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Old 03-25-12, 04:14 PM   #1
eugenek
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Grade 5 titanium tubing

Does anyone know a good place where I can buy grade 5 titanium tubing in small quantities? Looking through the links in "Framebuilding Suppliers", I only see one place that deals with titanium, they have grade 9 and it seems overpriced ($60 for a 31.8x650 mm tube).
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Old 03-25-12, 05:44 PM   #2
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I don't know much about titanium. I know some people get ti from Titanium Joe
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Old 03-25-12, 05:52 PM   #3
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I don't know much about titanium. I know some people get ti from Titanium Joe
Thank you. That's a good selection, but, unfortunately, all their tubing is either pure titanium or grade 9. Grade 5 is 50% stronger than grade 9 and 2.5x stronger than pure titanium.
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Old 03-25-12, 07:50 PM   #4
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What's wrong with 3/2.5 Ti and what's it's being used for?
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Old 03-25-12, 08:48 PM   #5
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As far as I know the only source of 6Al4V tubing was Reynolds. It has apparently been effectively unobtanium for about 5 years. Their website still lists it as "available to custom order" but apparently that order has to be very large before they'll talk turkey.

A figure I've seen mentioned is one tonne of billet. Since the entire US Ti bike industry is probably in single digit tonnes per annum, it's hard to see how anyone could stump this.

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Old 03-25-12, 09:36 PM   #6
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What's wrong with 3/2.5 Ti?
It's like asking "what's wrong with stainless steel" when someone wants to find titanium.

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It has apparently been effectively unobtanium for about 5 years.
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Old 03-25-12, 10:28 PM   #7
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Nova has pretty much just 9.

I don't know much about Ti really, but I am curious if tube strength is an issue. My impression was that you were dealing with something much stronger than steel pretty much across the board.
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Old 03-26-12, 12:56 AM   #8
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No.

Ti is about as strong as a quality steel but, obviously, lighter.

The highest strength steel available is much stronger than the highest strength Ti, so much so that it is even slightly ahead in terms of strength per unit weight.
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Old 03-26-12, 11:44 AM   #9
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the big 3 metallic materials used in bicycles have the same specific modulus +/- a few percent. This means that you can't win unless you add boron
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Old 03-26-12, 11:58 AM   #10
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Used to be just using the Tubing was for really Nasty chemicals caustics and acids
well off Ph 7..
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Old 03-26-12, 12:34 PM   #11
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Thanks for the correction!
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Old 03-28-12, 01:56 PM   #12
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I don't want to talk you out of your choice but as far as I know 6Al 4V tubing is too hard to butt. You may be better off with butted 3Al 2.5V tubing. I have made seamed Ti tubing it tends to break the tools used to work with it. So 60 dollars for a down tube is reasonable. You may be able to buy tubing from Santana tandems they claim they will sell their tubes to other builders.
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Old 03-28-12, 07:32 PM   #13
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are you sure you're not thinking of davinci tandems? I put a link to their ti offerings in the suppliers thread
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Old 03-28-12, 07:33 PM   #14
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Charles: 6/4 tubing can be butted. In fact the stuff Reynolds used to sell was butted in the real sense (drawn over a mandrel) which is uncommon in Ti. Most "butting" in Ti is done by externally grinding the surface of the tube so it doesn't matter whether it's 3/2.5 or 6/4, with the right abrasive* it's very easy to grind.

* Norton SG Blaze R980 is the best I've found. If anyone knows something better I'm interested.
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Old 03-29-12, 08:41 AM   #15
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The Tango tandem built by Rick Jorgensen used a complete set of Santana tubing along with several others possibly supplied by Rodrigues. Santana did at one time sell to other builders and they stated they did on their website http://santanatandem.com/Techno/TubingTech.html http://www.bicycle-engineering.com/s...est_tandem.pdf

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Old 03-29-12, 11:22 AM   #16
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In So. Cal. you could check out the various suppliers to the aircraft industry. 3/2.5 debuted as a hydraulic tube when the 747 came out. Maybe Tubesales.
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Old 03-30-12, 05:19 AM   #17
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I've built two frames in grade 9. Never again.

* It's brutal on tooling - it also burns, literally, if you get it too hot in the presents of o2.
* Ti demands spotlessly clean grinding & machining equipment. Any foreign metal particles embed when welding, will compromise joint integrity - often serious.
* Welding must be TIG and back purging is required.
* AT 2-3 bucks per/inch, any screw-ups will be costly.
* And FWIW, 6Al-4V (Grade 5) is much more difficult to weld than Grade 9 - the man on the torch better know what he's doing.
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Old 04-06-12, 08:00 AM   #18
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Grade 5 is not offered as tubing only solid from the foundry's.
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