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Titanium tube

I have a project in hand to carve rings in titanium. I know that
Titanium Industries will sell it to me but I’m asking colleagues to
recommend what type of material to use, bearing in mind that I’ll want
to rivet them with gold and platinum - and maybe anodize as well.

What did I do before Ganoksin/orchid???

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

I’d call Reactive Metals and get their opinion. They sell titanium
and since they are more likely to understand the conditions of your
application of it, they’ll probably know what kinds of situations
you’ll encounter as well as what types of metal to use, if there are,
in fact different varieties of titanium. e-mail:

David L. Huffman

Use Grade 2 (commercially pure) Titanium if it is going to be in
contact with the body as the Grade 5 (TiAl6V4)is alloyed with
Vanadium which is poisonous to you and your clients. You do not want
to breath the dust and you and ou r clients can develop a dermatitis
from skin contact with Vanadium. If you are curious about its effects
read a MSDS on Vanadium.

James Binnion Metal Arts

Member of the Better Business Bureau

Tony, I wish you luck with your project. You may find that Ti is the
most difficult metal you ever tried to “carve”. The worlds greatest
source of info on Ti is: Bill Seeley (,
www, (, 800-876-3434. Have fun,

Tony - I just took a two day class from Dave Seeley of Reactive
Metals. He related a useful bit of - he now has the
capability to cast titanium. Might be an interesting alternative.

Seeley did a good job of surveying the possibilities of anodizing
niobium, way more than the pretty rainbows - you can paint with a
brush, or sponge or paper towel, stencil, dip, engrave, roller print,
shape - it’s never ending… And gobs of fun. It’s been a long time
since I squeeled with delight - and I did, more than once.

The class was in Denver at Arapahoe Community College, sponsored by
COMA - Colorado Metalsmithing Assn, who will bring you the SNAG
conference next year! Come and see our mountains and awsome artists.
We have been working on it for some time already.

Judy Hoch @Judy_Hoch

I have found that carving Niobium tubing with carbide cutoff wheels
works great and then anodizing to the colors I want. You can get the
tubing from Reactive Metals I’m sure. I even tried to carve then
color and carve and color again and works great. Niobium seems
easier to work with than does Ti.

Ron Kreml

Hello, Well I must admit to being really pleased that most of the
answers have pointed you back to Reactive Metals Studio. You should
know that the ring stock we sell is in solid bar and not tubing.
Tubing will greatly limit the size you can turn and be more expensive
then rod. Seamless tubing is very costly to make. We sell grade #1 to
most of the ring makers. It is actually ductile enough to stretch a
bit. We also sell Grades #2 , #4 and #5. All our rod is certified to
implant chemistry. Jim Binnon’s response I believe to be incorrect and
somewhat alarmist. Grade #5 does contain aluminum and vanadium. It is
also the alloy used for hip and knee replacement. There are reams of
documents on the suitability of this metal for human contact. MSDS
can be very confusing and somewhat alarming. The writers
are trying to protect the manufacturers from all possible suits. Look
to the MSDS for talcum powder to see how dangerous the world really
is. Copper looks very dangerous too. So who will stop working in
sterling silver to karat gold? Please feel free to call. 800/876-3434

I was contacted by several people off list about the safety issue I
raised with Grade 5 titanium (TiAl6V4). My about problems
with it came from someone who had worked with machining of it and
from reading the MSDS. Bill Seeley contacted me and told me he has
a lot of literature on the use of Titanium in surgical implants. It
seems that there is not a safety issue in so far as medical implants
of grade 5 are concerned. I would still be careful of breathing the
dust though. But that is true of many alloys we work with.

James Binnion Metal Arts

Member of the Better Business Bureau

I couldn’t agree more with Bill’s comments regarding grade-5 titanium
and it hazards (or lack thereof). Also, please remember, when dealing
with MSDS data to look at the material you are using and not one of
its components. Grade-5 titanium has its own MSDS, and there would be
no reason to rely on the Vanadium MSDS for your hazard data.

One other point of reference for grade-5 titanium is that you get a
MUCH better finish on a polished ring with this harder grade than CP
(commercially pure, grade-2).

I work exclusively in grade-5 titanium (and I am a Ph.D. chemical
engineer with much MSDS experience).

Daniel J. Statman, Statman Designs

Hello Tony, There are several titanium alloys available. The best for
you is to use the softer ones. These are pure titanium types. grade 2
and 1. The alloyed ones can very strong (like hardened steel) and
sensitive to oxide cracks, when you anneal them. They are used in lot
of industrial and aircraft places. and have tensile strength up to
1500 N/mm2 I use in sheet only grade 2 and 1. This is very easy to
force when you heat it dull red. The oxide layer you can later remove.
Grade 1 is purer and a bit softer to use. There are also basic rough
rings to buy in all sizes. They are not expensive. I can send you more
about working with titanium and available alloys and the
supplier of the rough rings.

Martin Niemeijer from a rainy Netherlands.