Titanium Vs Stainless Steel: Which Metal is Right for Your Project?
When choosing a metal for your next project, deciding which material is right can be difficult. Many different types of metals are available, each with its unique benefits and drawbacks. This blog post will compare titanium and stainless steel and help you decide which metal is best for your needs!
What is Titanium?
Titanium is a strong and lightweight metal with excellent corrosion resistance. It is also extremely durable, making it an ideal choice for many applications. Additionally, titanium has a high melting point, making it suitable for very high temperatures.
Titanium is a new type of metal; titanium performance and content of impurities such as carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen; the purest titanium iodide impurity content is not more than 0.1%, but its low strength and high plasticity.
Titanium alloy is made by adding other metals to the base of titanium. Titanium alloy is much younger than other metals, such as iron and copper, and has been around for about 60 or 70 years. It is a metal developed in the United States. Although titanium alloy appeared briefly, it has been widely used in various fields, such as the aerospace and medical fields, and one can often see its figure.
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an alloy made from iron, chromium, and other metals. It is known for its strength and durability in various applications. Stainless steel has excellent corrosion resistance, making it suitable for use in environments with high levels of moisture or acidity. Additionally, stainless steel comes in various grades, giving it increased versatility.
The main element of corrosion resistance in stainless steel is chromium. Steel containing more than 10.5% chromium is less susceptible to rust. The alloying elements added during smelting are different, and there is a difference between magnet and magnet. Stainless steel is generally divided according to the organizational structure and can be divided into austenite, ferrite, martensite, and other categories.
Stainless steel alloys is a kind of material with close to mirroring brightness, hard and cold touch, belongs to the more avant-garde decorative materials, with excellent corrosion resistance, formability, compatibility, toughness, and other series characteristics, used in heavy industry, light industry, household goods industry, and building decoration industry.
The Difference Between Titanium And Stainless Steel
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #1: Chemical Composition
The main alloying element in stainless steel is Cr (chromium); only when Cr content reaches a certain value steel has corrosion resistance. Therefore, stainless steel’s general Cr (chromium) content is at least 10.5%. Stainless steel contains Ni, Ti, Mn, N, Nb, Mo, Si, Cu, and other elements.
Titanium is an elemental metal. It can be combined with other metals to create a stronger alloy that is highly resistant to corrosion yet still lightweight.
Commercially pure titanium contains a variety of elements, including nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, iron and nickel. Titanium is the main element composition, and the composition proportion of other elements is between 0.013-0.5%.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #2: Density
The Density of titanium metal is 4.51 g/cm3, and the Density of stainless steel is 7.70-7.90 g/cm3.
Titanium is much lighter than stainless steel, making it ideal for applications where weight is a major concern. Additionally, titanium has a greater strength-to-weight ratio than stainless steel, meaning it can support more weight while still being lightweight.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #3: Melting Point
The melting point of titanium is 3,027 °C. The melting point of stainless steel is 1,416-1,537 °C.
Titanium has a much higher melting point than stainless steel, making it suitable for applications that require extreme temperatures. Additionally, since titanium alloy can handle high temperatures better than stainless steel, it is ideal for aerospace and automotive applications.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #4: Color
Titanium is a silver-grey metal. Stainless steel can come in various colors, ranging from silver to gold, depending on the alloy composition.
The color of stainless steel is divided into titanium gold, titanium black, bronze, sapphire blue, rose gold, bronze, Champagne gold, etc.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #5: Hardness
Titanium is a relatively soft metal, while stainless steel is harder. Stainless steel’s Brinell hardness is typically in the range of 180-400, while titanium’s is in the range of 100-200.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #6: Corrosion Resistance
Titanium alloy works in a humid atmosphere and seawater medium; its corrosion resistance is much better than stainless steel; The resistance to pitting corrosion, acid corrosion, and stress corrosion is particularly strong; Excellent corrosion resistance to alkali, chloride, chlorine, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, etc. But the corrosion resistance of titanium to reducing oxygen and chromium salt media is poor.
However, with the addition of chromium, stainless steel can still be made highly corrosion-resistant. This alloy not only increases the corrosion resistance of the metal but also makes it more durable.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #7: Electrical Conductivity
The electrical conductivity of titanium is 18 MS/m, the electrical conductivity of stainless steel ranges between 10-50 MS/m, and copper has an electrical conductivity of 100-400 MS/m.
Overall, copper is much more electrically conductive than titanium or stainless steel and is thus better suited for applications requiring high electrical conduction. However, titanium is much lighter than copper and stainless steel and may be preferred for certain applications due to its weight advantage.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #8: Heat-conducting Property
Titanium thermal conductivity λ=15.24W/(m. K), about 1/4 nickel, iron 1/5, aluminum 1/14, and a variety of titanium alloy thermal conductivity than the thermal conductivity of titanium decreased by about 50%.
The thermal conductivity of stainless-steel ranges between 20-60 W/(m.K). Generally speaking, stainless steel has higher thermal conductivity than titanium and is thus more suitable for applications that require heat transfer or rapid cooling.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #9: Strength
The Density of titanium alloy is generally about 4.51g/ cubic centimeter, only 60% of that of steel. The Density of pure titanium is close to that of ordinary steel. Some high-strength titanium alloys exceed the strength of many alloy structural steel sheets. The overall strength of stainless steel is higher, and the strength per unit mass of titanium is higher.
