Laser surface colouring of titanium for contemporary jewellery

S. O'Hana, A. J. Pinkerton, K. Shoba, A. W. Gale, L. Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper describes work which emerged through a need to understand more about the potential of laser surface engineering for use in the creative industries. The method of creation of contemporary jewellery pieces and the resultant 'Ocular' jewellery series are described from the creative point of view. The work demonstrates how laser controlled oxide growth on Ti-6Al-4V alloy under ambient conditions can be used as an artistic tool by producing precisely defined colours. Use of the method to produce regular areas of even colour and to reproduce freehand drawings on a titanium alloy surface is described. Analysis highlights interference as the main colouring mechanism and suggests a graded surface layer, progressing from an outer layer of TiO2 to lower layers rich in TiO and Ti2O. The model of research by practice presented in this paper offers a contribution to the current debate on partnerships between art and science and engineering. © 2008 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-153
    Number of pages6
    JournalSurface Engineering
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


    • Art
    • Jewellery
    • Laser
    • Titanium oxide


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