Why Is Titanium So Expensive?!

  • April 1, 2019

It’s a common question – especially from those who have never used titanium before.

So here’s the deal – there are actually a few different things that influence the price of titanium. In general, titanium will usually be more expensive than other metals because it is rarer than other metals, and because it is typically only found bonded to other elements which can make processing more expensive. Looking just in the realm of titanium, factors influencing price include grade, type of material certification (if present), material source or Country of Origin (CoO), material specification, amount of processing, and order size.

Grade

Titanium grades which are rarer – such as CP Grade 4 or CP Grade 7- may be more expensive. Grade 6AL – 4V (6-4, Grade 5) is an alloy where titanium has been bonded with Aluminum and Vanadium to produce higher strength. It is also more weldable and more easily fabricated. With that, typically, comes a higher price tag.

Material Certifications

At TMS, we sometimes stock non-certified material. This means that when you purchase the metal, that is all you are getting. We have no official document to prove to you that the metal meets certain physical or chemical properties and we may have no traceable heat or lot number with which to identify the material. We test the material with a gun to verify the material grade, but again- there is no formal document from a mill or manufacturer proving this information. Oftentimes, this material will be “mill-marked” meaning it has a line marking applied to the material from the producing mill which states the grade, size, and sometimes even specifications of the material. This non-certified material will be the least expensive option if it is available.

Our titanium may also be lab certified. This means that there is no documentation from the mill or manufacturer, but there is a document from a legitimate testing facility which will typically show the grade, size, physical, and chemical properties, and sometimes heat or lot number from the mill. This would typically be a little more expensive than non-certified material.

Foreign mill certified material will come with a mill certification with the heat number, grade, any applicable specifications, physical, and chemical properties. Common CoO’s for our foreign certified materials is from China and Russia.

Domestic mill certified material is melted and manufactured in the USA. Domestic certs tend to be a little longer and more detailed than foreign mill certs but include basically the same information. This material is typically DFARS compliant and, upon request, can be quoted as RoHS compliant as well. Domestic-created material will be the most expensive option available.

CoO and Material Specification

As stated above, domestically produced material will be more expensive than imported material. Similarly, material specifications that apply to more extreme applications (such as Aerospace) may affect the price as well. For example, ASTM B348 is a common specification for titanium bar- but AMS 4928 is the aerospace specification for titanium bar and has more strict requirements. Therefore, you may be paying more for this spec. If your application/customer requires a certain spec, you must be sure to request that explicitly as not all material conforms to every spec.

Processing

Here at TMS Titanium, we have cutting capabilities to provide our customers with smaller pieces that are ready for production if needed. Waterjet, grinding, shear, bar, and plate cutting are available to help save our customers time and make their manufacturing as easy as possible. We take pride in making sure our orders are cut to perfection.

Order Size

This one’s easy – the more you buy, the more you save! BUT REMEMBER- We have no order minimum at TMS Titanium, so there is no request too small.

While titanium may be a bit on the pricey side, our satisfied customers say it’s worth it. And you can feel confident that with TMS Titanium, we work to give you the best possible deal and get your material shipped to you as quickly as possible (that’s why we have an online store as well!). Our workforce is skilled and efficient, and we believe in our product. We’ll work with you to get you what you need at the best price we can. Email us today to request a quote!

Titanium is a Wonder Metal!