The strength of titanium alloy is about 20-40% higher than stainless steel, but its hardness and plasticity are lower. Titanium has a much higher tensile strength than stainless steel, making it more resistant to breakage. Additionally, titanium is less brittle than stainless steel and can absorb impacts better without breaking.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #10: Welding
Titanium alloys can be welded with gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) or plasma arc welding (PAW). On the other hand, stainless steel is more commonly joined through MIG and TIG welding methods.
Titanium is difficult to weld and requires a skilled welder and specialized tools, while stainless steel is easier to weld. Both metals require regular post-weld cleaning and maintenance to keep them in good condition and protect them from corrosion.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #11: Plasticity
Titanium has a relatively low plasticity, while stainless steel can be made more malleable by adding various alloys. As a result, stainless steel is often easier to shape and form into desired shapes than titanium.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #12: Machinability
Titanium is difficult to machine and requires specialized cutting tools and coolants to prevent galling. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is easier to machine with standard high-speed steel (HSS) or carbide tools. Overall, stainless steel has many advantages over titanium regarding machinability.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #13: Prices
Titanium and stainless steel are more expensive than other metals, with prices varying depending on the grade and alloy used. Generally speaking, titanium is much more expensive than stainless steel due to its rarity.
Titanium Vs. Stainless Steel #14: Applications
Titanium alloy has high strength and small Density, good mechanical properties, toughness, and corrosion resistance. In addition, the process performance of titanium alloy is poor; the cutting is difficult.
The Applications of Titanium:
- Aerospace: In aircraft, helicopters, and missiles, titanium is often used in components such as brackets and frames.
- Automotive: Titanium can be found in parts of cars, including the exhaust system, bumpers, and brake rotors.
- Medical: Titanium is extremely biocompatible, meaning it is non-toxic to humans. it is often used in the medical industry as an excellent source of replacement parts such as hip implants, knee replacements, pacemaker boxes and human cranial panels.
- Industrial: Titanium is often used in industrial applications due to its strength and corrosion resistance, such as heat exchangers, chemical processing equipment, and valves.
Stainless steel is widely used in our daily life due to its good corrosion resistance, oxidation resistance, and wear resistance.
The Applications of Stainless Steel:
- Kitchenware: Stainless steel is resistant to staining, rusting, and corrosion, making it the ideal material for cookware, cutlery, and kitchen appliances.
- Industrial Chemicals: Stainless steel is widely used in industrial applications such as pipelines, automotive components, and medical equipment.
- Construction: Stainless steel is often found in facades and decorative structures due to its aesthetic appeal.
- Automotive: Stainless steel is used in exhaust systems, radiators, and other automotive components due to its strength and corrosion resistance.
How to distinguish Titanium and Stainless steel?
Look At The Color: Titanium is a little bit dark, it’s a cool color, it’s cool it’s a little bit darker than steel. The steel is white, the pale kind. The contrast between the two colors can be seen.
Check Corrosion Resistance: Soak it in nitric acid. Titanium does not react, and stainless steel, a put-down, will have a strong reaction. Below 550℃, titanium alloy easily forms a dense oxide film, so it is not easy to be further oxidized and has a high erosion resistance to gas, seawater, steam, and some acids, bases, and soft media.
Check Hardness: Titanium can mark gray and black on the tile, but stainless steel can not mark. In general, scratches on titanium seem to be more pronounced than on stainless steel. This is mainly because scratches first affect the titanium oxide layer on the surface and then spread to the metal below.
Which Metal Is Right for Your Project?
The choice between titanium and stainless steel comes down to a few factors: cost, strength, machinability, plasticity, and application.
Titanium may be the right choice for your project if you’re looking for a lightweight yet strong material with superior corrosion resistance.
If you need a metal that is easier to shape and machine and more cost-effective, go with stainless steel. Ultimately, it all depends on the specific needs of your project.
Titanium & Stainless Steel Machining Precision Parts
If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced partner to produce precision parts with titanium or stainless steel machining, THEN CNC Machining is the right choice for your project. Our team of experts has experience in castings, forgings, and machined components made from titanium and stainless steel.
We have worked with many industries, such as aerospace, automotive, medical and industrial. We can provide high-quality components with precise tolerance and excellent surface finish. Contact us today for more information about our titanium & stainless steel machining services.
Q: What is ferritic stainless steel?
A: Ferritic stainless steel contains 15% ~ 30% chromium. It has excellent heat resistance, making it ideal for corrosion resistant applications.
Q: What is austenitic stainless steel?
A: Austenitic stainless steel contains more than 18% chromium, but also contains about 8% nickel and a small amount of molybdenum, titanium, nitrogen and other elements. Good comprehensive performance, can resist the corrosion of various media.
Q: What is martensitic stainless steel?
A: Martensitic stainless steel is a type of stainless steel that has higher levels of carbon and lower levels of chromium. It has excellent strength and ductility, making it ideal for applications such as knives and springs due to its ability to be hardened through heat treatment.
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.