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Thread: Need help with a precision tube cutting process

  1. #1

    Need help with a precision tube cutting process

    Product is a two-layered tube less than one inch in outside diameter. Inner layer is titanium while outer layer is copper. Most of the tube is pressed together in our process except for about 2 inches at the ends. Customer wants the titanium to protrude from the copper at each end by less than one inch. One end of the tube's titanium protrusion length can be perfectly set but the other end cannot so we start out with an excess length of copper. Our process stretches the copper (to a varying degree) so cutting the copper in advance (prior to assembling the tubes) to a precise length in order for the finishing end of the tube to have the proper protrusion of the titanium after our process is not possible due to our process and material properties. Customer wants the copper cut after our assembly process in order to yield the desired amount of protrusion of the inner titanium tube at each end. Is there a high-precision process which we could use to cut the copper from the finish end of the tube while leaving the titanium tube underneath undamaged?

    Sorry to be somewhat vague on details but trying to avoid confidentially issues.

    Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions.

  2. #2
    Lead Engineer
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Houston TX USA
    How long are the finished tubes, are they straight, what is the thickness of each material, what finish level is required on the O.D. of titanium after the copper is removed?

  3. #3
    Finished tubes will be roughly 20 feet. Inner tube has 0.022" wall while outer tube has 0.049" wall. Finish/appearance of titanium not critical as long as we don't have damage such as a partial cut (more than .001") or indention into the titanium more than a couple of thousandths. The cut process can't damage the titanium. If we damage the titanium during the cut, Eddy Current won't be able to discriminate between the beginning of the Cu tube and a defect or damage to the Ti at the cut area. We will check the tube for leaks but that won't detect a partial cut or deep impression.

    I am pushing for customer to redesign their unit to accommodate a tube with both layers cut all of the way through at the ends in one cut, but wanted to see if there are any other options.

    Thanks for the response.

  4. #4
    Still looking for solutions...

  5. #5
    Senior Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014


    How about acid etching the copper off of the titanium?


  6. #6
    We can't risk any contaminants in between the tube layers so acid is out.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
    How about acid etching the copper off of the titanium?


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