under 500°F. 

Discoloration

The excess flow of argon can bring about whirl or mottled designs. Argon is denser than air, so it normally runs over the surface just like water does. Where whirlpools happen in the argon, air can get mixed in giving swirl lines. In case the shielding is right and the argon is scattered equally, you should see a uniform color. 

Titanium staining or discoloration isn’t an issue normally. It shows there may be an issue. The staining or discoloration happens in an order: straw, brown, purple, blue, grey, and dull salmon pink, and oxide flakes. Each progression is very extreme and liable to show a pollution issue. Welding codes regularly limit weld discoloration to straw color. Some permit a little blue staining in particular applications. On the welded side, light straw and brown staining can be reliable. 

Some staining may happen past the HAZ. Based on the seriousness of the weld, that might be adequate. 

Tungsten Anodes 

To guarantee a quality weld, your selection of tungsten electrodes is particularly significant when welding titanium. Always purchase your tungsten from a committed seller to guarantee the quality, and beat your tungsten on an active tungsten grinder, away from your neat welding surrounding. It is better to use the non-radioactive ArcTime brand hybrid tungsten electrode, designed with cutting edge metals to bear regulated movement and dissipation rates and also extraordinary re-ignition and ignition qualities.  

Thoriated tungsten is usually suggested for TIG-welding titanium; nevertheless, it is radioactive and has raised health matters. 2 percent ceriated or 1.5 percent lanthanated tungsten are acceptable non-radioactive options. The previous is a more outdated option and is just employed for lower amperage DC welding applications. The last has fundamentally the same as properties to thoriated tungsten and is quite simpler to work on and keep stable. What is more, it even keeps going somewhat longer since its tip stays somewhat cooler. Regardless of these characteristics, a few terms will still request thoriated tungsten. In this manner, many suppliers still offer it and a full reach of the electrode to best serve their clients. 

Conclusion

Titanium is viewed as an awesome metal because of its low weight, great tone, and corrosion restraint. But, earlier on, There was the thought that good titanium welding can be done only in inner chambers. Because it is a reactive metal that can get polluted by air gases. However, welding titanium is really not as troublesome the several welders think. You simply need to manage the gas protection during welding, the rest is fundamentally the same as welding various sorts of metals. Titanium is really a powerful alloy if you adhere to all the rules and regulations involved in welding it. Clearly the most important one is to make sure that the titanium metal is free from all impurities and all. Then, you have to prepare the titanium weld piece very well. The other steps involved in preparing other metals are almost as important as cleaning the titanium metal from impurities. With much carefulness, your weld gears in place, and adequate preparation of the weld, you will get the best results you always wanted in your titanium metal. Have a safe weld!

Leave a Comment