It is quite interesting how titanium alloy does not react with the human body, unlike many other materials in the market. Its special characteristics make it actually different from any other metals to date. Titanium alone is a very hard metal in line with chrome, aluminum, copper, nickel, zinc, and the like. However, titanium, when mixed with other metals gives a different twist. Titanium alloy is a metallic substance, which is a result of titanium combined with small quantities of other substances like palladium, vanadium, tin, and aluminum. Combining these other metals, the material will develop far different characteristics from titanium alone or the other metals alone.
The combination of other metals with titanium actually conveys a remarkable characteristic in the metal—its lightness and strength. Titanium alloy is considered to be similar in strength to steel but lighter by 45%. It has twice the strength of aluminum, but is heavier than aluminum by 60%.
Other properties of titanium alloy aside from its strength are the following:
- It has extreme corrosion resistance.
- It displays good weldability or fabricability characteristics.
- It boasts of good stability.
- It has the ability to withstand elevated temperatures.
- It is non-reactive with the human body.
Because of the properties seen in titanium alloy, it comes helpful for different applications. The unique characteristics of this metal make it effective in various fields. Some of the applications of titanium alloy are:
- Marine Applications. Since titanium alloy is not corroded easily by seawater, it is widely used for propeller shafts and other boat parts exposed to seawater.
- Racing and Aerospace Industry. The metal is also used in airplanes, rockets, and missiles that require low weight, good strength, and resistance to high temperature.
- Biomechanical Applications. The unique characteristic of titanium alloy, which is being non-reactive with the body, makes it useful for orthopedic and dental implants. It can be used to create rims or pins for setting bones, artificial hips, and some biological implants.
- Chemical Industry.
- Gas Turbines.
There is a very limited application of the use of titanium alloys in automobiles. Today, high end vehicles such as Porsche and Ferrari use the metal as rims and connecting rods in their wheels and other auto parts. Most likely, the wheels of most vehicles nowadays are made of chrome or any other cheaper metals.
The characteristics of titanium alloy will definitely offer more uses for the growing world. However, it is boxed in by the fact that this metal is a lot more expensive than other materials like steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, nickel, and chrome. While titanium alloy possesses such special characteristics, its use is limited to a few because of its cost.