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Titanium welding and soldering question


#1

Hello All, I’m Robert Wise, a goldsmith from Columbus, Ohio. I’ve
been enjoying the Orchid List for a short time.

I’ve been asked by a customer to devise a way to attach coins, (both
silver, and newer metal sandwich) to titanium moneyclips. I’ve tried
gold, silver, and soft solder. As expected, no luck.

Does anyone have any experience with titanium? I’ve heard that it
can be welded with a laser welder, but I’m hoping for a less expensive
alternative.

Thanks,
Bob


#2

Hi Bob: and welcome. Though I don’t work with Titanium and see little
use for it , other than it is a rather exotic metal for jewelers to be
using. Even aeronautical engineers have difficulty with it on a
consistent basis. Both difficult to fabricate and weld, rivet or other
wise achieve a permanent bond. I did however, read in some
professional welding journals that they are having some good results
with spot welding. I don’t remember the amperage used but I would
think that would depend on the different materials being welded.
Still the failure rate is higher than I personally would find
profitable for most industries. However, you might give spot welding
the coins to the clip a try. This seems to be the most reliable
method that has come up in the welding world ---- except for the
"professional" welders using expensive methods that only the
government could afford. Try spot welding. You might have good luck
with this method. Like I said earlier, I don’t and would not work
with it because of the difficulties involved. If you have luck with it
please let the rest of us know. The knowledge would be invaluable to
the rest of us!

Richard W. Blahnik III
Rt.16, Box1130
Lufkin, tx. 75901


#3

I think the best solution would be to build a bezel cup for the coin
and attach it to the clip by means of a rivet. After that, set the
coin as usual.

Marilyn Smith


#4

Bob, Even with a laser welder, Ti requires the use of a “cover” gas,
I believe. Otherwise it too readily forms some oxides which are
deleterious to the welding process. Torches aren’t going to work, but
you could use an adhesive. For ones that will work, see:
www.loctite.com

Regards,
Wayne Emery
Jewelry Design Studio


#5

I manufacture bicycle frames, some of Titanium. Ti can be welded
with a TIG welder, laser and even soldered (in an oxygen free
environment) but in your case with the dissimilar metals and the
drastic difference in melting temps . I do not know of a way to weld.
Have you thought of a mechanical connection? Maybe some small
rivets or a setting from Ti wire.

Dave Bohm
Bohemian Bicycles


#6
 I think the best solution would be to build a bezel cup for the
coin and attach it to the clip by means of a rivet. After that, set
the coin as usual. 

Bob: Having worked with titanium, and the other refractive metals, for
many years, I can tell you that welding or soldering will not be a
practical option. Welding requires an oxide free surface, and the
oxide is what gives titanium its color and hard surface. Normally,
any oxide is removed chemically with hydrofluoric and nitric acid,
and the weld is done in a gas-shielded environment, using argon gas.
This is fine for government contractors, but not practical in the
jewelry studio.

A mechanical joint, like a rivet, screw, tab, etc., is the only way
to go.

Good luck,
Doug Zaruba


#7

Bob, Any reason you can’t use mechanical fasteners, i.e., rivets,
screws, etc? A piece of wire or tubing could be soldered to the coin
and passed through a hole in the clip and then swaged or a threaded
rod could be attached to the coin likewise and held in place with a
nut. There are a few ways to “freeze up” the nut once in place so it
doesn’t come undone.

Of course, a coin frame could be attached using one of the above
methods, or the rivets or screws could be design elements,
themselves.

-Tom