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  • Cutting titainium

    Recently we had an accident where we tried to cut through a titainium bar. Has anyone had this problem and what did you use to cut through the hard metal? This was on a 2000 GM car (I forgot the specific model and make), and the cutters would not cut it, and a couple of recip saw blades would not cut through it either. Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    Ed

  • #2
    Ed, We ran into a problem with one of the new side impact door braces on a 1999 Dodge 1-ton van. Our Omni type cutters would not cut it at all but our Model "O" did. But, not without great difficulty!! I think it was pretty much at the cutters max capability.
    Our next approach to this type of situation is to use our air chisel and just quickly clip it off. If you don't have and air chisel
    you should buy one. They are just about essential with some of todays new technology. It will make a good back-up for things like you & I have run into and it is not too cost prohibitive.
    Let me know if you have any thoughts as people give you ideas. Good Luck!!

    Bill


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    • #3
      Another suggestion would be the exothermic torch. An air chisel is a lot faster to setup and use for most folks, but the torch will cut just about anything. The mini torch from NAJO is the one we carry (albeit mostly for structural use, rebar and such).

      In other words, it wouldn't be my FIRST choice, but in a tough situation, it would be nice to have it.
      ------------------
      Susan Bednar
      Captain - Forsyth Rescue
      North Carolina Strike Force 1

      [This message has been edited by NCRSQ751 (edited April 22, 2000).]

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the info! We do have an air chisel, and we really never thought of it! We just focused on cutting it, and that was where the concentrating on the saw came in. We wanted to see if anyone out there had the same problem too. Thanks again.

        Ed Brando
        Carthage V.F.D.

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        • #5
          I just happen to know a local ex-firefighter that owns G&S Titanium in Wooster, Ohio where they make the stuff. I'll see if I can find out a recommendation from him on how best to deal with this material in an extrication situation.

          ------------------
          Richard Nester
          Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ok, made contact with the owner of G&S Titanium and the news is not good. He said that if the metal used were "virgin" titanium, a saw would cut it but you need to cut slow and apply alot of pressue. UNFORTUNATELY, the titanium used in vehicles is normally an alloy that is even harder than virgin titanium. For this, his recommendation is to use a cutting torch. The torch will heat the material to its melting point and do the job pretty well. There are abbrasive saw blades that can cut the material, but they are not ones you normally find in the fire service and the type would depend on the application and what kind of saw you were using. He also felt that an air chisel was not likely to do the job on the alloy titanium.

            Not the answer I had hoped for, but I feel he is a qualified expert.

            ------------------
            Richard Nester
            Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.


            [This message has been edited by MetalMedic (edited April 27, 2000).]

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            • #7
              OK, got my curiosity up, where is this "titanium" bar and what are the specifics of the wreck that you need to cut it ? Adios ken

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              • #8
                Ok, since no one else has replied, I'll take a stab at this (I'll try to check with my local "expert" to be sure). I BELIEVE that titanium is being used in some vehicles for the linkages for the door lock mechanisms and roll-down window mechanisims. I MAY BE WRONG, but I do recall hearing about the metal beig used for these things due to superior strength and resistance to corrosion.

                If anyone has a more definate answer, PLEASE correct me.



                ------------------
                Richard Nester
                Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi guys:

                  Sorry for the late post, I've been out of pocket for a day or two.

                  MetalMedic, thanks for the information on the titanium and the alloy. It will be very useful.

                  Ken, the titanium bar was a support at the lock. It was also a door support. We tried to cut it with the Hurst cutter, and it wouldn't go. Later we got the entire bar off of the car and tried several reciprocating saw blades to cut through it. Surprisingly, the blade that did the best job was just a simple metal cutting blade.

                  The standard blade cut the post in about 2 minutes, and a couple of the heavier blades took longer.

                  We did not try the air chisel.

                  Hope this helped.

                  Ed

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Door support and lock support... please educate me better.. where were these items and what were they doing that required you to cut them. Might be good to know if we encounter a simular problem. What make and model of car was this on??



                    ------------------
                    Richard Nester
                    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The car was a 1999 Oldsmobile olegra, pardon the spelling. The bar went the full length of the door from the middle in the front to the locking mechinism. What we were trying to do was take the door off. The way the car was hit, in the head-on collision, it drove the bar into the "B" post to where we had to cut the bar (or try) instead of just popping the door. The door at the hinges was no problem, it was the bar jammed into the post or (or door jamb)that was the problem.

                      Hope that answered your question. Sorry it took so long but as a Paramedic I had to concentrate on the ones injured, and did not get into the extrication part of it as deep as the others. I wanted to get all my facts straight so I could give you the right information.

                      The driver died, and that's the door we had trouble with when trying to get her recovered, one only had slight injuries, and one was flown directly to a Trauma Center. So it was a busy night.

                      Ed Brando

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the clarification! That is good to know in case I encounter something simular. Were you to have this happen again, would a ram spread from the A post across to the B post done you any good? Not conventional I know, but it might be faster than the alternatives we have discussed.



                        ------------------
                        Richard Nester
                        Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I ran into a similar problem this past Labor Day. We had a car (can't remember make) that lost control on our winding county road, did a 180 at about 55mph and slammed into a big white pine about 6 feet up on the passenger side. The car rolled up the door, bowing the door in and collapsing the A post and dash onto the passenger.

                          I got to be the lucky one to work on that side of the car. We were able to easily remove the roof, but with the door collapsed in, we could not roll the dash up off her feet. Because we were only inches from the tree, we decided to use the recip. saw to cut the door off. I found a round titanium bar that would not cut. It bent and saved the passenger's life, but nothing would cut it. I ended up using the air chisel to remove the bar mounts at each end.

                          The bar was spring loaded because of the bow and did it pop when I cut the end mounts. 30 secounds later we had the door off. We saved the bar to show others what may be lurking inside these doors. Our hydraulics crushed the hollow bar, but did not cut them. Recip. saw had little effect.

                          So if you are cutting, things are going good, then everything comes to a dead stop, evaluate the possiblities of hardened metal passenger protection devices.

                          Elmer "Andy" Anderson, NREMT
                          Mountain Ambulance Service http://www.rescue70.org

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                          • #14
                            Sorry again that it takes so long for me to answer, but I ave my desktop torn down since we are remodeling the house.

                            The bar was embedded into the B post, and we used the ram to try and spread it and couldn't.

                            We too saved the bar and are using it to experiment with how to cut it when we come in contact with one again.

                            I guess the best thing is to knock it off the supports with the chisel. We did not try that.

                            Thanks to all who contributed to this post. If there are any more ideas out there, come on in and post them!

                            Ed

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Was this a four door or two?

                              If it was a two door could you have cut the hinges then made a cut for a third door evolution?

                              If it was a four door could you have cut the hinges on the front door, popped the nader pin on the rear door, cut the top of the B post and spread the entire side to the ground, performing a NOAHS ARC procedure?

                              Finally without being there, and not monday morning quarterbacking,from the description of the incident it sounds as if performing a vertical crush after cutting the front hinges may have provided the desired results.

                              Just my two cents, lets keep the ideas coming in guys.

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