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topic 9991

Titanium coating onto aluminum

A discussion started in 2001 and continuing through 2012.
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Q. Is it possible to plate titanium onto aluminum? If it is, which method is preferred? If it is not possible, are there any other coating methods to get titanium onto aluminum? Finally, are there any thickness limits to any of the coating methods? As a background, the company I work for machines aluminum components, typically using 6061 or 4046 alloys.

Jason R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
aerospace and electronics - Wenatchee, Washington, USA

February 8, 2008

A. It is important to define your application needs. If the component is subjected to primarily compression stresses i.e. like in a bearing application then plasma spay coating is possible. This or similar spray methods produce mechanical bond with a substrate and work well in applications where a component is subjected to compression loads.

These spray-coatings do not work well in applications where bending stresses are present, i.e. bending loaded shafts. In these applications the coating with mechanical bond will delaminate and crumble. In these more demanding applications the coating must have a metallurgical bond with a substrate.

In your case of coating of aluminum with titanium if a strong, metallurgical bond is required, there are only two methods known to me:
1. Explosive welding, which is usually limited to flat surfaces.
2. A new laser deposition process, so-called Precision Metal Deposition, an ultra-low heat input flat-wire laser deposition process. In this process cladding or coating can be done also on curved 3-D surfaces.

Joshua Rabinovich
- Waltham, Massachusetts

February 14, 2012

Q. Hello everyone, I'm working in a metal finishing industry.

Would like to know if any of you all have knowledge in titanium oxide coating. The substrate would be aluminium and it will be good if the process can be carried out in laboratory, more likely in small scale.

Please help if any of you are aware of the coating method.

Resh Dev
- Malaysia

A. Hi cousin Resh. Titanium probably cannot be electrodeposited onto the aluminum (search the site for "electrodeposit titanium" for numerous threads on the subject). But it is possible to electrodeposit alloys which contain a limited amount of titanium. Simply wiping on 'sunscreen' or painting with white paint can get titanium oxide onto the surface, but probably not with sufficient adhesion and purity for your requirements.

Please try to clearly specify who you are, what you do, and why you want to know so that we can have some insight into what responses might be useful and which (like 'sunscreen') might be comedically inappropriate :-)

Thanks & Regards,

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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