Production Tips and Considerations for CNC Machining Titanium

cnc machinin titanium

With the rise of CNC metal machining on demand, one of the main materials in the limelight includes Titanium. Usually, clients are not acquaint with basic knowledge of titanium and particularly its CNC machining. In the following article, we will introduce the specifics of titanium and its CNC machining so that you can select your machining service provider for your needs in a better way.

What is titanium?

Titanium is a unique substance with a special amalgamate of mechanical, chemical, and physical qualities.

It has a significant price tag and demands specialized machining tools. It is a silver-colored metal that occurs naturally on Earth.

In reality, titanium is the ninth most common element in the universe. Ilmenite, sphene, and rutile are minerals generally taken from the earth’s crust to make it.

Titanium is not an alloy itself. It is just an element on the periodic table. It has been alloyed with additional elements to further improve its physical and chemical characteristics.

These many titanium alloys are divided into classes. There are around 50 different grades of titanium in the market. Titanium grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 are essentially pure. One of the most popular grades of titanium is grade 5, which contains a significant amount of aluminum and vanadium.

What is CNC machining Titanium?

Titanium is an alloy with a variety of particular qualities, making it frequently the best option for CNC-machined components with specialized uses. It is 40% lighter and just 5% weaker than steel. It possesses an outstanding strength-to-weight ratio. This makes it ideal for high-tech fields including energy, automotive, aerospace, and healthcare. It is one of the metals that is most in demand worldwide. It is perfect for high-stress applications due to its low coefficient of friction and exceptional wear resistance.

This metal’s great hardness and limited heat conductivity make it difficult to process using conventional production techniques. This is where CNC machining becomes relevant since it is a precise technique that allows titanium to be cut into complex shapes and sizes while maintaining good tolerance levels. It is a highly precise approach that needs to be carried out with great care to achieve maximum precision.

CNC titanium parts

Benefits of CNC machining titanium

Titanium, being an inert lustrous metal substance, easily bonds with aluminum, iron, nickel, and other metals to generate a variety of high-performance titanium alloys. Specific characteristics may vary between classes. Following are a few benefits of utilizing or manufacturing using titanium alloy:

  • High strength
  • Oxide resistance
  • Erosion resistance
  • Non-toxicity
  • High energy absorption
  • Low adhesion
  • Biocompatible metal

Applications of titanium

CNC titanium machining demands great precision and experience. It is a suitable option for medical implant applications where strength is required since it has a high strength despite its relatively low density, such as;

  • Joint replacements
  • Screws
  • Bone plates

The elastic modulus of titanium is another mechanical characteristic used in medical applications. Due to their low elastic modulus, high strength, and excellent corrosion resistance, titanium alloys including Nb, Ta, and Zr, which function as “phase stabilizers,” are frequently used for implants.

Nowadays, titanium is a material that is often employed in aircraft applications. Many firms in the aerospace CNC machining sector choose it because of its corrosion resistance and other characteristics. Low density and great strength make it the perfect material for aeronautical items where weight is a priority. Different characteristics, such as the coefficient of thermal expansion, enable a consistent distribution of stress on weight-bearing elements and protect against potential strain.

Material selection

In any fabrication job, material choice is important. The application and desired qualities must be taken into consideration while selecting the best titanium grade. It is preferable to use titanium grade 2 or 3 when creating products for the medical field. However, dealing with titanium grade 6 is something you should think about if you want a product that performs well at high temperatures.

In the following table, many titanium grades are presented along with descriptions:

Titanium GradesDescription
Grade 1 (With low oxygen content) The softest and most ductile titanium alloy.
Grade 2 (With standard oxygen content)It is most frequently used in titanium manufacturing industries.
Grade 3 (With medium oxygen content)Although it receives the least amount of commercial application, it has strong mechanical qualities.
Grade 4 (With high oxygen content)Among the four commercially pure grades, it is the strongest.
Grade 5It has 4% vanadium and 6% aluminum.
Grade 6For applications involving aircraft and jet engines, it is preferred.
Grade 7A little quantity of palladium is added to improve corrosion resistance.
cnc titanium plates

Tool selection

The cost of producing titanium is three to four times higher than that of steel since it is such a costly material. Therefore, it is crucial to reduce waste. The most important step in the machining of titanium is choosing the right tool.

The following are some suggestions regarding tool selection:

  • Evacuate heat from the cutting zone by adding coolant.
  • Choose the best tool manufacturer to ensure precision and accuracy.
  • Increase the tool’s service life by using high-positive indexable inserts with polished flutes and, if necessary, use a suitable coating.

Machining strategies

The selection of tools and methods for preventing tool heating-up problems are crucial considerations in machining techniques.

  • Titanium has poor thermal conductivity; thus, chips cannot remove heat from the cutting zone. The best technique to prevent the tool from overheating is to provide high-pressure coolant to the cutting zone and to properly process the component by adjusting the cutting speed.
  • Compared to pure oils or chlorinated fluids, water-based fluids are the best for machining titanium. Simply said, water is more effective than pure oils at dissipating heat and cooling the materials.
  • Titanium is more susceptible to stress corrosion when using chlorinated cutting fluids.
  • Water-based fluids with additives rich in phosphorus and sulfur prevent tool wear and provide the optimum performance for very intensive cutting operations.

Fixtures and positioning methods:

The fixtures used in the CNC machining process hold the workpiece securely during machining so that the machine, the tool, and the workpiece may all remain in their proper position. Fixtures are essential components of CNC machining. A device intended to swiftly, easily, and safely connect a workpiece can be referred to as a fixture in the broadest sense of the word.

The different types of fixtures used for titanium parts are as follows:

  • Turning fixtures
  • Milling fixtures
  • Drilling fixtures
  • Boring fixtures
  • Grinding fixtures

Surface finishing

Surface finishing comes after CNC machining titanium as the very last but one of the most critical steps. Make sure you can choose the surface finish approach that satisfies all of your needs because there are several surface finishing methods.

  • Anodizing
  • Polishing
  • Passivation
  • Bead blasted
  • Powder coat
  • Plating
precision titanium machining


To summarize, we hope you have sound knowledge of titanium. The metal of the 21st century is titanium, after all. Therefore, if we employ titanium on an industrial scale, we must educate clients about its uses, advantages, and applications.

Every manufacturer in the present day considers titanium a durable and reliable metal. As a result, many manufacturers use titanium in this regard. Although titanium is not an easy material to deal with, it is here to stay because of its unique material qualities. So titanium may be used as needed with the right machine tool and machining approach.