Aluminum Vs Titanium, What is difference?
Aluminum alloy and titanium alloy are two kinds of metals, some people are very familiar with these two metals, but many people do not know what the difference is between titanium alloy and aluminum alloy, in fact, the difference between the two is very big, through the appearance can be distinguished, the price of the two is not the same, the following introduction to this knowledge.
What is Aluminum?
Pure aluminum is a silver-white metal, light in weight, with good ductility, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, heat resistance,high fracture toughness and radiation resistance.
Aluminum in the air will form a dense oxide film on its surface, so that aluminum has good corrosion resistance. Normally we see aluminum products, have been oxidized. This oxidized aluminum is usually silvery gray.
Aluminum is a light metal, and its compounds are widely distributed in nature. The content of aluminum in the Earth’s crust is about 8% (by weight), followed by oxygen and silicon. Aluminum is known as the world’s second metal, its production and consumption after steel.
What is Titanium?
Titanium is a chemical element, chemical symbol Ti, atomic number 22, in the periodic table of chemical elements in the fourth period, the IVB group. It is a silver-white transition metal characterized by light weight, high strength, metallic luster, and resistance to wet chlorine corrosion.
Titanium is a rare metal due to its dispersion in nature and its difficulty in extraction. But it is relatively abundant, ranking tenth among all elements. Titanium ores are mainly ilmenite and rutile, widely distributed in the crust and lithosphere.
It is very light in texture, but also very tough and corrosion-resistant. It will not turn black like silver, and it will keep its hue for life at room temperature.
What is the difference between Aluminum and Titanium?
Aluminum Vs Titanium #1: Density
Aluminum is about one-third the density of steel. It is very light. Titanium, on the other hand, is denser than both aluminum and steel. This makes it much stronger than aluminum but also much heavier.
Aluminum has a density of about 2.7 grams per cubic centimeter and titanium has a density of about 4.51 grams per cubic centimeter, so for the same volume, titanium is about 1.6 times heavier than aluminum alloy.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #2: Melting Point
Aluminum has a melting point of 660℃ and a boiling point of 2327℃.
Titanium is an isomer with a melting point of 1668℃ and a densely packed hexagonal lattice structure below 882℃, which is called α titanium. At 882℃ above the body-centered cubic lattice structure, called beta titanium. The titanium alloys with different structures were obtained by adding metal alloys elements according to the different structural characteristics of titanium.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #3: Color
Aluminum is a silver-white metal with a metallic luster. Titanium is also a silver-white metal, but it has a darker color than aluminum.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #4: Strength
The strength, hardness, toughness, elasticity, tensile resistance, elongation resistance, impact resistance, strength, creep strength and tensile strength of titanium are many times higher than that of aluminum.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #5: Corrosion Resistance
The corrosion resistance of aluminum can be excellent because a thin surface layer of alumina forms when the bare metal is exposed to air, effectively preventing further oxidation in a process called passivation. Aluminum is resistant to air and water, but it is not resistant to all acids and alkalis.
Titanium is a very corrosion-resistant metal. Titanium is also resistant to air and water, but it is more resistant to acid and alkali than aluminum.
The corrosion resistance of titanium alloy is much better than that of aluminum alloy when it works in humid atmospheres and seawater. The resistance to pitting corrosion, acid corrosion, and stress corrosion are particularly strong; Excellent corrosion resistance to alkali, chloride, chlorine, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, etc.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #6: Electrical Conductivity
Aluminum is conductive. If you see non-conductive aluminum, it is because aluminum has been anodized, resulting in a colorless oxide film on the surface of the aluminum. This layer of the oxide film is not conductive, more important is to improve the corrosion resistance of aluminum, surface hardness is also greatly improved, can resist general friction, and is not easy to be stained
Titanium is not a good electrical conductor. If the conductivity of copper is considered to be 100%, the conductivity of titanium is 3.1%. The conductivity of aluminum is 30%.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #7: Heat-conducting Property
The thermal conductivity of aluminum is about 237 W/(m·K), while the thermal conductivity of titanium is about 15.24 W/(m·K). This means that aluminum conducts heat almost 16 times better than titanium. The higher the value, the better the thermal conductivity.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #8: Heat Resistance
Aluminum alloy has poor heat resistance, soft at high temperature, has large viscosity, poor liquidity, easy to stick mold and produce a variety of surface defects.
Titanium alloy has low thermal conductivity, the use temperature is several hundred degrees higher than aluminum alloy, at medium temperature can still maintain the required strength, and can be in 450 ~ 500℃ temperature for a long time to work.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #9: Heat Treatment
Titanium cannot be heat-treated like aluminum to change its hardness or strength. However, titanium alloys can be heat treated to change their mechanical properties.
Purpose of heat treatment of aluminum alloy：
a. Reduce hardness and improve machinability.
b. Aluminum annealing furnace can eliminate residual stress, stabilize size, reduce deformation and crack tendency;
Aluminum Vs Titanium #10: Welding
Aluminum is easier to weld than titanium. But because of its high thermal conductivity, it is difficult to control the heat input during welding, which can lead to problems such as distortion and cracking.
