Titanium 101

  • May 1, 2019

What is titanium? What is it used for? Where does it come from? What makes it better than other metals?

Titanium was discovered in 1791, but a pure titanium sample was not isolated until 1910. Since then, titanium has been on a slow rise of increasing popularity in many industries such as aerospace, medical, industrial, jewelry, and even racing. Still, many people have a list of questions when it comes to using titanium. There isn’t always one answer to cover the topic of titanium in relation to every use, so it’s best to do your research or reach out to a company like TMS Titanium (us) to ask questions and learn more. But we’ll do our best to give you s short summary here:

Titanium is actually the 9th most abundant element on the Earth, found primarily in the Earth’s crust. Despite this, it is still considered relatively rare in comparison to other commonly used metals. The reason it took so long form, someone, to isolate a pure titanium sample is that it is always found bonded to other elements. Once it has been processed, it can be formed and manufactured into many different grades, all with their own advantages depending on the desired application. It may be left pure, but have trace amounts of other elements, or it may be bonded to elements like aluminum, steel, iron, etc. to create alloys.

It is sought after due to its corrosion resistance and crazy strength-to-weight ratio. Steel, a common metal, is often used when describing titanium because of its high strength. With titanium, you can get the strength of some steels but at half the weight. And – because titanium bonds so easily to other elements, it can be used to produce alloys that are even stronger and still light, which are optimal for many applications such as aerospace and military. The most popular alloy is 6AL – 4V, also known as 6-4 or Grade 5 Titanium. This alloy is comprised of 6% Aluminum and 4% Vanadium in addition to the titanium. This alloy is stronger and harder than unalloyed forms of titanium, referred to as “Commercially Pure” grades (which also makes it generally higher priced). It can also be more easily welded and fabricated. There are, of course, things to consider when working with titanium- such as using the right equipment and speeds for cutting.

Bottom line: Titanium is STRONG and LIGHT. It is versatile and has many beneficial characteristics which can be applied to many different final uses. If you are considering whether titanium may work with your product or application, contact TMS Titanium today and let us tell you how titanium can benefit you and your customers.

Titanium is a Wonder Metal!