Tricks For Machining Titanium

Titanium is an expensive, but very useful, material to use in various manufacturing projects. However, there are some characteristics of titanium that can make the material less convenient to work with. Titanium is not a good conductor of heat. Titanium often triggers chemical reactions with the cutting tools they are working on. Fortunately, there are tricks that can be used to make titanium machining more effective. 

Lower Radial Engagement

One of the challenges of machining titanium is heat dissipation. A significant percentage of heat that remains in the tool itself. Reducing the radial engagement will reduce the amount of time that heat is generated by the cutting edge. This allows for more time for the cutting edge to cool before beginning the next rotation. 

Maintain The Right Feed Rate

Feedrates are dependent on the chip load. However, the feed rate needs to be high enough to avoid work hardening. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for feed rates. Typically, at least 60 m/min is needed for roughening, for example. Not using the right feed rate can also lead to damaged tools and ruined titanium, which can be a very expensive mistake given the cost of the materials. 

Use Positive Rake Tools On Thin Material

Machining thin wall titanium parts can be difficult because titanium is springy. While the springiness can be beneficial in some applications when cutting the titanium, the springiness can cause the part to move as a result of vibrations and it can be difficult to cut the titanium. Instead, the tool is more likely to rub against it. A positive rake tool is necessary in order to cut the part rather than deflecting it. Otherwise, the rubbing will generate heat, which can damage both the part and the titanium. 

Use More Flutes

Use more flutes. Unlike with other materials, titanium may need ten flutes or more. This allows for a lower amount of feed per tooth. Low radial depth is ideal for titanium milling. High flute counts will also increase your machining productivity. 

Use Plenty Of Cutting Fluid

To keep the cutting tool cool, make sure to use plenty of cutting fluid. Continuously increase the coolant concentration and use a high-pressure pump that will blow chips away. Use inserts that have great chip control to avoid the recutting of chips.

The best way to machine titanium is to work with a machining company that has experience working with titanium. Prior experience with titanium is the best way to avoid wasting the material and damaging tools. 

Contact a company like Tri-State Fabricators Inc for more information and assistance.