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Old 11-05-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
spagthorpe OP
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Who works with titanium?

OK, so Ti only fits in the shiny category with a lot of work. I'm trying to come up with something sort of along the lines of a prosthetic, but not exactly. Hard to explain. Lets say for example, I want something like the sole of a shoe made from the stuff.

For now, it could be flat, but if that doesn't work, making it more foot shaped would help. Dished slightly I guess.

How thick do you think it would have to be to not bend much or at all with 200lbs on it, say, if you were standing on a golf ball in the center of it? I know this could be done with aluminum, but it would have to be a lot thicker.

What would be the best way to cut it? Other than slowly. Waterjet would be great if I was making a pile of these things, but this is a one time custom use, and only for one foot.

Maybe better asked in "The Garage"?
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:03 PM   #2
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Carbon fiber, easier to mold, cheaper, and won't need hydro forming to get it right.

Check out some of the orthotics down in Google images.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:11 PM   #3
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How long do you need it to last? If it flexes at all it will break. If it is fully supported and doesn't flex you could probably get by with 3/16". We would machine it and.shot peen it.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
Carbon fiber, easier to mold, cheaper, and won't need hydro forming to get it right.

Check out some of the orthotics down in Google images.

True. Seems like CF tends to weaken if it's repeatednly flexed in the same spot? It would definitely be easier to size for sure, but in the above golf ball example, how many times do you think you could step on it and not have it wear out? If the whole thing could be more of a cup for the foot, any flex could be eliminated, but I'm trying to come up with a solution that wouldn't require the purchase of special footwear. I figured some sort of stronger insole would allow for an easier transition.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini Trail View Post
How long do you need it to last? If it flexes at all it will break. If it is fully supported and doesn't flex you could probably get by with 3/16". We would machine it and.shot peen it.
As long as possible... The flexing Ti will still break? I guess my thinking was that if it was thick enough, it wouldn't flex much if at all. Since we're talking about 10-11 inches, and the ball and heel of the foot aren't even that long, it just has to support at worst, ~4" off center.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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If you could explain what the golfball sized load point was about, maybe more sense could be made.

Ti is pretty stiff stuff, so if you dished it it would be even more so, but the temptation is to make it still thinner until it cracks.

Trying to make walking on rocks more comfy?
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:16 PM   #7
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Buy a couple of coupons from McMasterbater-Carr and experiment.
I bet either the .035 or .063" thick sheet would suit your needs.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-ti...sheets/=p96inv

Or .016 or .020" thick.

Mudflaps screwed with this post 11-05-2013 at 07:24 PM
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:28 PM   #8
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why do you want to stand on a golf ball?
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:12 PM   #9
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I don't work with it. But know a little about it. Much like most other metals, the pure stuff isn't used for much. But different alloys, combined with different heat treatments can make it do all kinds of things. They do make Titanium springs, the stuff can be pretty tough and durable. It can also be as crappy as pot metal.

Best I can do for you is to tell you to search out different alloys and heat treatments.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
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Ankle's bothering you again, huh?

You may try hitting up Paragon Machine Works

M
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spagthorpe View Post
True. Seems like CF tends to weaken if it's repeatednly flexed in the same spot? It would definitely be easier to size for sure, but in the above golf ball example, how many times do you think you could step on it and not have it wear out? If the whole thing could be more of a cup for the foot, any flex could be eliminated, but I'm trying to come up with a solution that wouldn't require the purchase of special footwear. I figured some sort of stronger insole would allow for an easier transition.
It will flex a lot more times than you can flex it, or break the very first time, depending on how it's setup and laid down, if that makes sense.


My sons orthotics have areas that are impossibly hard to bend, and others that are soft as a shoes tongue. Pliable here, steel hard there. Check it out, the stuff is incredible.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:27 PM   #12
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Like broncobowsher said, there are different alloys. We use a "commercially pure" for some implants that is much more malleable. I don't know if the description is accurate.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:20 PM   #13
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6061T6 Al http://www.mcmaster.com/#aluminum-al...sheets/=p9g2vh has about the same yield as Grade 2 Ti, so you could experiment with that to figure out thickness and shape without spending lots of money.

Be careful machining Ti, the shavings or grinding dust are quite flammable and hard to extinguish.

I suspect you will need to go to 6Al4V to make something that will fit in a shoe and be strong enough when flat.

You should probably be able to bandsaw the material with a fine enough blade at a fairly slow speed. We make lots of pressure cases and other fairly large structures with Ti so I don't know much about working with what is more like Ti sheet metal.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSWayne View Post
6061T6 Al http://www.mcmaster.com/#aluminum-al...sheets/=p9g2vh has about the same yield as Grade 2 Ti, so you could experiment with that to figure out thickness and shape without spending lots of money.
What would be a good guess at the right thickness of 6061 in this case?
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:02 AM   #15
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Because of the vagueness of the requirement I could not really do any sort of calculation, but I would start with 0.062" and see how that is.

What I would really do is check my scrap bin and try what I had to get a feel for it using whatever I had laying around and use that to guess what to buy.
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