Titanium Wire
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Joined: August 15, 2009
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Titanium Wire
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Posted on Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:44 pm
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If this has been posted before, my apologies. I have searched the site and found the photos and a couple articles on it, but would like to hear from anyone who has actually used titanium wire. I am interested in knowing such things as how easy/difficult it is to wind and cut, how easy/difficult it is to polish, best/worst way to polish, how well it holds up, reputable/affordable suppliers and other general thoughts on titaniuam for both jewelry and clothing. I apologize that I cannot be more specific in questions as I have never used titanium and so therefore have no idea of what to expect. I have received some samples of grade 1 CP and 6-4 from a company to play around with, but they are not enough to wind, cut, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, lil

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Posted on Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:13 am
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well i had some anodized from the ringlord in 20 awg and that was a bitch to wind and i had to get some specific cutters for it...in fact it left a groove in my hand for about a month after

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Posted on Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:41 am
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Hi dominolil.

Titanium is a 'miracle' stuff, that has some very interesting features. As one who works from time to time with Titanium, I'll try to answer your questions.

Depending on alloy used, it can be easy to work with (CP/Grade 0/1/2), or a real PITA (TiAl6V4/Grade 5, especially in higher diameters). Grade 5 has a huge amount of springback, what makes it difficult to pre-estimate achieved final ring measurements for a given mandrel, and difficult to close flush when weaving in tight spots. Due to this, combined with Titanium's high toughness it can be sometimes better (if wire diameters of 1.6mm/16swg/14awg or higher are to be worked with), to chose CP Titanium. Cutting Ti is another matter - most mailers use bolties to cut Ti, some few maillers use saw cut - but be aware, that sawcutting Ti is a tough job, as Ti is a 'blade-eater'.

Polishing is something not easy to achieve for Titanium - most maillers just live with its silk matte surface finish. There ARE possibilities, using chemical stripping, but are not often used - tumbling is mostly useless.

Stability is another matter- especially Grade 5 is comparable to good half-hard to spring temper steel - as for working with, this is valid also for wear. Its use for clothing is mainly a cost affair, as Titanium is 'not exactly' cheap. But if you want to replicate Frodo's Mithril underwear, Ti should be the nearest to that mythical material.

Let's compare to Aluminium, Steel and other mailleing materials: Ti's density (~4.5) is somewhere inbetween Aluminium (~2.7) and Steel (~7.9); Copper, Silver, Niobium and other metals used for mailleing are even above that. Titanium and Niobium can be colored dye-less by anodizing electrically or by application of heat - this unique feature leads a couple of jewellers to use Ti. Niobium otoh behaves similar in that regard, but has the advantage to be highly polishable, and fitting density-wise better to Steel, Silver or precious metals.

I like to use it, and could tell more but this quick info might already suffice for now. Don't hesitate to ask, if there are in-depth questions not yet dealt with.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper Mfe.s Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Pj Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hi

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

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Posted on Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:30 pm
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Thank you for the responses.

@thetheivesring1: In what little playing around I have done with the samples I have received, I have discovered that it is a bit difficult to cut, especially by hand! And that was just with the thinner diameter wire.

@ZiLi: The main reason that I am looking into Titanium is due to constantly hearing the comment "That is pretty, too bad my skin will turn it black (or green or whatever color) almost as soon as I put it on" or some other such phrase. I want to be able to offer a metal that is not going to cause any kind of allergic reaction in people. I understand titanium is the best for that. If there is another, I'd be willing to try it too! lol
Thank you for the info and I may just take you up on the offer to ask more indepth questions as I play around with these sample and get a feel for the Ti.

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Posted on Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:56 pm
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dominolil wrote:
The main reason that I am looking into Titanium is due to constantly hearing the comment "That is pretty, too bad my skin will turn it black (or green or whatever color) almost as soon as I put it on" or some other such phrase. I want to be able to offer a metal that is not going to cause any kind of allergic reaction in people. I understand titanium is the best for that. If there is another, I'd be willing to try it too! lol
Thank you for the info and I may just take you up on the offer to ask more indepth questions as I play around with these sample and get a feel for the Ti.


Niobium is also hypo-alergenic and has an easier workability as well as a very nice finish on colors. There are several colors not achievable in electronic anodizing of Niobium and Titanium. Generally Red and Black are not available. However there are many other colors and shades available as it is predictable to color an item with anodizing.

The downside to both Titanium and Niobium is that they are both fairly costly. However if you are selling the pieces the fact that the customer can wear these without any fear of allergic responses or skin coloring will usually sell the piece even with the higher price tag.

Joined: May 07, 2008
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Posted on Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:02 pm
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Hmm. If for jewellery, and low probability of allergic reactions shall be achieved, Titanium is a good choice, besides Niobium that is also known to be hypoallergic - and is really shiny (as already mentioned). About Steel: Think about the fact that many doctor's instruments, but also piercings are made from Stainless Steel (the alloy known as 316 is used here), that despite its high Nickel content is not as prone to cause allergic reactions as one would expect, and so also a good choice for less pricey, and sturdy maille jewellery. You just should never forget to mention the Nickel content (or even hide that info) if selling Stainless jewellery.

