There are no limits for titanium uses in modern economy
In the beginning, titanium uses were limited within the small confines of its birth place, the aerospace components industrial sector, which still remains accountable for the greatest use of titanium metal. However, though this particular demanding industrial niche is strong, reliable and capable of sustaining durable demand for titanium suppliers, titanium machining companies and additional funding for titanium research and development processes, it also has a long cycle of operation.
Airplanes are meant to be reliable and in use for periods expressed in decades. The entire process required to assemble all the pieces for a commercial jet is a complex time consuming project which spans well over several years timespans. This led to a thoroughly cycling pattern of titanium consumption, which also influenced prices, especially in the first decades after its entry as a mainstream structural metal.
Though a cycling pattern is not a “bad” thing by itself, it does lead to several difficulties for the participants involved in different sectors of titanium industries, difficulties regarding inventory levels, optimal establishing of demand orders and minimum batches of production. That’s why the efforts were concentrated in developing titanium uses that would break this cycle pattern, through what is known as lateral development.
Because of that, the uses of titanium are growing faster than ever, as more and more engineers are discovering and implementing new technologies than can enhance the performances and reduce lifecycle costs across a broad range of equipment and processes,
though there are competitors in this field, such as tungsten carbide
. Titanium has an exceptionally high strength to weight ratio. In other words, about half as much titanium is required to do the same job, based on strength, or the same weight of titanium will go twice as far.
Titanium forms a very tenacious surface oxide layer, which is an outstanding corrosion inhibitor. There is a lot that can be said about this spectacular
titanium corrosion resistance.
It is also a strong argument for many applications in what titanium is used for. In many harsh environments it can outlast competing materials as much as 5:1. Lower failure rates translate to less downtime, reduced maintenance and total lower cost.
One of the titanium uses is in power generating plants, where saline, brackish or polluted waters are used as the cooling medium, in the form of
for heat exchangers that will last for the life of the condenser (with a 40-year warranty against failure under proper conditions) and eliminate the need for a corrosion allowance.
In petroleum exploration and production, titanium tubings light weight and flexibility make it an excellent material for deep sea production risers. In addition, titanium's immunity to attack by sea water makes it the preferred material for the armor of cables and
titanium hose clamps
used in marine environments. These are usually made using beta alloy
It is used on existing platforms in the North Sea and many more projects are in the planning stages.
In the automotive industry, titanium uses were developed especially for components of the vehicle used in motor racing. Engine parts such as
titanium connecting rods,
wrist pins, valves, valve retainers and springs, rocker arms and
to name a few, are just some of the items for what titanium is used for. While titanium initially may be more expensive for these applications, designs that exploit its unique characteristics yield parts that more than pay for themselves with better performance and a longer life.
One of the less impressive titanium uses is for the manufacturing of small work tools. It was first tried in Soviet Union in the beginning of 1980s when the government ordered development of light and convenient work tools to ease load on the workers. Soviet titanium giant VSMPO manufactured in that times
shovels, titanium axes and wrenches. Later Japanese and US manufacturers of work tools started to use titanium. Many tool manufacturers routinely use
for their products in order to enhance their performances.
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