Polishing Titanium jewelry to a high-gloss?

A few years ago working at a materials lab where we made titanium aerospace and surgical parts I made this titanium bracelet on a whim. Over time and because of my misguided polishing attempts it’s lost the some of that smooth mirror sheen it originally had (you see those shallow lines on that facet on the right?).

I recently took it to a local jeweler and had him attempt to buff it on a polishing wheel. He returned it to me better, but he was frustrated that it didn’t polish like silver could.

If it helps to answer my question any the alloy was surgical grade titanium/aluminum with added manganese to give it it’s purple-ish tint and enough nickle so it could hold a glossy shine.

Absolutely no clue, but I’ll bump this from Page 5 (egad!) for you, cause it looks like a worthy question and I feel sorry for your lonely little thread, all by itself with a big Zero by its name. :smiley:

Also, you might ask another jeweler–just because Bob Smith doesn’t know how to polish it doesn’t mean that Bill Jones won’t. Ask a jeweler who actually makes titanium jewelry himself, or at least sells a lot of it.

I found this spanky metal polish called PEEK. It works grat on all metals and it is nonabrasive…always a plus

While titanium is actually a highly reactive material, it is best left alone because the “corrosion” that forms on the surface is actually a passive and very thin oxide layer, tetragonal titanium dioxide (TiO[sub]2[/sub]), that is virtually inert and therefore has protective properties.

By polishing it, you must have used too coarse of a compound that resulted in a scored surface. A better way to polish would be to use several different grades of polishing compound, using finer grades at each step. You may have to remove the oxide layer first:



Thanks Cynic, I suspect your ‘finer grades of polish’ approach is the best idea. I suspect that’s what the materials tech did in the first place. Granted, I no longer have access to quality lab equipment (it was orginally polished inside something like a rock-tumbler filled with tiny ceramic beads).