Titanium is one of the hardest materials to machine. It is also one of the most expensive. That’s why when it comes to CNC machining titanium, you need to know what you’re doing.If you want to get the best results, you need to use the right tools and techniques.
Titanium is a strong, lightweight metal with a low density. It is as strong as steel but 45% lighter. Titanium also has a very high melting point (over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit).These properties make titanium ideal for many applications, such as aerospace engineering and medical implants. But they also make it very difficult to machine.
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It is a lustrous transition metal with a silver color, low density, and high strength. Titanium is resistant to corrosion in sea water, aqua regia, and chlorine.
If you’re looking to machine titanium, there are a few things you need to know in order to get the best results. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of CNC machining titanium, including the best practices for cutting, speed and feed rates, tooling selection, and more.
Lower your cutting speed if you are experiencing excess heat buildup or smearing; also try to glide softly into the entry point, instead of directly feeding into the stock.
Sharpen your cutting edges if you are seeing smearing or edge line problems
Perform frequent tooling inspection and maintenance or replacement when machining titanium and replace cutting edges when you first see wear
Fine tune your feed rates, likely based on trial and error; this may help to reduce heat buildup or smearing as well Utilize a high pressure, large flow volume of coolant with a preferred spindle and tool setup.
Reduce radial engagement to reduce the time that the cutting edge can generate heat, therefore allowing it to cool before the cutting tool re-enters the titanium workpiece.
This may also allow for an increase in surface speed, without impacting tooling temperature significantly.
Ensure every single piece of equipment that completes the machining setup, including the workpiece itself, are all stable. Stability and rigidity in the setup will reduce vibrations, tolerance issues and heat generation.
Utilize conventional, or climb milling, to produce a greater amount of material at the entry point of the mill (for greater heat transfer to the chip) and thinner amount of material at the exit point of the mill lower the risk of chip adhesion issues .
Design in chamfers where you can to reinforce tip .
Pay attention to axial depth: change it for each cut, to prevent tooling oxidation; also follow the ratio 8:1 around thin walls or unsupported features to avoid deformation.