Titanium is more difficult to weld than aluminum. Titanium alloys can be welded using gas tungsten arc welding, plasma arc welding, and electron beam welding. However, these methods are expensive and require special training.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #11: Plasticity
Aluminum is a soft metal with good plasticity. It can be processed into various shapes and has good machinability. Titanium is a tough metal with poor plasticity. It is difficult to process and has poor machinability.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #12: Machinability
Aluminum is easy to machine. Titanium is difficult to machine.
According to the properties of titanium alloy and the characteristics of the cutting process, the following aspects should be considered during processing:
- #1. The smaller front Angle and larger back Angle are used to increasing the contact length between the chip and the front cutter face, and the friction between the workpiece and the back cutter face is reduced.
- #2. The cutting speed should be low and Use impact-resistant cutting tools, so as to avoid too high cutting temperature; Moderate feed, too large easy to burn knife, too small because the blade in the work hardening layer and wears too fast.
- #3. Coolant must be added during processing to cool fully. When cutting titanium alloy, the cutting resistance is large, so the processing system needs to ensure sufficient stiffness. Because titanium alloy is easy to deform, so the cutting clamping force can not be large, especially in some finishing processes, when necessary, certain auxiliary support can be used.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #13: Cost
Aluminum is cheaper than titanium. Titanium is more expensive than aluminum. Because of its superior properties, titanium is often used in high-end products.
Inexpensive aluminum is the most cost-effective metal for machining or 3D printing; Although the cost of titanium is high, can make the value of the product leap. The fuel savings from using lightweight metal components in an aircraft or spacecraft would be huge, and titanium parts will last longer.
Aluminum Vs Titanium #14: Applications
- Aerospace Industry：
Aluminum alloy is one of the important materials in the aviation industry, which can be used in the manufacture of rivets, aircraft propellers, heat sinks, and high-strength components of aircraft.
- Marine Industry：
Aluminum alloy with excellent comprehensive performance is used in the production of ship shells, support structures, support facilities, pipelines, and so on.
- Chemical Industry:
Aluminum is widely used in the chemical industry to manufacture corrosion-resistant components with complex structures, such as cylinders, pipe fittings, valves, pumps, pistons, etc.
- Packing of Metal：
Aluminum alloy in the packaging industry should be beer, beverage, and other food cans, aluminum foil utensils fast food, product packaging, paste cosmetic packaging, etc.
The use of titanium alloy is mainly reflected in the field of aviation, daily necessities, Marine engineering, the construction industry, the chemical industry, and sports equipment.
- Aerospace Industry：
Spray paint engine parts, fuselage parts, rockets, satellites, missiles, and other parts.
- Marine Industry：
Eyeglass frames, watches, crutches, fishing rods, kitchenware, digital products, crafts, and decorations, etc.
- Ocean Engineering:
Desalination pipeline, offshore oil drilling pump, valve, pipe fittings, etc.
- Chemical Industry:
Point dissolving tank, reactor, distillation tower, concentrator, and electrode for soda ash, plastics, and petrochemical.
- Sports Equipment:
Golf heads, tennis rackets, badminton rackets, ski poles and ice blades.
Titanium Vs Aluminum alloy, How to distinguish them?
Aluminum and the other is titanium, as long as the two materials are drawn against each other. The cut piece is aluminum. Because titanium is harder than aluminum.
The color of the aluminum will be silvery white, and the titanium will have a metallic luster. If it is oxidized, the color of titanium is like iron rust, while the color of aluminum oxide is sky blue or light green.
Titanium-specific gravity is 4.51, and aluminum-specific gravity is 2.7, so you can use a measuring cup with water to measure the weight of the two materials.
Aluminum will react with alkali, and titanium has good alkali resistance.
If you use pliers, scissors to destroy aluminum is very labor-saving, and titanium is very laborious.
Titanium Machining Precision Parts With Aria Manufacturing
Due to the high chemical activity of titanium metal, it is easy to be polluted by other elements, so the processing and manufacturing process of titanium alloy is very high. At the same time, the processing of high performance products need to take into account its mechanical, physical, chemical and technological properties. The existing titanium alloy is above 600℃. Creep resistance and the sharp decline of oxidation resistance at high temperature are the two main obstacles limiting the expansion of application of titanium alloy.
Aria Manufacturing is a leading provider of titanium machining services for the aerospace and medical industries. We have over 25 years of experience machining precision parts from titanium and other exotic materials. Our state-of-the-art CNC machining centers are equipped with the latest tooling and software to produce parts with tight tolerances and complex geometries.
Aria Manufacturing is ISO 9001 and AS9100 certified, and our quality management system is backed by an experienced team of quality control inspectors. We also offer a variety of value-added services to help our customers save time and money, including assembly, packaging, and shipping.
Contact us today to learn more about our titanium machining capabilities or request a quote for your project.
Gavin Leo is a technical writer at Aria with 8 years of experience in Engineering, He proficient in machining characteristics and surface finish process of various materials. and participated in the development of more than 100complex injection molding and CNC machining projects. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience.