All About Titanium Metals

Titanium metals form a valuable component of any metalworker’s toolkit. This strong yet lightweight material has a high melting point and good electricity/corrosion resistance to industries as varied as:

  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Furniture assembly
  • Aerospace production
  • Electronics production
  • Military and defense manufacturing
  • Medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Recreational and sporting goods manufacturing

Continental Steel offers a full range of titanium grades and services for a number of different applications. Here, we describe the many applications titanium has in the modern industrial climate and go into a few unique ways we’ve perfected the art of working with this dynamic metal.

Titanium Metal Applications

Using titanium brings a range of benefits to applications spanning numerous industries. Titanium most frequently appears in scenarios where the product must hold up to extreme stressors without weighing too much. As such, it’s used for a variety of high-intensity equipment, including:

  • Sporting goods: Titanium forms essential parts of bike frames, tennis rackets, baseball bats, ski poles, and golf clubs.
  • Medical devices: Titanium’s chemical structure affords it a great degree of biocompatibility, allowing manufacturers to use it when building orthopedic devices, prosthetics, pacemakers, and surgical equipment without the human body rejecting it; it also helps construct hospital materials like wheelchairs and stretchers.
  • Furniture: Titanium creates lightweight outdoor furniture, like chairs, tables, and grills, that can withstand many temperature and climate extremes; it’s also used to construct indoor furniture, giving domestic environments a sleek, polished look.
  • Marine/boating products: Titanium can resist the corrosion that results from exposure to saltwater, meaning that marine manufacturers use it to construct a number of shipboard components without weighing their products down.
  • Oil/gas drilling: Titanium holds up against very high levels of heat and pressure, rendering it essential for constructing deep-sea drilling equipment as well as land-based oil well components.

Although titanium brings many benefits to the above applications, it’s most widely used occur in automotive and aerospace manufacturing.

Automotive Manufacturing

Automotive manufacturers use titanium to build many high-performance automotive applications. Since titanium has a relatively low mass compared to other commonly used metals, cars made with the material accelerate faster and perform better than their competitors.

As a result, titanium is used to construct many luxury and racing vehicles. It’s also seeing growing use in consumer automotive manufacturing. Because titanium can withstand a large amount of damage, car manufacturers use it for essential components that experience high degrees of wear during vehicle operation, such as:

  • Axles
  • Brake calipers
  • Housings
  • Underbody panels
  • Exhaust systems
  • Engine bay and torsion bars
  • Drive shafts and enclosures
  • Gears
  • Connecting rods

Aerospace Manufacturing

Aerospace manufacturers use titanium to build aircraft that can withstand varying pressures and environmental extremes without weighing too much. Employing the Kroll process to alloy titanium with magnesium, aircraft builders have capitalized on titanium’s good strength-to-weight ratio to use it in virtually every aspect of aerospace manufacturing.

Aircraft now use titanium for parts as small as luggage racks, as essential as steering and engine equipment, and as large as plane bulkheads. Building with titanium is the best way for aerospace manufacturers to lower operational costs in the long term for their products, as lighter planes consume less fuel, allowing them to fly more efficiently and for longer periods.

Titanium Dioxide Offsets Pollution

Using titanium comes with an added benefit: when exposed to oxygen, titanium naturally forms a passive oxide coating that protects equipment. What’s more, titanium dioxide actively breaks down nitrogen oxides (the main element of smog) when it comes into contact with materials coated with this substance.

Studies have shown that coating the roofs of a single medium-sized city with titanium dioxide would remove approximately 21 tons of nitrogen oxide per day. Each individual roof tile coated with this substance was found to break down 88% of the smog that came into contact with it, meaning that a single roof can offset the pollution generated by a car that travels 11,000 miles per year.

Titanium Grades

We offer titanium services for a number of different titanium grades. Each titanium grade lends itself well to different processes, and we form and shape titanium materials using waterjet cutting or stamping without affecting its underlying chemical properties.

Although Continental Steel works with titanium alloys from grade 1 (the softest) through grade 9 (the hardest), most of our clients seek us out for our abilities to work with grade 5 titanium. Often called the workhorse of titanium alloys, grade 5 titanium (or Ti 6AI-4V) is an alpha-beta alloy, meaning that it incorporates both alpha and beta stabilizers. This makes it amenable to welding and hot forming, allowing us to shape it in a variety of ways.

Grade 5 titanium is much stronger than commercially pure titanium, but it retains the same stiffness and thermal properties as unalloyed titanium grades. This makes it well suited for welding and fabrication, because welders can work with it as easily as they could with unalloyed titanium while also retaining their confidence in its stiffness and thermal properties after completing fabrication.

Benefits of Using Titanium

Titanium pairs its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio with excellent thermal and electrical resistance to create products that weigh less and perform better than those created with other metals. Titanium brings its host of benefits to many applications, which use it to create effective frames and casings that will stand the test of time.

Because titanium appears in so many different grades, it comes with nearly limitless customization potential. After selecting a specific grade, we can shape, stamp, weld, and hot and cold form this metal into multitudes of widths, lengths, and thicknesses.

We offer an array of standard titanium products upon which we can perform further processes, including titanium

  • Plates
  • Tubing
  • Sheets
  • Bars
  • Wiring
  • Pipes

When you work with titanium, you can expect an end product that performs well in a wide range of harsh environments without breaking the scales.

Learn More About Continental Steel’s Titanium Solutions

Continental Steel offers a full suite of titanium products and services to fit the needs of the diverse array of applications. If you would like to learn more about how our titanium products will benefit your next project, contact us and request a free quote today.

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