When Does Titanium’s Strength Become A Painful Problem?

Titanium is remarkable metal. It’s lightweight, strong, can be shined to a stunning polish, and its quite versatile. Its aerospace applications helped us reach new heights, and in industrial settings it offers extensive assurance and resistance.

These qualities have also made titanium a substance that’s readily recognized by consumers, especially those in the market for a tough, long-lasting wedding band. Titanium wedding bands and rings are a popular choice for couples, but the properties that usually sell them on the choice can also create a serious problem when the unexpected happens.

Wedding_ring_by_FordosImage Source: Wikimedia

Titanium Is Just Too Tough
As reported by a number of emergency room doctors, titanium rings can become a major obstacle when it comes to urgently treating a patient. Due primarily to strength, titanium rings are much harder to remove from a patient’s swollen or injured finger. In addition to causing pain as a finger becomes inflamed, the loss of circulation can lead to tissue death and serious lasting damage.

Unlike silver or gold rings, which emergency rooms can usually snip off a patient’s finger without difficulty, titanium is just too tough for a conventional ring cutter. Although commercial pure titanium is softer and easier to cut than aircraft grade titanium, both alloys have added hazard to the already difficult job of emergency room doctors and nurses.

Conventional Clippers Won’t Do The Job
There are methods for removing rings without cutting them, including lubrication, elevation, and various techniques using plastic, gauze and string. However, when a swollen fingers cannot be manipulated in this way, or in the case of burns and critical situations when the ring must be removed promptly, the best solution appears to be keeping a pair of bolt cutters, which are increasingly among the range of medical tools maintained at hospitals and clinics for this very purpose. Even after a titanium ring is successfully snipped with a pair of bolt cutters, there is still the problem and bending and stretching the ring to fully remove it from a patient’s hand.

Cutters_with_Forged_Aluminum_HandlesImage Source: Wikimedia

Strictly Industrial Alloys
Some may see this problem as an opportunity to create a better ring cutter, made specifically for extra tough rings, but others have said that titanium is better used for aerospace equipment and industrial fasteners and not for jewelry. Considering the popularity of gold and silver ring alternatives, titanium may not be the only source of trouble in such cases. Recently, tungsten carbide rings have also grown in popularity. And as anyone familiar with that metal can tell you, bolt cutters may not do the job of easily removing a ring made from that material.

What are your thoughts on using ultra tough, industrial metals as commercial jewelry? Have you ever had an issue with a titanium or tungsten carbide piece that you own? Tell us what you think about this increasingly common problem in the comments.

Article Sources:
http://www.npr.org
http://www.nursingtimes.net
http://health.usnews.com

Camryn Shea
 

Is a longtime business consultant and a writer who loves to read about the Maker Movement that’s been made possible through technology. In her free time, she enjoys antiquing and touring vineyards.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: