What is Titanium? – Grades, Properties, Applications, and more


Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. Titanium is a versatile, strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant metallic element that has become an important industrial metal used across many industries. Its unique properties make it suitable for high-performance applications.

The Common Grades of Titanium

These unalloyed titanium grades are classified from Grade 1 to Grade 4 based on their level of oxygen content. Grade 1 has the lowest oxygen content and is the most ductile. Grades 3 and 4 have higher strength due to increased oxygen content.

This is the most widely used titanium alloy, accounting for over 50% of titanium usage. It has 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, and the rest titanium. It offers a good balance of strength, ductility, and high-temperature performance.

This alpha-beta alloy has excellent weldability and is used in airframes, jet engines, and marine applications.

Often called Ti 6-2-4-2, this near-alpha alloy offers high strength and good corrosion resistance for aerospace uses.

The high strength and hardness of this alpha-beta alloy make it suitable for aircraft landing gear and other high-stress applications.

Also called Ti 15-3-3-3, this beta-titanium alloy combines strength, ductility, and corrosion resistance for applications like aircraft structural parts.

This alpha-beta alloy, known as Ti 6-2-4-6, has enhanced creep resistance for jet engine components.

This alpha-beta alloy called Ti 13-11-3 offers the best corrosion resistance of any titanium alloy and is used for marine and chemical processing applications.

Key Properties of Titanium

The key properties of titanium are its light weight, strength, corrosion resistance, biocompatibility, useful temperature range, along with reasonable ductility and hardness depending on the alloy.

Titanium has a density of 4.5 g/cm3, which is about 60% of the density of steel and alloy steels. This makes titanium a lightweight metal.

Titanium has relatively high tensile strength compared to its low density. Commercially pure titanium can have tensile strengths up to about 434 MPa. Alloyed titanium can reach tensile strengths over 1,400 MPa.

Titanium retains its mechanical properties at moderately high temperatures of up to 350°C. The addition of alloys improves high-temperature strength.

Titanium has relatively low hardness – around 36 HRC for commercially pure grades. Alloying can increase the hardness significantly.

Commercially pure titanium grades can have elongation up to 20% or more. Titanium alloys have lower ductility but are still considered reasonable.

The Applications of Titanium

Titanium’s unique strengths make it the metal of choice across many critical applications. Here are some of the major applications and example brands using titanium:

Aircraft engines, airframes, helicopter parts (Rolls Royce, Boeing, Airbus)

Surgical implants, pacemakers, orthopedic and dental implants (Stryker, Zimmer Biomet)

Heat exchangers, desalination plants, pulp and paper plants (GE)

Connecting rods, valves, springs, exhausts (Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, McLaren)

Jewelry, watches, sports equipment like golf clubs, bicycles (Rolex, Omega, Callaway, Trek)

Aircraft, armor, missiles, naval ships and submarines

Tanks, valves, pipes for chemical processing plants

Propellers, driveshafts, hulls, rigging, and other saltwater equipment

Condensers and heat exchangers for nuclear, coal, geothermal plants

Roofs, facades, compression rings, and structural supports