How to Weld Titanium: The Last Guide You Need

Some people don’t prefer to weld titanium because it’s expensive and they think it’s hard to weld. But, they got it wrong. As long as you shield it properly with gas and apply safety procedures, welding titanium won’t give you a hard time.

Also, you will be able to create a successful weld as it has attributes that provide unique benefits for the welding process. Therefore, it will not be costly since it won’t need much maintenance and repairs. 

You might be getting more curious about how you can weld titanium. Don’t worry, you will learn from this article. 

What is Titanium?

Titanium is a type of metal that is weldable in any welding process. It possesses some properties that are significant in welding.

Such characteristics include being less dense and less elastic than other metals, being highly reactive, having a higher melting point, getting contaminated easily, and having low ductility compared to stainless steel.

Moreover, welding titanium will result in a shiny, reflective, and high-quality weld product. Welders use titanium because of its incredible strength and corrosion resistance

How to Weld Titanium

Welding titanium is not as hard as you think. But, keep in mind that you have to do the steps properly in order to avoid a failed weld.

It is important that you know what are the things you need to do and consider before even starting to weld titanium. This will greatly help you with a nice-looking and high-quality weld. Here, I will provide you with the procedures before, during, and after the welding of titanium.

Make sure everything is clean

Cleanliness is a must in any welding job. In welding titanium, you need to remember that the surface, workspace, and filler rod must be cleaned before you proceed to weld. 

Firstly, you must clean the surface. Surface cleanliness has something more to do with welding titanium. By cleaning your surface, you are working on a stronger bond in your weld.

Unnecessary dirt like dust, oil, rust grime, paint, and cutting fluid will cause your weld to fail as it will turn out to be a brittle joint.

To better clean your surface, it’s highly recommended that you use a chemical cleaner particularly made for titanium This will help to ensure that your surface is clean to avoid contamination. 

In cleaning the workspace, you can use a steam cleaner and a dilute solution of sodium hydroxide to get rid of all the contaminants. After that, you can use a hot air blower to get rid of all moisture.

Most importantly, you need to clean everything that you will use in the welding process. You have to clean them and make sure it’s fully dry before you start the welding. 

Furthermore, you need to be careful of the materials you use for cleaning. You should avoid chlorine and other cleaning materials containing chlorine because it can affect the welding process as titanium react poorly with it. 

An example of a cleaning material containing chlorine is rubber gloves. So, it’s better to use plastic or cotton gloves instead. 

Use a Suitable Shielding Gas

As I’ve mentioned above, titanium is sensitive to different dirt and moisture so exposure to them will result in a brittle joint. To prevent this, you need to choose the right shielding gas.

To achieve an ideal level of coverage, you need to follow the three steps of shielding. These are primary, secondary, and backup shielding. This will give you a higher chance of producing a durable weld. 

Most welders prefer to use helium and pure argon to give the weld optimal protection from the atmosphere. You have to make sure that the titanium is protected from front to back to avoid contact with oxygen with areas affected by heat.

Guide to Weld Titanium

Select the Appropriate Filler Wire

Choosing the right filler wire requires choosing one that possesses similar properties as the base material. If you don’t find a filler wire that perfectly suits you, you can just consider that the strength level is one grade lower than the base metal. The ductility of the weld highly depends on your choice of filler wire.

If you will be welding unalloyed titanium having a higher strength, it’s advisable for you to use a filler wire having a lower strength of the base.

Moreover, when welding titanium from the Ti-5A1-2.5Sn and Ti-6A1-4V classifications, you can make use of unalloyed filler wire.

To give you an idea of which more to use, other filler metals possess a lower percentage of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and other alloying contents than base metal. 

1. Gas-tungsten arc welding (GTAW) or Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding

2. Friction welding (FRW)

3. Electron-beam welding (EBW)

4. Plasma arc welding (PAW)

5. Gas-metal arc welding (GMAW) or Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding 

6. Laser-beam welding (LBW)

7. Resistance welding (RW)

8. Laser-beam welding (LBW)

In the welding process, it is advisable to use a welder with low amperage. The power source should range from 3 to 200 amps. Moreover, the use of a High-Frequency start is critical because the tungsten should never touch the base metal.

When you’re done welding the titanium, you need a protective argon flow until the weld cools down below 500F.

The color will tell if your weld is acceptable or not. If it turns out to be silver to straw to brown, then it is acceptable. On the other hand, when the result is green, blue, gray, or white, it means that it’s a fail. 

Additionally, when discoloration occurs, it indicates that your shielding is not good enough. If this happens, you’ll have no choice but to start all over again.

Conclusion

Titanium can be easily welded and consists of characteristics making it ideal for welding. As long as you follow the procedures I mentioned above, there will be no problems throughout the welding process and you can produce presentable, durable, and high-quality weld products. 

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