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Cutting performance of titanium alloy and choice of band saw blade type

Sawing performance of titanium and titanium alloys

Titanium is an allotrope with a melting point of 1720°C. When it is lower than 882°C, it has a close-packed hexagonal lattice structure, which is called α titanium alloy; when it is above 882°C, it has a body-centered cubic lattice structure, which is called β titanium. There are three types of matrix structures in titanium alloys at room temperature. Titanium alloys are also divided into the following three categories: α titanium alloy, β titanium alloy, and α + β titanium alloy. The national standard represents TA, TB and TC respectively.

α titanium alloy has good machinability, followed by a+β titanium alloy, and β titanium alloy is inferior. Even if it is the same type of titanium alloy, due to its different tensile strength and composition, its cutting performance is also different. The following table is a part of the universal tensile strength and hardness table of titanium and titanium alloys.

Model Material composition Tensile Strength/Mpa Hardness (HB)
TA1 Industrial pure titanium 343  
TA2 Industrial pure titanium 441  
TA3 Industrial pure titanium 540  
TA4 Ti-3AI 687 240-300
TA6 Ti-5A1 687 240-300
TA7 Ti-5Al-2.5Sn 785 240-300
TA8 Ti-0.05Pd 981  
TB1 Ti-3Al-8Mo-11Cr 1079  
TB2 Ti-3Al-5M0-5V-8Cr 1373  
TC1 Ti-2A-1 .5Mn 589 210-250
TC2 Ti-4Al-1 5Mn 687 HRB 60-70
TC3 Ti-5Al-4V 883 320-360
TC4 Ti-6Al-4V 903 320-360
TC5 Ti-6Al-2 .5Cr 932 260-360
TC6 Ti-6Al-1 .5Cr-2.5Mo-0.5Fe-0.3Si 932 266-331
TC7 Ti-6Al-0.6Cr-0.4Fe-0.4Si-0.01B 981  
TC8 Ti-6Al-3.5M0-0.25Si 1030 310-350
TC9 Ti-6.5Al-3.5M0-2.5Sn-0.3Si 1059 330-365
TC10 Ti-6Al-6V-2Sn-0.5Cu-0.5Fe 1030  
TC20 Ti-6Al-7Nb 1200  


Although commercial pure titanium cuts similar to austenitic stainless steel, most titanium alloys are not easy to machine. When the hardness of the titanium alloy is greater than HB350, cutting is particularly difficult, and when the hardness is less than HB300, it is prone to sticking and cutting is difficult. But the hardness of titanium alloy is only one aspect that is difficult to cut. The key lies in the influence of the combination of chemical, physical and mechanical properties of titanium alloy on its machinability. Titanium alloy has the following cutting characteristics:

(1) Small deformation coefficient: This is a significant feature of titanium alloy cutting processing, and the deformation coefficient is less than or close to 1. The sliding friction distance of the chips on the rake face is greatly increased, which accelerates the wear of the band saw blade.

(2) High cutting temperature: Because the thermal conductivity of titanium alloy is very small (only equivalent to 1/5 to 1/7 of 45 steel), the contact length between the chip and the rake face is extremely short, and the heat generated during cutting is not easy to transfer It is concentrated in a small area near the cutting area and the cutting edge, and the cutting temperature is very high. Under the same cutting conditions, the cutting temperature can be more than twice as high as when cutting No. 45 steel.


The following table is a comparison table of the relative cutting performance of titanium alloy and other materials:

Material Cutting coefficient (%)
Q245 or 45 steel 100
Low alloy steel (annealed) 60
High alloy steel (annealed) 50
Austenitic stainless steel 40
Commercial pure titanium (TA3) 43
Titanium alloy TC4 25

(3) The cutting force per unit area is large: the contact length between the chip and the rake face is extremely short, and the cutting force per unit contact area is greatly increased, which is likely to cause chipping. At the same time, due to the small elastic modulus of titanium alloy, it is prone to bending deformation under the action of radial force during processing, causing vibration, increasing band saw blade wear and affecting the accuracy of parts. Therefore, the process system is required to have good rigidity.

(4) Chilling phenomenon is serious: due to the high chemical activity of titanium, it is easy to absorb oxygen and nitrogen in the air to form a hard and brittle skin at high cutting temperatures; at the same time, plastic deformation during cutting will also cause surface hardening . Chilling phenomenon not only reduces the fatigue strength of the parts, but also aggravates the wear of the band saw blade, which is a very important feature when cutting titanium alloys.

