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Thread: Ti fire

  1. #1
    dirtrail is offline Junior Member
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    Has anyone here set titanium on fire, or seen the stuff burn?

  2. #2
    John Garner is offline Stainless
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    dirtrail --

    Yes.

    Several years ago I saw a titanium fire in the chip pan of a Monarch 10EE for a second or two before the guy running the lathe -- who had just run past me with a bucket of magic-metal-fire-putter-outter "kitty litter" -- emptied the pail on it. The fire itself was a smouldering one, not much more than a red glow in a small pile of chips, but it still put out a lot of smoke for its size.

    No fire damage to the machine, but if I'm remembering right it took a couple of weeks to get the lathe carriage, carriage drives, and tailstock off, disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled. The dust from the fire-putter-outter got into places you wouldn't think smoke could go.

    John

  3. #3
    larry_g is offline Cast Iron
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    Well I know that it can burm. Or Met in Albany Or. has had some good fires there. Treat it as you would magnesium. I'm not sure that it makes quite as intense fire as mag but it will burn for days with limited O2 and quite hot with good O2 .
    lg
    no neat sig line

  4. #4
    Davis In SC is offline Titanium
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    Does water accelerate a TI fire the way it does a Magnesium fire ??

  5. #5
    eKretz is offline Titanium
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    Not sure if water accelerates a Ti fire. It definitely accelerates a sodium fire though.

    Edit: yup...copied from the web:

    "Like aluminum, molten titanium exposed to water is explosive."

    Also:

    "As a powder or in the form of metal shavings, titanium metal poses a significant fire hazard and, when heated in air, an explosion hazard. Water and carbon dioxide-based methods to extinguish fires are ineffective on burning titanium; Class D dry powder fire fighting agents must be used instead."

  6. #6
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    N2IXK is offline Stainless
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    From what I have heard, metal fires burn so hot that the water disassociates into H2 and O2, which then ignite....
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  7. #7
    MitsTech is offline Stainless
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    I was at a shop the other day that does a lot of Ti work, they said they get small fires in their screw machines bi-weekly! They're doing fairly small parts, which results in small chips. I would imagine on the scale of production they need to run that keeping the inside of the machine spotless would just be impossible. So the deal with their little flash fires as the come and move on.

  8. #8
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    Calzone is offline Hot Rolled
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    The smaller the shavings from titanium the better chance you'll have for combustion. I've seen it light-up about 3 inches from my nose one time on a Bridgeport.

    It's got this ultra-white flame that immediately makes you see trails. If the fire is small enough water can put it out when caught quickly like in my case, but it's recommended to keep a type "D" fire extinguisher around for when this happens. We machine it daily, and make sure to provide flood coolant so this doesn't happen.

    I'd have to say that a Magnesium fire would be much more destructive since it gives up Oxygen when it burns making it self sustaining. Have you ever seen the old footage of aircraft carriers where they push burning planes off the deck and watch it burn all the way to the ocean floor? That stuff is nasty once ignited.

  9. #9
    Excitable Boy is offline Hot Rolled
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    Yeah, once. And I hope not to repeat it. Grinding Ti is popular in knifemaking and when I was grinding my first piece of 6AL4V on a belt grinder running wide open, I was shocked at how many sparks it threw! Way more than any steel I've ground. I was also shocked when the pile of grinding dust at my feet went up in flames spontaneously

    I've since leanred that it also emits noxious fumes when ground so hard it sparks a lot. It seems that grinding Ti is best done on a variable speed grinder where you can slow the belt down and eliminate the sparks [img]smile.gif[/img]
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  10. #10
    Dave A is offline Titanium
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    Have had some lathe turnings ignite while I was working on a Ti part. Not enough to start a real fire, but as mantioned, the flame is a very bright, white color that leaves spots in your vision.

  11. #11
    Exptec is offline Aluminum
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    About 35 years ago, fresh out of school, on my first day on the job in a “transducer lab” I was given the task of making some titanium accelerometer caps which required flat bottom drilling a .25 dia hole. I crowded the drill set the titanium on fire, which ignited a little cutting oil. One of the old timer watchmakers came over, took off his lab coat and beat the flames out.
    Later in the day the boss came into the lab and asked, “… how’s the new guy is doing?”
    “Just fine, he’s so fast he set the lathe on fire”
    I heard about that for many years after.

    ExpTec
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    Experimental Technique

  12. #12
    Jim Williams is offline Hot Rolled
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    I made a wedding ring out of titanium some time back. I collected all the swarf to avoid a fire hazard in my chip bin. Naturally, I had to ignite some of the stringy stuff with a propane torch. The resulting light was way too bright to look at. I am sure that a titanium fire would be a beast to deal with.

    Jim

  13. #13
    chadillac is offline Hot Rolled
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    Yup, before I knew that titanium needed far slower speeds and feeds than aluminum, I was milling at speeds I normally used for aluminum -- Carbide insert face mill. Worked great for a little while, but had a lot of sparks. So I ask another guy in the shop if that seemed right. He didn't see a problem with it, so I kept going along. Eventually the accumulation of chips created a small fire, that I proceeded to put out. After that, I asked someone else, and they told me it was Ti. Then found out what speeds and feeds you were SUPPOSED to use with it, and felt rather sheepish.

    Chad

  14. #14
    Madlab is offline Hot Rolled
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    Hey good reminder, Keep a "D" rated fire extinguisher along with a 5 gallon bucket of Clean sand, Handy when working with flamable metals.-matt

  15. #15
    surplusjohn is offline Diamond
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    When I was a kid my Father ran the wire mill at Crucible Stee in Syracuse, they ran alot of 1/8 or so TI wire for aircraft rivets and would have serious fires on a regular basis. I seem to recall that they could not use water, CO2 or even sand as the TI would scavage the Oxygen out of any oxide. He gave me a piece of TI wire about 1/8 dia and a foot long. It was stiff as hell, and I tried my damnest to get it to burn.....
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  16. #16
    T. Overeynder is offline Aluminum
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    I hate to admit it but while plunge cutting 2" Dia. holes in a large TI part for the C-17 on a Devlieg using flat bottom end mills if we did not clear the chips out it would create enough heat to ignite the chips even with spray mist coolant running. Sure is a bright fire.

    Tom

  17. #17
    Dave Haven is offline Cast Iron
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    Yeah, the chips are fun to burn.
    About twenty some years ago I took a bag of Ti chips to a friend's New Year's Eve party.
    We tossed them into the fireplace. Some wouldn't quite ignite until we "supercharged" them with a hair dryer....
    When they burned, they lit up the room.
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  18. #18
    mark costello is offline Hot Rolled
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    Anyone have any extra chips. I gotta try for myself

  19. #19
    daveallen is offline Plastic
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    For a free trial of The Machinist Black Book email DaVicki-llc@outlook,com and put trial in the subject.
    Speed and Feed calculator for over 3000 materials and handy references for the machinist and programmer.

  20. #20
    sfriedberg is offline Titanium
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    Moderator, can we get daveallen banned? He's spammed that same thing 23 times, 100% of his posts, at this moment.

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