Titanium and Its Alloys -
Applications for Titanium Alloys

    Titanium alloys have outstanding properties in their ligh strength to weight ratio, exceptional resistance to corrosion, non-magnetics, biocompatibility and resistance to low temperature. Titanium and its alloys have proven to be technically superior and cost-effective materials for a wide variety of aerospace, industrial, marine and commercial applications.

 
Metal Extraction Equipment
    Hydrometallurgical extraction of metals from ores in titanium reactors is an environmentally friendly alternative to smelting processes. Extended lifespan, increased energy efficiency and greater product purity are factors promoting the usage of titanium electrodes in electro- winning and electro-refining of copper, gold, manganese and manganese dioxide.
 
FGD (Flue Gas Desulphurisation)

    Major installations of titanium in the outlet ducts and stacks of FGD plants show the exceptional resistance titanium has to aggressive environments.

    Fast, cost effective installation techniques have been developed. In life cycle cost studies, titanium linings have proven to be the least expensive option.

 
FGD (Flue Gas Desulphurisation)

    Major installations of titanium in the outlet ducts and stacks of FGD plants show the exceptional resistance titanium has to aggressive environments.

    Fast, cost effective installation techniques have been developed. In life cycle cost studies, titanium linings have proven to be the least expensive option.

 
Sporting Equipment

    Titanium golf shafts, tennis racquet frames, pool cue shafts, and bicycle frames are currently being fabricated using alloys such as Ti-3Al-2.5V. These have the properties needed for sports applications:

  • Good strength-to-weight ratios
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Low modulus of elasticity
  • Damage tolerance
 
Food, brewing and pharmaceutical

    Titanium demonstrates excellent corrosion resistance, not only to various food products and pharmaceutical chemicals, but also to the cleaning agents utilized. As equipment life becomes a more critical factor in financial evaluations, titanium equipment will replace existing stainless steel apparatus. Outstanding biocompatibility offers new opportunities to the production of developing pharmaceutical products.

 
Gas turbine engines

    Highly efficient gas turbine engines are possible only through the use of titanium-based alloys in components like fan blades, compressor blades, discs, hubs and numerous rotating parts. The key advantages of titanium- based alloys in this application include high strength/weight ratio, strength at moderate temperatures and good resistance to creep and fatigue. Currently, titanium alloys are available for sustained operation at temperature up to 600C (1112F). The development of titanium aluminides will allow the use of titanium in hotter sections of a new generation of engines.

 
Airframes

    Titanium plays a critical role in weight reduction of highly-stressed parts, especially the fuselages and wings. For each ton saved, the resultant savings is 1.5 to 2 tons of added flight revenue.

    The most important properties titanium offers are high fatigue strength and fracture toughness. Titanium typically comprises 9% by weight of commercial airframes. This percentage is not forecast to diminish even with increasing use of carbon fiber composites. In fact, usage is increasing steadily, replacing high strength steels and aluminum.

 
Anodes

    Titanium electrodes coated with precious metal or precious metal oxides are used for:

  • Impressed current cathodic protection
  • Chlorine production
  • Electroplating
  • Metal recovery
  • Electrophoresis and electro-osmosis and other applications where long term electrode stability is required.
 
Heat exchangers

    The outstanding corrosion and erosion resistance of titanium provides protection against environmental pollution and contamination of process streams. The advantages titanium offers for plate and tube exchangers are:

  • no need for corrosion allowances
  • no loss of fatigue strength in seawater
  • no requirement for corrosion protection
  • low fouling factors
    Titanium tubes are currently available in several extended surface configurations, including fine integral fin, roped and clad high fin. Design for corrosion resistance and optimum heat transfer with all liquid systems, condensing and evaporating is therefore possible.
 
Dental alloys

    The bio-compatibility and strength of titanium make it an ideal material for dental posts and other oral prosthetics. Bone naturally adheres to the surface oxide of titanium without additional coatings.

 
Marine

    Because of high strength, high toughness and exceptional erosion/corrosion resistance, titanium is currently being used for submarine ball valves, fire pumps, heat exchangers, castings, hull materials for deep sea submersibles, water jet propulsion systems, shipboard cooling and piping systems and many other components in ship designs.