In the end there are always people around that react allergic to the one or other metal (or imagine to do so, believe in that 'fact', and finally do) - even Niobium can cause such 'hypochonder allergies' <scnr>. If in slightest doubt, better avoid selling to such people at all.

BTW: Skin turning green or black is either rub-off (black often Aluminium, sometimes Silver), or chemical reaction with sweat (usually Copper) - or lacking cleanliness of people (black, Steel or other metals), as this rub-off under all normal circumstances easily washes away, if the wearer does wash her/himself at all. That may sound harsh, but is seen more often than once - I wear Steel, Aluminium, and Bronze pieces day and night, and have no problems - if after a hard dirty workday some grime has collected under one of my bracelets, a bit water helps always...

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper Mfe.s Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Pj Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hi

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: August 30, 2008
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Posted on Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:17 pm
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http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.cgi?key=27388


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Posted on Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:47 pm
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Usualy tumbling to clean grim and oil from the shop may also be a good idea.
when wire is run through equipment like the machine cutting setups or rolling mills it can pickup oil and other dust/grime this can also cause problems with sensitive skin.

A number of metals react differntly depending on the skin chemistry sometime diet or a change in medication can sudently make the metal tarnish faster or even polish some metals chemicaly with tarnish rubing off.

Joined: June 22, 2009
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Posted on Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:20 am
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Titanium does however have an interesting property that stainless steel shares, and that is when subjected to a flame, it can turn several colors, but will eventually end up being an organic brown color, which can be rather useful.


-Just remember, if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.

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Posted on Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:26 pm
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ZiLi wrote:
some few maillers use saw cut - but be aware, that sawcutting Ti is a tough job, as Ti is a 'blade-eater'.


I do occasionally saw cut Ti and would agree with Zili on this. Ti is brittle (bend once or twice and it breaks), so pinch-and-break is an excellent way to cut it and produces a decent result.

As far as weaving goes, it is comparable to stainless. I use the same pliers for Ti as I do for stainless. Beware, Ti will wear the teeth right off your pliers in a few work sessions.

My experience with tumbling Ti is that it is worthwhile to tumble just the rings amongst themselves (with soap and water). This breaks off the saw cutting burrs, which can be very scratchy for jewelry. Also it cleans away grease and oils in preparation for anodizing. Tumbling with stainless steel shot is counter-productive since Ti oxide is harder than stainless. If you do this, the Ti rings will "polish" your tumbling shot!

For anodizing, I put the Ti rings directly in an alcohol bath after tumbling and rinsing with water. I leave them in the alcohol while working on anodizing. I pull a few at a time out of alcohol and go directly into the electrolyte when ready to anodize. This method works well for me. I get nice bright colors (bright for Ti) and no discolored spotting.

So get some Titanium and play with it. It will take sometime to come to terms with it, but once you do, you will have great confidence working any metal, even stainless steel.



Joined: October 22, 2010
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titanium wire
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Posted on Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:40 pm
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i've been working with titanium wire in 3 grades for about 10 years. the different grades have different properties. grade 1 and grade 2 are almost the same except grade 1 is more pure. i have discovered that grades 1 and 2 are great for jewelry purposes because they are relatively soft and wind easily without much spring back. the down side is that grades 1 and 2 usually come in a rough finish that is difficult to polish. i am currently working on ways to polish them, but have not come up with cheap easy way yet. there are chemical acid washes, but i'm not set up with a chemical lab and i'm weary of using acids that could potentially disfigure me. there are titanium wire manufacturers that will give you bulk titanium wire already acid washed but you need to buy 20 lbs. of it before they will talk to you. this could cost between $2000 and $4000 or so i was quoted 5 years ago. the great thing about grade 1 and 2 titanium is that it is hypoallergenic. i've not met a person yet that ever complained about a titanium piece i made for them. grade 5 titanium has some aluminum in it and some other elements. it is very strong and great for armor. it is a little lighter than grades 1 and 2 also. it usually comes a bit more shiny and smooth than grades 1 and 2. it is as hard as stainless steel with considerable spring back. it's hard to wind and your id's will not correspond well with diameter of the rod used. the bigger the rod, the bigger the spring back. you can use grade 5 in jewelry too since it is a bit shinier, but it's really hard to bend, and to me its properties seem better suited for armor. cutting grade 5 with anything but circular mini blades is useless. i don't recommend cutters or jewelers saws. if you don't have a machine setup like this, i recommend buying your rings already saw cut. cutting grade 1 and 2 with a jewelers saw can be done with some efficiency. i don't really cut anything with cutters because i don't like the marred edges - so i can't really give advice there.

grade 5 snaps in half easily after a few bends. grade 1 and 2 can be bent about 50 times without breaking.

titanium is my favorite metal because of its properties. its extreme light weight make it ideal for jewelry and armor. working with it takes hard work and determination and lot's of money. this combined with its rarity makes it expensive to make and expensive for the customer to buy. i wouldn't have it any other way though. i hope this helps.

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