When seeking for durable and robust materials, designers often turn to steel and titanium. This article will compare titanium and steel using an analysis of their mechanical, physical, and working qualities to assist you in selecting the best material for your project. But first, let’s examine each metal individually before we begin the comparison.
What is Steel?
One of the most popular alloys is steel, which is normally an iron alloy with a little amount of carbon added to increase its strength and resistance to fracture. Steel is a material that is dense, hard, magnetic, and resistant to high temperatures. While most steels are prone to corrosion, stainless steel addresses this issue. Steel is widely used in construction, structures, infrastructure, transportation, equipment, electrical appliances, and automobiles because of its inexpensive cost, high tensile strength, and workable characteristics. A variety of steel alloys, including 4130 steel, 4140 steel, A36 steel, etc., are created as a result of the metal’s variable carbon and other alloying element content. These alloys increase the quality of the metal and give it certain features.
To be more precise, the majority of steel alloys are hard and dense but still workable. Additionally, steel responds to heat treatment, which, depending on the process and the type of steel, gives it various qualities. Steel also performs well as a heat and electrical conductor. Due to the iron content, several types of steel are vulnerable to rust. But when chromium is added to steel to create stainless steel, this issue is solved.
What is Titanium?
Titanium is not as scarce as most people think it is because it was first refined into its metallic forms in the early 1900s. It is the fourth most common metal on Earth. It is also challenging to purify, which drives up the cost of production.
Elemental titanium is a non-magnetic silver-gray metal that is almost half as dense as steel (4.51 g/cm3), placing it in the “light metal” category. Modern titanium is available as elemental titanium or as a variety of titanium alloys, all of which are designed to boost the base metal’s strength and corrosion resistance. While elemental titanium is typically used as an alloying agent for other metals, these alloys have the requisite strength to function as aerospace, structural, biomedical, and high-temperature materials.
Titanium is challenging to weld, process, or mould, but it can be strengthened with heat treatment. It has a great strength-to-weight ratio, offering steel’s strength at 40% the weight, and is corrosion-resistant due to a thin oxide layer that forms on its surface in the presence of air or water. It can withstand erosion and cavitation, making it suitable for high-stress applications like those in military and aerospace technology. Due to its excellent corrosion resistance and biocompatibility, titanium is used in a variety of industries where more conventional metals are insufficient. It is essential for projects where weight is decreased but strength is maximized.
What Distinction Exists Between Steel and Titanium?
Titanium vs. Steel: Density
Almost half as heavy as steel, titanium is more lightweight than steel. Due to this characteristic, titanium is a good choice for applications that need both strength and lightness, such as those in the aerospace sector. On the other hand, steel’s density is advantageous when employed in components like automobile chassis.
Titanium vs. Steel: Hardness
Although titanium is hard, it is not as hard as steel. This does not imply that titanium is easily deformed. On the other hand, titanium creates a strong oxide coating that shields the metal from dents.
Titanium vs. Steel: Elasticity
How flexible a material is is determined by its elasticity.
Due to its low elasticity in this regard, titanium flexes and deforms easily when subjected to force. This characteristic also makes titanium difficult to manufacture. Steel, on the other hand, has a larger elastic modulus and is easier to process.
Titanium vs. Steel: Elongation at Break
This characteristic determines how much a material can stretch before breaking. A material that extends more before breaking is indicated by a higher elongation at break. In other terms, a metal is more pliable if it has a larger elongation at break.
Titanium is very ductile and will stretch almost half its length before breaking. As a result, titanium is challenging to mill. On the other hand, steel is tougher and more brittle since it comes in a variety of alloys with low elongation at break.
Benefits of titanium
- Corrosion Protection
The amazing corrosion resistance of titanium is its best feature. When exposed to air, titanium develops a thin, impenetrable layer of oxide on its surface. Furthermore, titanium is a fantastic option for any outdoor application because of the oxide layer’s naturally strong and resistance to practically all typical sources of corrosion.
- Extraordinary High Melting Point
Additionally, titanium exhibits a high melting point. Titanium is the ideal material for high-temperature applications, such as turbine jet engines, due to its melting point of around 1668 °C.
- non-toxic substance
Titanium is not hazardous to people or animals, in contrast to most materials. This is why titanium is often used in the medical sector. Titanium is the material of preference for medical professionals when it comes to dental braces and bone strengthening.
- Adaptability to Extreme Temperatures
The metal titanium has remarkable resistance to intense temperatures due to a variety of features. Due to its resistance to contraction and expansion, titanium is a crucial element in maintaining structural integrity.
- High Strength
Finally, one of the strongest metal you can find is titanium. The strength-to-weight ratio of titanium is excellent despite its small weight.
The drawbacks of titanium
- High Price
The price of titanium can outweigh some of its numerous advantages. Without careful planning, it’s simple to go over your budget.
Due of its low elastic modulus, titanium is easily bent. Titanium is hard to manufacture because of its low stress to strain ratio.
- Casting difficulties
You should pause and explore for other options if you intend to use titanium for casting. The casting process is challenging due to the unique characteristics of titanium, including its high melting point and strength.
- Difficult processing
This feature of titanium, to put it simply, has to be handled differently in all phases of production, making it expensive and difficult to process.
- arduous to extract
Titanium extraction is challenging as well. The components needed for extraction are not only costly but also hazardous to handle. Additionally, the extraction method contributes to additional environmental issues including soil erosion.
Benefits of Steel
One of the most popular and accessible materials in the world is low cost steel. Additionally, purchasing and using it are both reasonably priced.
- High Strength
Tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme weather conditions are not a problem for steel, which can also endure and maintain structural integrity.
The greatest feature of steel is that it can always be recycled with little processing without ever losing its initial strength or versatility.
Compared to other materials, steel as a component offers designers more freedom and customizability. The characteristics of steel can be changed to meet your needs by utilizing a variety of different elements.
- Predicted Responses
Most materials have unpredictable reactions to uncontrolled situations, but steel is an exception since it has predictable behaviors.
- High Maintenance
Steel can lose up to 1.5mm of thickness and strength per year if it isn’t properly maintained.
- Low Strength at High Temperatures
Additionally, steel needs a lot of protection from extreme temperatures. Steel can distort at high temperatures and even cause a structure to collapse.
Steel sections are often constructed from thin steel plates. These plates may get deformed if an additional load is applied to them.
Steel is generally not thought to be attractive to look at. To make steel goods more aesthetically pleasing, surface finishing or cladding is typically required.
Steel is very prone to corrosion and needs protection and maintenance on a regular basis to keep it from rusting. Limiting their exposure to air and painting steel structures is one of the most popular methods of protecting them.
JTR can provide a variety of parts processing services, including CNC machining, stamping, die-casting and so on. We can process and make products according to the drawings you provide.