Demystify Titanium

  • December 21, 2021

Titanium is an animal all on its own, it’s a Wonder Metal! Titanium is half the weight of steel and just about as strong. Some would call it unobtanium and most have some scary stories of dismemberment and loss of life, but that was then, this is now! TMS Titanium is here to help… matter of fact, for 15 years we have been helping customers not only get the correct Titanium for their application but make it affordable and available to all. 

True: There are 40 plus grades of Titanium, and one size does not fit all! Unfortunately, the world wide web offers all the chance to buy Titanium but not all Titanium is the same. Titanium in racing started many years ago when aircraft builders would take home some extra scraps in their lunch boxes and make their own parts so they could be faster than the other guy at the dragstrip that weekend – of course in that grass roots type of research and development there were some problems. Today we have a very large customer base successfully using Titanium for their products and an approved vendor network to help us keep the shelves full of Titanium ready to cut and ship.

Not true: Titanium is the strongest metal and it is lighter than aluminum.  I hear each of these misconceptions often and it is hard to right the wrong. Titanium is very specific to where it can be used and it is very easy to mix up the grades because they all look the same. Titanium is similar in strength to steel and about half the weight. Every steel part or fastener can be replaced with Titanium and will reduce the weigh by half. Aluminum on the other hand is about half the weight of Titanium but does not have the similar strength so in most cases aluminum parts have to be much bulkier to replace steel.

One of our first experiences in racing was with a long-time customer John Force Racing. They had an issue with Titanium round bar they were making parts from cracking. We investigated and realized they had a selection of new and older stock they pulled which ended up being the wrong grade for that application. They returned some samples and we tested them in house with our Niton analyzer and found several different grades. We provided the correct grade, shipped them new stock, and the problem was solved. We continually engage our customers to help them find the grade that is best for their application. We have so many great customers that share their success with us by sending back winner circle pictures and photos of championship trophies.

Radio controlled cars, planes, drones, and helicopters are another area we see a ton of misused Titanium – for the scale of the application most get by without fail. One customer did have some complaints about Titanium RC car axles, again he sent samples and after testing with the Niton Analyzer we found again there were multiple grades of Titanium used to make the parts. This realization explained why some of his axles would fail while others would not. We helped him source from reliable vendors and avoid those issues down the road.

TMS Titanium stocks a large selection of Titanium for end users in racing, medical, aerospace, knives, tactical gear, bikes, RC cars, jewelry, fidget spinners and even sparkers. With 15 years in the business and counting we are here to help. Tell us what you need, and the application and we’ll get you on track and move the process forward!