Metal spinning offers many advantages over other types of metal forming—one of them being the ability to work with varying materials, including exotic metals and alloys. Results are seamless, uniform, and strong—strong enough to withstand whatever the application demands.
Titanium is one such metal that can be used in metal spinning to produce parts for extremely demanding applications, such as those within the aerospace industry.
Titanium offers many of the same characteristics of aluminum, including a good strength-to-weight ratio, low density, and high corrosion resistance. Many titanium alloys are used in metal forming processes, typically aluminum and vanadium; it is more common to use these titanium alloys than to use pure titanium.
Much like aluminum, titanium alloys are lightweight and corrosion resistant, as well as low in density; however, they offer superior strength to aluminum. The tensile strength of titanium alloys can also be better than that of steel materials, though it is more expensive than steel—making it useful when all of its characteristics are needed. Titanium alloys are often used for aerospace parts, due to their high durability and lighter weight.
Grade 2 Titanium
Grade 2 titanium—which is among the most popular and versatile grades—is distinguished from other titanium grades by its higher levels of iron and oxygen. This unique composition yields moderate strength and excellent corrosion resistance, despite the material’s light weight and low density.
As such, Grade 2 titanium is desirable for aerospace applications and certain medical devices, which carry stringent weight restrictions. Grade 2 titanium is also ideal for many applications where weight is not an issue. The material’s combination of corrosion resistance and strength makes it a strong choice for chemical processing, oil and gas, and marine applications, including vessels, tubing, and liners. Contributing to this mass appeal is Grade 2’s ability to tolerate continuous exposure to temperatures in the range of 800–1000° F.
Grade 2’s can readily be cold or hot formed, machined, and welded without the need for pre- or post-heat treatment. This grade is also distinguished from others because of its high ductility (which facilitates cold forming) and its excellent weldability. Helander has significant experience working with Grade 2 titanium for a broad range of applications.
Grade 5 Titanium
Grade 5 titanium—also known as Grade 64 titanium or Ti-6AL-4V—is an alloy composed of 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, and approximately 90% titanium, with maximum iron and oxygen contents of 0.25% and 0.2%, respectively. The inclusion of aluminum and vanadium makes the alloy much stronger than unalloyed titanium while retaining favorable thermal properties. Like other grades, Ti-6AL-4V resists prolonged temperatures in the range of 600-800° F.
It has excellent tensile and shear strength despite its light weight, and it can be heat treated to further enhance these qualities. This formidable combination of physical properties makes Grade 5 the most popular type of titanium available, with applications ranging from turbine engine components to sports equipment. It is most commonly used in the aerospace, marine, chemical processing, and energy sectors, although it is extremely versatile by nature. Although Grade 23 titanium is slightly more popular for medical applications, Grade 5 is still preferred in certain cases since it tends to mimic human bone better than other implant materials.
Despite its superior physical properties and high commercial availability, Grade 5 titanium does carry some limitations in terms of workability. Although it can be welded and fabricated, special care needs to be taken with either of these processes to prevent damage to the metal. Other grades may be more cost-effective depending on the desired fabrication. With our capabilities, tools, and expertise, the Helander team is fully equipped to work with Grade 5 titanium.
Metal Spinning and Titanium
Titanium alloys can be used to produce high quality parts through metal spinning, offering the distinct advantages of their material characteristics and of the process itself.
Metal spinning titanium differs from spinning other metals, as higher temperatures are required to properly work the material. Titanium has limited elongation, but increasing the temperature will also increase its elongation. Due to these challenges, it is necessary to enlist a metal spinner who is experienced in working with this unique material.
Helander has extensive experience working with titanium and other exotic metals, and can produce strong, consistent, quality parts and products for a range of applications.