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The processing of titanium metal occurs in four major steps: reduction of titanium ore into "sponge", a porous form; melting of sponge, or sponge plus a master alloy to form an ingot; primary fabrication, where an ingot is converted into general mill products such as billet, bar, plate, sheet, strip, and tube; and secondary fabrication of finished shapes from mill products.
Main article: Kroll Process
Because it cannot be readily produced by reduction of its dioxide, titanium metal is obtained by reduction of TiCl4 with magnesium metal in the Kroll process. The complexity of this batch production in the Kroll process explains the relatively high market value of titanium,Stainless steel electroplate CNC turning product Supplier despite the Kroll process being less expensive than the Hunter process. To produce the TiCl4 required by the Kroll process, the dioxide is subjected to carbothermic reduction in the presence of chlorine. In this process, the chlorine gas is passed over a red-hot mixture of rutile or ilmenite in the presence of carbon. After extensive purification by fractional distillation, the TiCl4 is reduced with 800 °C molten magnesium in an argon atmosphere. Titanium metal can be further purified by the van Arkel–de Boer process, which involves thermal decomposition of titanium tetraiodide.
Main article: FFC Cambridge process
A more recently developed batch production method, the FFC Cambridge process, consumes titanium dioxide powder (a refined form of rutile) as feedstock and produces titanium metal, either powder or sponge. The process involves fewer steps than the Kroll process and takes less time. If mixed oxide powders are used, the product is an alloy.
Common titanium alloys are made by reduction. For example, cuprotitanium (rutile with copper added is reduced), ferrocarbon titanium (ilmenite reduced with coke in an electric furnace), and manganotitanium (rutile with manganese or manganese oxides) are reduced.Aluminum electroplate CNC turning part Supplier
2 FeTiO3 + 7 Cl2 + 6 C → 2 TiCl4 + 2 FeCl3 + 6 CO (900 °C)
TiCl4 + 2 Mg → 2 MgCl2 + Ti (1100 °C)
About fifty grades of titanium and titanium alloys are designed and currently used, although only a couple of dozen are readily available commercially. The ASTM International recognizes 31 grades of titanium metal and alloys, of which Grades 1 through 4 are commercially pure (unalloyed). Those four vary in tensile strength as a function of oxygen content, with Grade 1 being the most ductile (lowest tensile strength with an oxygen content of 0.18%), and Grade 4 the least ductile (highest tensile strength with an oxygen content of 0.40%). The remaining grades are alloys, each designed for specific properties of ductility, strength, hardness, electrical resistivity, creep resistance, specific corrosion resistance, and combinations thereof.
In addition to the ASTM specifications, titanium alloys are also produced to meet Aerospace and Military specifications (SAE-AMS, MIL-T), ISO standards, and country-specific specifications, as well as proprietary end-user specifications for aerospace, military, medical, and industrial applications.
Titanium powder is manufactured using a flow production process known as the Armstrong process that is similar to the batch production Hunter process. A stream of titanium tetrachloride gas is added to a stream of molten sodium metal; the products (sodium chloride salt and titanium particles) is filtered from the extra sodium. Titanium is then separated from the salt by water washing. Both sodium and chlorine are recycled to produce and process more titanium tetrachloride.CNC milling brass electroplate part Supplier
All welding of titanium must be done in an inert atmosphere of argon or helium to shield it from contamination with atmospheric gases (oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen). Contamination causes a variety of conditions, such as embrittlement, which reduces the integrity of the assembly welds and leads to joint failure.
Commercially pure flat product (sheet, plate) can be formed readily, but processing must take into account the fact that the metal has a "memory" and tends to spring back. This is especially true of certain high-strength alloys. Titanium cannot be soldered without first pre-plating it in a metal that is solderable. The metal can be machined with the same equipment and the same processes as stainless steel.