 
Steam turbines

    Over 30% of the down-time of powerplants is caused by failures of steam turbine components. The use of Ti-6Al-4V turbine blades in the Wilson line region increased the efficiency and life of the low pressure steam turbine while decreasing downtime and maintenance.

 
Pulp and paper

    Due to recycling of waste fluids and the need for greater equipment reliability and life span, titanium has become the standard material for drum washers, diffusion bleach washers, pumps, piping systems and heat exchangers in the bleaching section of pulp and paper plants. This is particularly true for the equipment developed for chlorine dioxide bleaching systems.

 
Ultrasentrifuges

    Titanium has an established application in medical ultracentrifuges. Its high strength-to-weight ratio, and its fatigue and corrosion resistance are the primary reasons it is selected for this critical application.

 
Medical (implants)

    Titanium is the most bio-compatible of all metals due to its total resistance to attack by body fluids, high strength and low modulus.

    Titanium is widely used for implants, surgical devices, and pacemaker cases. Titanium replacements for hips and other joints are well established and have been in use for over 30 years. Advanced coatings are now available which hasten the bonding of titanium with adjacent bone.

 
Petrochemical refineries

    Titanium has been used in refineries for over forty years. Initial applications were in tubing for heat exchangers where titanium was specified because of corrosive cooling water. More recently, titanium is used increasingly because of corrosive process fluids and lower quality crudes. Applications are extending from shell and tube exchangers to plate and frame exchangers, scrubbers and other related equipment.

    Several refineries were forced to upgrade their processing equipment because of supply problems with high quality crude oil. Titanium was able to cope with the high hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide contents of the lower quality crude. It was then discovered that the cost of the titanium was quickly recovered by the savings in purchasing the lower cost oil and improved process equipment life.

 
Condensers

    Titanium has proven to be the most reliable tubing material for the power industry because it is immune to pitting and corrosion and is highly resistant to erosion from steam impingement. It returns no harmful metal ions to the environment or to the condensate-feedwater stream.

    Titanium overcomes the problems of random failure of tubes formed from other materials caused by local conditions of inlet turbulence (inlet end corrosion) and partial tube blockage by marine life and debris.

 
Springs

    The advantages titanium offers for springs are:

  • low density
  • low modulus
  • high natural frequency
  • good formability
  • high fatigue strength
  • lower profile than competing materials
 
Spectacle frames

    Stylish spectacle frames are produced from titanium using fine wire or rolled sections. A variety of attractive, permanent finishes are available through anodizing or heat tinting. Titanium/nickel shape memory alloys offer unique shape retention and significantly enhance durability and usefulness. These durable, ultralight frames are enjoying widespread popularity.

 
Nuclear waste storage

    Nuclear waste must be stored safely for hundreds of thousands of years. The proven resistance of titanium to attack from naturally occurring fluids makes it a prime candidate for multi-barrier disposal systems.

 
Desalination plant

    Excellent resistant to corrosion, erosion, and high condensation efficiency, make titanium the most cost-effective and dependable material for critical segments of desalination plants. Usage of thin-walled welded tubing makes titanium competitive with copper-nickel.

 
Jewelry

    Titanium has strength, corrosion resistance and excellent biocompatibility, and is therefore an obvious candidate for use in jewelry. Its attraction to jewelry designers, however, is the ability to produce a range of both bright and subtle colors by anodizing or heat tinting. Artists have used titanium to create modern pieces which have met with critical acclaim.

 
Automotive

    Titanium is already used in high performance vehicle components such as:

  • inlet valves
  • exhaust valves
  • valve springs
  • valve retainers
  • rocker arms
  • connecting rods
  • suspension springs
    due to its high strength and low weight. Evaluations have demonstrated that use of a titanium valve train improves fuel efficiency by 4% in commercial engines.
 
Seawater piping

    Over the past thirty years at many locations onshore, titanium handling saline, brackish and polluted waters has outperformed and outlived its guarantees. Over 100 million meters (330 million feet) of steam condenser tubing, some now guaranteed for 40 years, are installed in power plant worldwide without a single failure attributable to corrosion.

    Several North Sea platforms have titanium piping systems. Titanium tube and pipe passes the NPD (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) standard hydrocarbon fire test. Use of titanium allows pipe diameters to be reduced and bend radii to be tightened. This reduces offshore weight and space requirements.