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Howdy y'all! I'm new to both this site and metal works outside of cnc machining. However, I cannot seem to find the desired shape and size for an ingot mold. While searching for valuable information on titanium and other mold materials I haven't found the direct answers needed. I recognize that titanium is brittle to a certain degree and it tends to be a bit of a bugger when machining. I do have capabilities and necessities for machining my desired mold but the big question is,

Will titanium withstand the temperatures of molten steel alloys and iron?

Secondly, will it maintain its it's integrity and structure after numerous pours?

Like i said I'm new. I'm open to all suggestions and any knowledge or experience. Your time spent would  be greatly appreciated!

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The desired size and shape for an ingot mold is one that produces an ingot the size YOU need for YOUR intended use.  Asking other people without specifying YOUR  use is useless. (eg: Proper size may be 4' x 4' x 12' or 4mm x 4 mm x 12 mm  depending!)

It seems like you have jumped to a solution; perhaps if you would explain the problem a cheaper/better/easier solution might be known.  For one thing do you have the technology to melt and pour steel?  By iron do you mean cast iron?  I know folks who melt blister steel made from wrought iron...

I have a hand forged Titanium camp eating knife nicely coloured except for a small patch on the spine where I took a knife that I forged from a old nicholson file and sliced off a sliver of titanium and left tit that way as a showpiece for folks who get caught up in the mystique of a metal/alloy as compared to the reality.  I bought a 3" chunk of CP2 at Quad-State this year that I plan to forge a sledge from.

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Welcome aboard Rudy, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the Iforge gang live within visiting distance.

Have you EVER cast steel? Oh wait if you had you wouldn't be asking US what to use for an ingot mold. I HIGHLY recommend you do a lot of reading first about casting in general then high temperature casting and lastly about casting steel.

However, if you got the idea of collecting scrap steel and pouring it into ingots for whatever final purpose you're not going to be happy however it turns out. Collect the scrap and sell it, save the money and buy whatever you need.

Frosty The Lucky.

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16 minutes ago, Frosty said:

Welcome aboard Rudy, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the Iforge gang live within visiting distance.

Have you EVER cast steel? Oh wait if you had you wouldn't be asking US what to use for an ingot mold. I HIGHLY recommend you do a lot of reading first about casting in general then high temperature casting and lastly about casting steel.

However, if you got the idea of collecting scrap steel and pouring it into ingots for whatever final purpose you're not going to be happy however it turns out. Collect the scrap and sell it, save the money and buy whatever you need.

Frosty The Lucky.

I have to wholeheartedly agree with Frosty, especially the last two sentences. I've tried to 'recycle' my scrap turning old nails and odd bits of mild steel back into a piece large enough to work and have yet to do so successfully. I tried a few times and either didn't get a good (read hot) enough heat to get a complete melt or ended up with something akin to cast iron. I will try again one day but I still have much reading to do between now and then. 

If you are in fact planning on pouring molten steel be aware one mistake is all it takes to be missing part of your body or worse.

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Caledonia, Mi 

Thanks for the input everyone! I havent put my money into it quite yet but as my father has always tought, it's better to spend more time and effort into foreplanning... so that being said I currently do not plan on melting any steels but I will be doing work with a lot of brass and some bronze this winter. Id like to know that no matter what my mold will hold up for more than I intend to use it for now. I've got plans for ingots closer to 12" long by 5" wide by 3" deep.

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brass melts at IIRC 3 degrees below the temp that the zinc in it boils, so add proper breathing apparatus to the firesuit you will be getting.

zinc causes 'metal fume fever' and healthy people on here working on galvanized metal have spent time in hospital due to it and it can be fatal if you have any other issues ( also I dont know what local laws that you would need to comply with to make sure others in your area are not affected ).

expect to spend a lot of money to do even small items of a few ounces safely

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"... I've got plans for ingots closer to 12" long by 5" wide by 3" deep ..."

Rudy, can I ask why?

I either cast refined ingots to remelt for casting (stock material) so make them of a size to fit the crucible, or I cast billets to machine or forge, or I cast direct to the required finished item. What is your intention for these brass/bronze ingots?

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Once again thankyou for your knowledgeable input it's greatly appreciated! I'm very new to this I've been in a on stage of preplanning for almost 3 years doing decent amounts of research when my time frees up. 

13 hours ago, Smoggy said:

"... I've got plans for ingots closer to 12" long by 5" wide by 3" deep ..."

Rudy, can I ask why?

I either cast refined ingots to remelt for casting (stock material) so make them of a size to fit the crucible, or I cast billets to machine or forge, or I cast direct to the required finished item. What is your intention for these brass/bronze ingots?

As far as these ingots. I have access to two machines that I'll be using between my forging process but all this is in planning of my gated entrance to our sugar bush. Ill be making this from ground up when it comes to timber and the hinges, bolts, locking mechanism, and our company name will be poured with a few other decorative pieces. 

