How to Drill Titanium

Drilling titanium can be more challenging than drilling other metals, due to its innate toughness. However, with the right technique, speed, and drill bit type, you can successfully drill a hole in titanium. It is quite similar to drilling stainless steel since you need moderate speed and pressure for both materials.


Carbide drill bits are the best for titanium, but in case they are not available, you can also use a titanium coated or cobalt drill bit. 


Steps to take to drill titanium 



  1. Clamp the object you want to drill to a stable surface and use a spare piece of plywood underneath to support the portion you are drilling.
  2. Determine the exact location of the hole.
  3. Use moderate speed and pressure on the titanium alloy you are drilling. Make sure metal shards escape the drill hole.
  4. If the bit starts shaking and the metal shards stop coming out, stop drilling and check the drill bit to see if it is still sharp
  5. If the drill bit is already dull sharpen or replace with a new one. 
  6. Slow down your drill and apply moderate pressure and  apply cutting oil. 
  7. Continue drilling till the hole is finished.

Recommended drilling speeds & feeds for titanium (6AL4V) :


Drill Size

Feed Per Rev.

SFM (Surface feet per minute)

RPM (Rotations per minute)

IPM (Impacts per minute)

.1562

.0015

160

3,913

5.87

.1719

.0020

160

3,556

7.22

.1875

.0022

160

3,260

7.06

.2010

.0024

160

3,041

7.39

.2031

.0026

160

3,009

7.72

.2130

.0031

160

2,869

8.88

.2188

.0034

160

2,793

9.39

.2344

.0038

160

2,608

9.81

.2500

.0042

160

2,445

10.17

.2570

.0044

160

2,378

10.53

.2656

.0047

160

2,301

10.80

.2720

.0048

160

2,247

10.84

.2969

.0055

160

2,059

11.30

.3125

.0058

160

1,956

11.26

.3230

.0062

160

1,892

11.65

.3281

.0063

160

1,863

11.71

.3438

.0068

160

1,778

12.12

.3594

.0072

160

1,701

12.28

.3750

.0076

160

1,630

12.42

.4219

.0085

160

1,449

12.38

.4375

.0089

160

1,397

12.50

.4531

.0092

160

1,349

12.43

.4688

.0095

160

1,304

12.36

.4844

.0097

160

1,262

12.30

.5000

.0100

160

1,222

12.24


Titanium does not conduct heat as effectively as other metals so place cutting oil to prevent overheating. Heat can easily degrade a regular drill bit so use stronger drill bit types.



Can I drill through titanium?


You can drill titanium even with a regular HSS metal drill bit. However, drilling titanium needs extensive planning and access to the necessary equipment. Carbide tipped drill bits are recommended because they are stronger than titanium.


Because of the unique characteristics of titanium, drilling it can be challenging. In addition, the high temperature generated during drilling and the cutting edge’s poor heat distribution makes drilling titanium alloys even more difficult.


What is the best drill bit for drilling titanium?


High speed drills are adequate for commercially pure grades with reduced hardness. However, carbide tipped drill bits are best for harder alloy grades such as 6AL-4V/Grade 5 and drilling deeper holes. 


Drill bits should be sharp and long enough to allow for the free flow of metal shards or chips. A dull drill impedes the passage of chips along the flutes, resulting in poor drilling results.


You can use the following drill bits for titanium.


  • Titanium Tipped HSS
  • Titanium tipped HSS drill bits are made to cut through difficult materials such as titanium. A titanium-tipped HSS bit reduces friction and heat, allowing for considerably simpler and faster drilling.

     

     

     


  • Cobalt HSS
  •  

    Cobalt High-Speed Steel (HSS) drill bits contain Cobalt, which boosts the hardness of the material above that of standard HSS. Cobalt increases steel's strength and significantly enhances its heat resistance.
    Cobalt High-Speed Steel drill bits can come with Titanium (TiN) Coating.

     

     


  • Carbide
  •  

    Carbide metal drilling bits are suited for nonferrous metal drilling. They outlive cobalt drills by a factor of ten or twenty and can easily drill through titanium. Carbide drill bits are the best bits for drilling titanium.

     

     

     

    Can you drill titanium with a hand drill?

    The majority of premium drill bits are not designed for hand drilling. For example, titanium drilling requires high feed pressure, and a hand drill may not have enough speed to penetrate through titanium.


    Is Titanium Stronger Than Steel?


    Before we determine which substance is stronger let us first look at the characteristics of titanium and Steel


  • Common Types Of Titanium Alloys


  • Titanium alloys are classified according to their characteristics. For example, the most commercially available titanium alloy is Grade 5, sometimes known as the workhorse grade.


    It has a great blend of strength and toughness. 6AL-4V / Grade 5 titanium is the most widely utilized alloy in a variety of industries. 


    On the other hand, Grade23, often known as the extra-low interstitial grade or ELI, is one of the most widely used and essential titanium alloys in the medical industry. This grade is used for advanced medical and surgical procedures. 


  • Steel Alloy


  • Steel is one of the most commonly utilized materials in building the world's infrastructure and industries; steel can make anything from tiny ball bearings to massive skyscrapers and ships.


    Steel is an iron and carbon alloy with a carbon percentage of around a maximum of 2%. Steel is further strengthened through heat treatment called tempering. 


    Which is Stronger Titanium or Steel


    It is not unusual to hear people say that titanium is stronger than steel. However, is it really stronger? Let us look at the table below.



    Material properties

    Steel

    Titanium

    Units

    Metric

    Metric

    Density

    7.8-8 g/cm3

    4.51 g/cm3

    Modulus of Elasticity

    200 GPa

    116 GPa

    Tensile Yield strength

    350 MPa*

    140 MPa*

    Elongation at Break

    15%*

    54%

    Hardness (Brinell)

    121*

    70

    *Depending on the Alloy


    If you look at the table, you will notice that the tensile strength of steel is actually higher than that of titanium. At first glance you will think steel is much stronger than titanium in terms of tensile strength.


    However, titanium compensates for the lower tensile strength with a lower density. In other words, titanium is a stronger metal in terms of mass per unit or weight. 


    So what does all the data mean? It simply means titanium outperforms steel in terms of strength-to-weight ratio, as it is as strong as steel but 45 percent lighter.


    So when drilling titanium it’s better to use tougher drill bits like carbide because of the toughness of titanium compared to steel.

    Find the Best Drill Bit for TItanium


    Titanium is a difficult material, hence you must use the best drill bit available. Please browse our drill selection at your convenience. RUKO Shop UK exclusively sells the finest drills on the market, so you can be confident that they will last for a long time and give you premium performance. 


    Share this post



    ← Older Post Newer Post →


    0 comments

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.

    Back To Top