(5) The tooth tip of the band saw blade is easy to wear: After the blank is processed by stamping, forging, hot rolling and other methods, it will form a hard and brittle uneven skin, which is very easy to cause chipping, making it difficult to remove the hard skin in the processing of titanium alloys. Process. In addition, due to the strong chemical affinity of titanium alloy to the material of the band saw blade tooth tip, the band saw blade is prone to adhesive wear under the conditions of high cutting temperature and high cutting force per unit area. When sawing titanium alloy, sometimes the abrasion of the rake face is even more serious than that of the flank face. In the sawing process, due to the low thermal conductivity of the titanium alloy material and the extremely short contact length between the chip and the rake face, the heat generated during cutting is not easily transferred, and it is concentrated in a small range near the cutting deformation zone and the cutting edge , During processing, the cutting edge will produce high cutting temperature, which will greatly shorten the life of the band saw blade. For the titanium alloy TC4, the cutting temperature is the key factor affecting the life of the band saw blade, not the size of the cutting force, under the conditions of the strength of the tooth tip and back strength of the band saw blade and the power of the sawing machine. The following table is a summary table of the material characteristics of titanium alloys and the influence of these characteristics on cutting.


Material characteristics Impact on cutting
Maintain strength even at high temperatures High cutting force and high temperature
Thin chips, concentrated resistance Large cutting force per unit area on the cutting edge
Low thermal conductivity High red hardness is required for the tooth tip material
Resistance to periodic chip formation changes Easy to cause vibration
Chemical affinity Adhesive wear
High carbide content Produce abrasive wear


The following table shows the hardness of several typical titanium and titanium alloys and the cutting difficulty coefficient relative to TC4.

Material type Grade Hardness Cutting difficulty factor
Commercial pure titanium TA2 HB 150-200 170
a titanium alloy TA7 HRC 31-34 115
TA11 HRC31-36 110
a+β titanium alloy TC4 (annealed) HRC 32-36 100
Ti185 (high-strength alloy) HRC 34-38 97
TC4 (aging) HRC 39-41 90
β titanium alloy TB6 (aging) HRC 35-42 56
Ti-13V-11Cr-3AI (annealed) HRC 39-41 53
Ti-5AI-5Mo 5V-3Cr (aging) HRC 36-44 51


 Different materials choose different saws


Material type Recommended band saw blade type Band saw features
Commercial pure titanium and a titanium alloy Bimetal band saw blade such as MTCUT, DTCUT The former is a tooth-grinding band saw blade, which can reduce the friction of chips on the rake face, and the latter is a band saw blade with high and low teeth, which can reduce cutting force, high tool accuracy, and good back strength.
General purpose toothed carbide band saw blade CB-MP Hard alloy tooth tip material, good red hardness, high tool precision.
a+β titanium alloy Bimetal band saw blade such as MTCUT, giant bimetal band saw blade Used for occasionally inefficient sawing of materials less than 100mm in diameter and less than 36HRC in hardness.
CB-MP toothed carbide band saw blade The reason is the same as above, this kind of titanium alloy can be sawed efficiently.
CB-PRO segmented carbide band saw blade Compared with CB-MP, the cutting force is further reduced (this series is recommended for sawing medium and large titanium alloy materials above 400mm).
β titanium alloy CB-PRO segmented carbide band saw blade This material is the most difficult to saw, and only band saw blade products that significantly reduce the cutting force are more suitable.
CB-X925 special tooth segmented carbide band saw blade In fact, this saw blade is mainly developed to cut large superalloys, but the cutting difficulty of this material is too high. Therefore, it can also be applied.



If a CB-MP carbide band saw blade is used, the rough sawing parameters of several typical titanium alloys are as follows (TC and TB use the same hardness, in order to explain that although the hardness is the same, the difficulty coefficient of different types of titanium alloys Also different):


If you switch to a bimetal band saw blade, the line speed and efficiency will be reduced accordingly, and if you switch to the CB-PRO and CB-X925 with lower cutting force, the cutting efficiency can be appropriately improved. Even if it is the same material, if the hardness difference is significant, such as 35HRC and 41HRC, then the parameters need to be adjusted appropriately.


Material designation hardness Linear speed (m/min) Cutting efficiency (cm2/min)
TA2 Annealed state 40 20
TA7 32HRC 30 12
TC4 38HRC 25 9
TB2 38HRC 20 5



If the sawing machine has a stepped variable speed or the saw band speed cannot meet the requirements, the lower saw band speed is used, and the cutting efficiency is reduced accordingly.


When sawing this material, if there is no crusty, there is no need to run in too much. When converting from running-in to standard sawing parameters, the speed of the saw band should be increased first, and then the feed rate should be increased. Avoid vibration during the entire adjustment process.

Use a long saw blade to process the hard leather first, so that you can save the amount of band saw.


Choose extreme pressure cutting oil or 10~15% extreme pressure emulsion. In addition, the supply of cutting fluid must be sufficient to play its role. If the cutting fluid supply of some machine tools is insufficient or the pressure is too low, consider modifying the cooling system.

The machine tool is in good working condition and has sufficient cutting power.

The position of the wire brush should be adjusted properly to eliminate the titanium chips in the tooth part of the saw belt.

The spacing of the guide arms should be adjusted appropriately to increase cutting stability and system rigidity.

The gap between the saw band and the back of the guide wheel is adjusted appropriately to maintain the life of the saw band.

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