Titanium products - find out everything you need to know about them

Titanium products are “the new kids on the block”, when considering the time frame of discovery and mass production of titanium. It’s been only a decade since the high prices in manufacturing, and especially processing and machining of titanium, got low enough to allow the use of titanium outside the aerospace and military ultra-specialized and expensive niche.

Commercial titanium metal based products form around 15% of the titanium market nowadays, and it is the fastest growing market sector with approximately double the growth of titanium market in general.

Titanium products are classified in four major categories:

A. Products made of machined solid titanium metal

This segment comprises commercial products that contain solid machined titanium components, of different titanium alloys. These products can be further sub-divided in two sub-categories.

1. Products that emphasize titanium strength to weight ratio

These usually are products that relate to sport and sport apparel market. The best known are titanium golf clubs. Starting initially as exclusive and expensive items marketed to the high-end professional golfer at the end of the ‘80s, they soon evolved to mainstream standard products available worldwide. They are still more expensive than traditional steel clubs, but they do make for a worthy and desired alternative, due to some certain advantages titanium golf clubs provide on the teeing ground.

Titanium metal strength to weight ratio is especially suited for mountaineering and backpacking related products. Every accessory ever used by climbers is offered in titanium. Titanium fasteners, titanium ice picks, titanium tent stakes, titanium bolts. If the products can be used outdoors, and used to climb a cliff, then the chances are that it is produced in titanium. A relevant example are titanium flasks. And with good reason, too.

If you would like to know more about the use of titanium in backpacking, and about backpacking in general, a visit to Easybackpackingtips.com would probably provide an answer to all your questions.

2. Products that emphasize titanium hypoallergenic properties.

These are products that are extensively used in surgical and other medicine procedures. Although there are several research projects actively seeking alternatives, titanium is still the best solution for reconstructive surgery and for all other types of intrusive implants, such as heart valves.

The commercial success in this case is related with titanium’s unmatched corrosion resistance, which is combined with its hypoallergenic behavior. The main competitor in corrosion resistant materials, stainless steel, contains nickel – which has a great prevalence of allergy cases. Because of this titanium is also extensively used in manufacturing surgical instruments.

Another exclusive and less known titanium characteristic is osseointegration. Titanium is the only metal that is so well tolerated by the human system that the bone tissue actually grows around it. This makes titanium ideal for dental implants.

B. Products made of titanium tubing

Titanium tubing is used extensively in industrial products. In consumer markets, the notable titanium products are titanium bicycle frames and titanium wheelchairs.

C. Products made of titanium wire and/or NITINOL.

NITINOL is a titanium based alloy that is known to display shape memory properties. Although its history and properties imply far more interesting and exotic applications, at the moment, the most notable product it is used in are titanium eyeglass frames.

D. Pseudo-titanium products.

These are products that are falsely regarded as made of titanium. Sometimes they are purposely marketed as such, because of the intrinsic value the word itself has acquired during its existence.

They usually are made with cheaper materials and they have, at best, a titanium coating. This is the case of many titanium knives, although specialized diving knives are really made from true titanium metal. Generally, titanium metal based blades are not as perfect as action heroes imply, and in real life, they do not meet the actual requirements for common usage. For a better understanding of titanium based blades, check my review of Schick Quattro titanium.

The even more far-fetched pseudo titanium products are those who are produced by organic compounds that have mere atoms of titanium in their composition (they are called titanates because of this). But this is sufficient for the producers to claim them to be “made of titanium”. The best examples are titanium golf balls.

And finally, there are the cases of high-end electronics titanium products. Almost every serious manufacturer markets some kind of a special “titanium” line, ranging from TV sets, to notebooks and mobile phones. If you decide to buy such a “titanium device”, do keep in mind that you’ll get the unique titanium appearance, but probably not even an ounce of titanium metal.

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