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Tempering Titanium?

Hello to all at Orchid land. I have a question in regard of tempering
titanium. I have some stock titanium which I would like to use but I
need it to be very rigid like a spring. I have experience as a
watchmaker, and so have a habbit of tempering all my tweezers but they
are all steel. I was wondering if you could do the same with
titanium. Any clues would be welcome. Thanks , Dan

Hello Dan

Tempering titanium is easy, heat it up to just glowing (Dull red) 650
degrees Celsius In industry the do it under a protection gas but if
you don’t mid some extra oxides to grind of it works well. Also Titanium
is easier to deform when it is hot above 500 degrees Celsius if you
want to bend a sharp edge or something

Good luck
Martin Niemeijer

Hi Dan, I’ve never tried quench-hardening and tempering Ti as though
it were steel, but I do know that it work hardens noticeably. I don’t
have any technical details such as Brinell testing and the like, only
from practical experience. I guess it comes back to how springy you
want your Ti and what purpose. For example, my Ti never became as hard
and springy as the 18ct nickel white gold alloy (we use here in
Australia) after both metals were equally hammer hardened. I’m sure
other Orchid contributors will have more info. Kind regards, Rex in Oz

       Tempering titanium is easy, heat it up to just glowing (Dull
red) 650 degrees Celsius. 

Martin, Do you then quench it rapidly in water or let it cool at room
temperature? …Bob Williams


You can’t really do any hardening/tempering like you can for steel.
Ti can be annealed (softened) by heating like Martin suggested but
I do not think that is what you want to do. It can be work hardened
and I have some tweezers that are made of titanium that are very
springy but it has to so with the work hardening of the Ti and not
heat treating.


James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (510) 533-5108
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (510) 533-5439

Member of the Better Business Bureau

I think the answer is to purchase the titanium grade that will suit
your pupose.You can work harden the metal. If you are starting with
grade #1 that can be a slow and tedious process in that it work
hardens very slowly. Heat hardening is a surface treatment that only
hardens the outer layer of the metal that absorbs oxygen. When you
grind off the oxide build up you are likely to remove the hardened
surface too. The problem with buying the grade to suit the purpose is
finding some one to sell you very small amounts. The
last time I looked there were some 30 grades of titanium. Bill

Hello Bob Williams If you temper titanium, there is no need to quench.
In that way it works like silver, and quenching does not effect the
crystal structure again. Low carats of gold (14K and lower) have
precipitation hardening at temperature around 250 degrees Celsius. and
therefore you have to go very fast trough this face. this can only be
done by quenching. But start after there is now glow and then quench
in water. or better alcohol. this cool slower and gives lower internal
tensions. For Titanium, ,jewellers do not need a good crystal
structure. we are not building airplanes. The material strength is
enough for most purposes. So the correct way of heating and cooling
down is not important.

For Dan, you are also correct to say that non alloyed titanium
(grade 1 or 2) can only be hardened by deformation. The purer the
titanium the softer and more ductile is stays and is. But if you take
highly alloyed titanium you need special heat treatments and these
alloys can also be hardened. These alloys are nothing for us
jewellers . there are alloys were it is impossible to drill a hole
it. the tensile strengths can go up as high as medium hardened tool
steel. However the stiffness of titanium as 3 times lower as steel, so
the flexibility stays.

Martin Niemeijer