Removal of Titanium Rings
Is it true Titanium Rings cannot be removed in an emergency?
There are a lot of myths and legends concerning this topic featured on the World Wide Web - so I will try to put the record straight. Titanium is a material that is not particularly hard but is very strong and has a high tensile strength. Many people are unsure as to the difference between hardness and tensile strength and often get them confused. Let us consider diamond, the hardest material currently known to man. If you had a rod of diamond that was 25mm in diameter and 1 metre long, you wouldn't easily scratch it or mark it but if you try to bend it over your knee, you would probably find that it would snap like a carrot.
Titanium on the other hand is relatively soft in as much as it can be easily cut and marked, but has a high tensile strength which means that if you put it over your knee and had the strength to bend it, it would bend without breaking. Tensile strength, in a nutshell, is resistance of a material to pulling force before it shears or pulls apart. Paper has low tensile strength, cake has very low tensile strength and Titanium and Titanium alloys have high tensile strength.
Advise for A&E Staff - Cutting Titanium Rings off in an Emergency.
In an emergency situation where there might be a medical necessity to remove the band (such as hand or finger injury) the following procedures can be used to cut off the ring safely and quickly.
First try soaking your hand in an ice cold water for 1-2 minutes, then apply a lubricant (such as petroleum jelly or hand lotion) between the ring and the knuckle, hold the ring with a towel and pull with a rocking motion.
Just to clarify, they can be cut off using the same tool for cutting off precious metal rings found in most high street jewellers. Probably the only stipulation is that the blade is in new/really good condition and lubrication is used e.g. Aquagel,(although a lubrication oil on the blade such as WD40 would be better for prolonging the blade life)
It can heat up quite rapidly as well so keeping it cool with irrigation is advisable. Ampoules or tap water dripped on whilst cutting can aid here.
For ease, it is advisable to cut the ring twice from both sides so that the ring falls off making it a 'one man job'. Failing that, if the ring is cut only once, a method will be needed to force the ring open enough to be removed from the finger which could involve more staff, tools and brute force.
A method of forcing the ring open when it has only been cut once would be to feed a couple of straightened paperclips through each side of the cut and grip with pliers. It may be only necessary to spring the ring open a short distance to remove it.
A single unused blade will cut off one or two titanium rings with ease. New blades are available from specialist jewellery tool companies for example HS Walsh