17 hours ago, the iron dwarf said:

brass melts at IIRC 3 degrees below the temp that the zinc in it boils, so add proper breathing apparatus to the firesuit you will be getting.

zinc causes 'metal fume fever' and healthy people on here working on galvanized metal have spent time in hospital due to it and it can be fatal if you have any other issues ( also I dont know what local laws that you would need to comply with to make sure others in your area are not affected ).

expect to spend a lot of money to do even small items of a few ounces safely

I have to say thankyou for your warning. i knew of the dangers of galvanized metals before I knew of brass but I found out a few days ago what precautions I should take. no worries I'll post pictures of my temporary shop soon along with a few ideas for ventilation.

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Do you have a shrink rule?  One issue with many steels is that the as cast state is fairly weak and it needs treatment to refine the grain size. (Look at the treatment a wootz puck needs to get the carbide arrangement needed for a blade!)

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

Do you have a shrink rule? 

Shrink rule = The patient will only change if they want to change. 

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I actually found one at a local fleamarket once rated for 4 different metals.  Gave it to a friend who did hobby casting.

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Rudy, I enjoy your go getter style.  Id use H13 buddy,  good stuff made for doing that work.   Never seen Ti used but chase that search, I have seen sand, clay and Ca Sulphate used too, but H13 is where its at.  Do some reading on it and here's a link I like:   https://www.afsinc.org/files/methods.pdf.   Ive several good books I can find If you are interested. I do brass and Al mostly, buddy of mine is Bob Hauser who owned a foundry for 43 years here locally, he's the man and a great resource.   Good luck and have fun buddy.  

also:   Check out some of the steam engine forums where they cast  steel for parts.   Some schools with large art programs (maybe near you) offer casting classes too.  check around. 

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FWIW, don't get hung up on an ingot mold. Guess what I use for ingot molds? My regular greensand, with either an ingot shaped trench pressed into it or molded up from a pattern I made specifically for that purpose. Infinitely (more or less) reuseable and no xtra storage space. In other words, don't overthink something as crude as an ingot. You will be best served by just making one out of thick steel plate, if you must go that direction. Not sure, but I would check if TI would react with molten steel. You may get a reaction you don't want, and molten iron in any form, steel or cast, is dangerous enough by itself. If you do make an ingot mold, you also want to preheat it thoroughly to drive off moisture before use. 

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We just used angle iron. I suppose if you were worried about bronze brazing itself to the iron you could soot it up or lay tissue paper in it. Is there a reason you need a special shape or is it just an ingot? Ingots are just manageable sized and shaped pieces of basic feed stock.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 10/27/2016 at 0:50 PM, ThomasPowers said:

I actually found one at a local fleamarket once rated for 4 different metals.  Gave it to a friend who did hobby casting.

Actually I do not, I'll look into that, thankyou!

On 10/27/2016 at 3:29 PM, jducharme said:

Rudy, I enjoy your go getter style.  Id use H13 buddy,  good stuff made for doing that work.   Never seen Ti used but chase that search, I have seen sand, clay and Ca Sulphate used too, but H13 is where its at.  Do some reading on it and here's a link I like:   https://www.afsinc.org/files/methods.pdf.   Ive several good books I can find If you are interested. I do brass and Al mostly, buddy of mine is Bob Hauser who owned a foundry for 43 years here locally, he's the man and a great resource.   Good luck and have fun buddy.  

also:   Check out some of the steam engine forums where they cast  steel for parts.   Some schools with large art programs (maybe near you) offer casting classes too.  check around. 

Im always open to knowledge as long as it's available. With the time i have I'm open for anything, my father went through casting classes at Kentwood but that may no longer be there. I really appreciate your input, it's strongly encouraging to keep going at a strong rate. although I should slow to take in the valid information needed that may depend on me walking out of that barn again if I do brass.

On 10/27/2016 at 11:29 PM, OddDuck said:

FWIW, don't get hung up on an ingot mold. Guess what I use for ingot molds? My regular greensand, with either an ingot shaped trench pressed into it or molded up from a pattern I made specifically for that purpose. Infinitely (more or less) reuseable and no xtra storage space. In other words, don't overthink something as crude as an ingot. You will be best served by just making one out of thick steel plate, if you must go that direction. Not sure, but I would check if TI would react with molten steel. You may get a reaction you don't want, and molten iron in any form, steel or cast, is dangerous enough by itself. If you do make an ingot mold, you also want to preheat it thoroughly to drive off moisture before use. 

I've heard of preheating molds, I've looked at sand castings before, I'll have to take a second look... thankyou for the warning!

On 10/28/2016 at 0:03 AM, Frosty said:

We just used angle iron. I suppose if you were worried about bronze brazing itself to the iron you could soot it up or lay tissue paper in it. Is there a reason you need a special shape or is it just an ingot? Ingots are just manageable sized and shaped pieces of basic feed stock.

Frosty The Lucky.

This shape i have is desirable for many reasons. some being for pour bells later on when the capability is there. another that it will fit in most vices in the machines I have readily accessible. Its a great platform for my own creativity to come into play. I think its also going to be necessary for the parts needed in this gated entrance im working on.  thank you again! 

     ,Rudy 

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in general I'd think that getting the tools for changing the cross sectional area of the bars in a fast and easy way would work better than casting them to shape---unless you want to do cast iron grillwork like is seen in New Orleans.   There are some pretty large power hammers and presses out there for quite reasonable prices.

Now casting bells is a an art to itself!  You will probably be looking pretty far down the road for that and not really need to tool up for it from day 1.

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