Micromachining Titanium

In this post, we will take a deeper look into micromachining Titanium, and share why it’s a great material for micro fabrication, and for biocompatibility.

First, let’s explore micromachining of Titanium for Medical Devices.

Titanium is among the most commonly used materials for micro medical device implants. Titanium is extremely biocompatible, it’s clean and does not corrode, it’s not magnetic. Furthermore, it’s very durable and light weight, making it a top choice for medical devices. As companies continue to tackle the most challenging human conditions with new medical devices, the healthcare market continues to push for smaller and more atraumatic designs. Hence, they turn to Titanium, due to its excellent strength, micro machine-ability, and and biocompatibility.

These Titanium micro rings are as small as .010″ OD x .003″ ID

titanium micromachining

Why Titanium is great for micro machining?

  1. Strength-to-weight ratio: Titanium’s high strength-to-weight allows for precision micro machining of thin and small features without sacrificing strength.
  2. Corrosion resistance: This makes it an ideal material for medical implants or applications involving harsh environments.
  3. Biocompatibility: It is non-toxic and non-allergenic furthermore making it suitable for medical implants.
  4. Thermal stability: Titanium’s high melting point makes it resistant to deformation during the machining process.
  5. Low thermal conductivity: Titanium’s thermal conductivity allows for efficient heat dissipation during the machining process.

What are some examples of micro machining applications for Titanium?

  1. Medical implants: such as neural implants, orthopedic and spinal implants.
  2. Microelectronic: including electrical interconnects and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).
  3. Aerospace components: such as actuators, and calibration components.
  4. Scientific instruments: including electron microscopy grids and spectroscopy sample holders.

Which grades of Titanium are best for micro machining?

Grade 5 Titanium (or Ti 6Al-4V) is one of the most commonly used grades of Titanium, because of it’s corrosion resistance, high strength, and toughness. Both the medical and aerospace industries heavily use this grade due to these characteristics.

Titanium Grade 5 is technically a Titanium alloy. As we move down in Grades, the Titanium becomes more pure, with Grade 1-4 considered commercially pure. Consequently, Titanium becomes softer and more corrosion resistant at the lower grades.

Grade 2 Titanium is a good micro machining option for applications requiring commercially pure Titanium, due to its wide availability and good machining characteristics.

This micro machined component is smaller than the font thickness on a dime!

What methods are available for micromachining Titanium?

Swiss or precision machining is a common approach to micro machining intricate features into Titanium. Precision micro machining centers equipped with the right tooling and processing parameters can machine extremely fine features into Titanium.

Micro electrical discharge machining (or micro EDM) is another method for processing Titanium. Micro EDM utilizes non-contact precision electrical discharges to erode features into the material. These electrodes can machine complex shapes into hard and difficult-to-machine areas. Machining conditions and parameters must be carefully monitored to ensure high-quality, especially for micro parts and features.

Femtosecond laser is another approach for micromachining Titanium parts. These lasers emit very short femto pulses of light that cut and drill ultra fine features. Due to the extreme-precision and non-contact nature of femtosecond lasers, this option is an ideal approach for producing micro-scale Titanium parts with precise and difficult features and surface finishes.

In need of micromachined Titanium?

We manufacture micro components and assemblies in accordance with Medical, Aerospace, and ISO regulations.

  • Extensive Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 13485 Certified
  • Class ISO-7 Clean Room

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