Titanium wizards take superfine titanium tubes with an inside diameter of mere 2 mm and ultrathin walls a 0.3 mm thick and amazingly they TIG weld 223 of those tubes by hand to a tube plate with a diameter of 60 mm using a tungsten electrode and an inert shielding gas. These ultra-small shell and tube micro heat exchangers (MHE) are used in pure water and ultrapure water temperature control, mainly in equipment related to semiconductors and liquid crystal. TIG welded heat exchangers made of pure titanium were unprecedented when they were first developed, because of the difficulty of processing titanium. It was Tokyo Titanium that achieved this feat using its proprietary advanced technical capabilities.
In the titanium industry, where division of labor is the norm, Tokyo Titanium is one of only two or three extremely exceptional companies in the world specializing in titanium that provides integrated materials, processing and development services.
Pure water or ultrapure water-based temperature control is crucial in the manufacturing of semiconductors and liquid crystal. However, in 2004, the nickel-brazed plate heat exchangers and Teflon heat exchangers that were mainly used at that time had problems such as the elution of nickel brazing into pure water and larger sizes.
Tokyo Titanium started working on the development of heat exchangers when it received a proposal related to semiconductors from a business partner. Titanium is highly resistant to corrosion and is characterized by the fact that it does not readily ionize. Moreover, because titanium has overwhelming thermal conductivity compared to Teflon, it is possible to make smaller sizes.. Titanium heat exchangers are a product that is needed in the semiconductor and liquid crystal industries, which use pure water and ultrapure water.
However, when development began, making smaller tubes to put into the pipe caused the difficulty of processing titanium, which is a feature of this material, to become a barrier that stood in the way. The company thought about using existing large-diameter tubes, but the result in that case would be a drop in heat conductivity and higher costs. Dead set on reducing the size of parts, Tokyo Titanium proceeded with technology development. In the end, it succeeded in manufacturing tubes with an inside diameter of 2 mm and a wall thickness of 0.3 mm. However, there was still a major challenge that had to be surmounted to commercialize a product. That was the need to TIG weld a large number of these superfine tubes with ultrathin walls onto tube plates.