Another piece of mystery ti...

Discussion in 'Mad Science Forge' started by Mecha, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    I met a fellow named Al who used to work for the titanium-making operation ATI (Allegheny Technologies Incorporated) in the 1970s and '80s as a smelter of titanium ingots. His father apparently held several patents concerning the Kroll process of smelting titanium, so I guess it runs in the family. :p

    It was an interesting conversation, as he described the process of taking titanium sponge and turning it into purified slabs of titanium, using a stainless steel vacuum furnace to melt the titanium, then adding an equal amount of 2000 degree centigrade molten magnesium, followed by some sort of chloride, and then flooding the chamber with an intense flow of super-heated helium to strip away the dangerous magnesium-hexachloride-something-something, all while hoping the crucible chamber didn't explode. It was past my understanding, but suffice to say, it isn't that titanium as an element is rare, but that it's extremely difficult and technical to isolate, purify, and alloy it into a usable hunk of metal.

    After the smelting process, he and his cohorts would open the chamber and start chipping out the hunk of titanium alloy from within the slag, much like retrieving the hunk of steel from beneath the ashes of the traditional Japanese tatara iron-smelting furnace.

    Most of the titanium sponge they were smelting was from Russia, and some was from Japan. He joked about how the U.S. was in a cold war with the Soviets, yet openly bought titanium sponge from them with which to build jet engine parts and machines of war. He said at the time the titanium from both Russia and Japan was of extremely high quality, which is still true to this day.

    Al presented me with two scrap bin pieces of titanium left over from his days of working with ATI. One is a little prybar he and his fellow workers fashioned from a bar of ti, and the other is a big bar of titanium, alloy unknown. The big bar had been driven into the dirt as an electrical ground for an electric fence, and there it stayed for more than a decade, buried in the soil and conducting electrons. What you see in the photo is how it looks now.

    [​IMG]


    It's a big bar, so I will have it tested to find out what alloy it is, or if it's simply pure titanium. If it's an appropriate alloy, it will be made into a big sword.
     
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  2. WValtakis

    WValtakis Hand Engraving, Anodizing and Embellishment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2004
    Love the mystery projects, looking forward to the test results:D
     
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  3. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    A simply pure titanium sword :cool:

    Ray
     
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  4. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    interesting
    ......lookin forward to what ya make.......
     
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  5. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    It'll take a while. :]
     
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  6. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    We've been here a while - we'll wait :)

    Ray
     
  7. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    right. that's why I said lookin forward........;)
     
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  8. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    ok.......so I looked forward and its tomorrow now....where this new titanium super sword at?:D

    any heads up on what ya might build from it. style wise I mean...you've been making some pretty darn super cool stuff lately. hate to admit I'm excited to see whats up your sleeve on creativity wise on this one........
     
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  9. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Not sure yet, it really depends on the alloy. I was thinkin' maybe a wide sword, double-edged, like a huge leaf sword. Could be it's only appropriate for handle parts or electric fence grounding stake. :D

    It could be 6-2-4-2 which would be nice.
     
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  10. jux t

    jux t Gold Member Gold Member

    993
    Jan 10, 2018
    Thanks for the story Mecha. Always interested in your use of titanium for stuff that cuts.
     
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  11. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    nice.

    naw.....no such thing as a piece of titanium ya cant turn into magic.....:)
     
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  12. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Results are in. Partially, at least.

    The big bar of ti =

    Ti 91.82%

    V 5.21

    Sn .025

    Remainder 3.00


    I'm trying to determine what "remainder" is, but it's very likely to be Aluminum.

    The good (but not too high) percentage of Vanadium suggests that this bar is heat-treatable and will make a good sword blade. So the plot thickens!
     
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  13. WValtakis

    WValtakis Hand Engraving, Anodizing and Embellishment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2004
    I like my plots thick;)
     
  14. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Interesting....
     
  15. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    I'm confident that the "remainder" is aluminum.

    The bar would be classified as Ti 5V 3Al o_O
     
  16. rainingblades

    rainingblades Basic Member Basic Member

    33
    Mar 18, 2019
    Thick plot with gravy!!!
     
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  17. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013

    Yes yes.....gravy. Hmmm. Gravy has meat in it. Meat. Meat gets cut with blades. But they're small blades, and this is a big bar. So, big meat then. Big meat needs big blades. Big meat....big blades...Swords. Swords are big blades that cut meat. EUREKA! This bar should be made into a sword, which is a big meat blade! :eek::D YES. Rainingblades, you're a genius! :cool::thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. 'Iokua

    'Iokua Gold Member Gold Member

    20
    Oct 9, 2016
    Odd Titanium alloy, cut a sliver off and test your heat treatment:):thumbsup:
     
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  19. Mecha

    Mecha Titanium Bladesmith Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    A sliver, he says. :D
     
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  20. rainingblades

    rainingblades Basic Member Basic Member

    33
    Mar 18, 2019
    a large falchion or Dadao would be great for cutting meat!
     
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