Titanium vs. Stainless Steel, what is the Difference?

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Stainless steel and titanium are traditional metals that are used very often in the manufacturing sector. Both the traditional metals have a unique set of strength and properties and are exquisite in their characteristics. You need to have proper knowledge about titanium and stainless steel to help you achieve your objectives in your projects. The following is a comprehensive guide to distinguishing between the two metals. Stainless steel and titanium exhibit some unique characteristics that differentiate these metals. Titanium stainless steel differs based on its corrosion resistance, elemental composition, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, weight, hardness, melting point, and many other points. 

  • Element Composition

You can compare titanium and stainless steel based on their element composition. Pure commercial titanium includes several elements such as oxygen, nickel, hydrogen, iron, and nitrogen. Stainless steel comprises chromium, silicon, nitrogen, aluminum, copper, etc. The presence of chromium in stainless steel helps in preventing rust and offers heat resistance features.

  • Corrosion Resistance

Titanium is known as a specialty metal since they are highly corrosion resistant. This metal offers great corrosion resistance and mechanical stability, which may be lacking in other metals. Compared to titanium, stainless steel stands inadequate in its corrosion resistance application. In the aerospace industry, titanium nuts and bolts are considered significant because of their corrosion resistance properties. Stainless steel provides good mechanical properties, but has limited corrosion resistance application. Titanium is a specialty metal with corrosion resistance application, so it is used in corrosion-sensitive tools and equipment in different industries. Titanium has more corrosion-resistant powers than stainless steel in diverse fields like corrosion against acid alkalis, industrial chemicals, and natural waters.

  • Electrical Conductivity

Electrical conductivity involves the flowing of electrons via material due to a drop in their potential. Atomic structure in metals is a result of their electrical conductivity. Based on electrical conductivity, titanium shows poor conductivity, so it is fair resistors. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is a good conducted of copper 3.5%, while titanium exhibits only 3.1% copper conductivity.

  • Melting point

The melting temperature at which a metal converts into a liquid phase from a solid phase is known as its melting point. At this temperature, both the liquid and the solid phase of the material exist in the equilibrium stage. The material can be used for thermal applications to reach this temperature level. Titanium is mostly preferred over stainless steel when metal is needed for melting point application because it exhibits 3000 to 3040 degrees Fahrenheit whereas stainless steel exhibits only 2250 to 2790 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Hardness

The hardness of a metal is the value that describes how much the metal can respond to deformation, scratching, itching, denting, etc. This measurement is done with the help of indenter machines. For example, stainless steel is harder than titanium regarding heat treatment and alloy composition. On the other hand, titanium easily deforms when being scratched or indented.

Is Titanium Stronger Than Steel?

Based on their tensile yield strength, stainless steel is mostly preferred over titanium because it is much stronger than titanium. A popular misconception among people is that titanium is stronger compared to other metals, but the reality is that it is only on par with stainless steel. Regarding the overall strength, stainless steel is preferred as alloys of stainless steel surpass other metals in yield strength. If designers are looking only for strength, they should use steel, whereas designers concerned with strength per mass unit should select titanium.

Is Titanium Expensive?

Titanium is more expensive compared to stainless steel. This is why this metal is more costly for some industries like the construction sector, where huge quantities are required in industrial sectors. In industries where money becomes a crucial factor, stainless steel is preferred over titanium.

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