TECH TIP: Working With Titanium Tubing

When cutting Titanium, the first thing to remember is that it’s important to keep the speed slowed down to 50 to 75 SIM (Surface Inches per Minute) to achieve successful results.

At 50 SIM on .25” tubing, the cutting head speed for 1 revolution should take just under a second. The problem is that with Titanium tubing, if you let the tool bit edge “rub” over the surface, it work hardens the alloy making the cutting process extremely difficult.

A good technique to follow is that the tool bit must be rotating BEFORE making contact with the tubing. Make sure that the HEAD RPM is correct, then the cutting bit must engage the alloy with ENOUGH FORCE to start and maintain a continuous chip. Note that even with as few as one or two bit revolutions around the tube without producing a chip is enough to work harden the Titanium surface.

If this occurs, the operator must stop, back the bit away from the tube surface, then (using a slower speed) advance into the end with sufficient feed pressure to “get under” the surface with the bit’s edge to establish a chip flowing off of the bit. At this
point the operator must regain and maintain the appropriate SIM for the cut to ensure continuous chip generation.

With Titanium, tool bit selection is also important. Bits with too low of an entrance angle “push” the chip causing it to rub hard on the bit’s hook radius. This rubbing and excess friction causes the bit to rapidly overheat.

Our Titanium bits are designed with a high enough entrance angle and sufficient hook radius so chips flow easily, carrying away the majority of the heat generated by the cut.

For this reason alone, it is always a good idea to contact our customer service to assist you with specifying the ideal bits for your specific Titanium tube cutting application.

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