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TITANIUM- AN INTRODUCTION

Historically, the element Titanium has been known by its symbol Ti with the atomic number 22; and atomic weight 47.9. Although titanium is one of the Earth’s most abundant structural metals, there was no significant utilization of this element in commercial production until the 1950’s when its special properties were first recognized. Its unique combination of light weight and high strength-to-density characteristics created such structural efficiencies as to lend its use in critical applications such as high-performance jet engines and airframe components.



This highly desirable metal along with its various alloys quickly spread into worldwide favor, making vast improvements in metal products and in manufacturing machinery and production technologies. In 2002, Ti Squared Technologies developed its near net-shape process to specialize in the manufacture of commercial titanium castings.


   

From its humble beginnings as a producer of “complex” titanium castings, Ti Squared has flourished over the years, expanding markets and increasing its share of titanium production and has dramatically lowered the price of titanium based products. By focusing on commercial titanium castings, Ti Squared is capable of supplying titanium components at prices competitive with stainless steel.


Currently, titanium products are not only common, they are readily available. These engineered metals have become highly competitive with stainless and specialty steels, nickel-based or copper alloys and various composites.


Titanium reserves are known to be in significant supply worldwide. In addition, processing capacity for titanium is expected to easily exceed expected high demands for its continued growth in commercial, industrial, aerospace and emerging technologies.


Titanium is profoundly corrosion resistant because of a protective oxide film making it highly desirable in marine, deep sea, industrial and chemical applications. Its use in nuclear waste storage and pollution management and control offers the public an additional layer of safety.


Titanium adds strength and reliability to many components such as automotive parts, recreation and sports equipment, and its non-magnetic properties are critical in medical implants as well as surgical implements and devices.


It’s no surprise that titanium and its alloys is a mainstay in many industries today and continues to be a favored metal in critical applications in aerospace, medical, industrial, chemical and many other fields. New applications for titanium are being introduced to the marketplace quite regularly, and this trend is expected to continue.


In our focused factory, Ti Squared Technologies routinely supplies high volume commercial-industrial components with very short lead times.


22 Ti
Titanium Alloys Have Many Desirable Properties

Ti Squared Technologies pours titanium alloys that meet complex design requirements factoring in ideal combinations needed for strength, durability, metal stress, extreme heat, and corrosive or harsh chemical environments.


Titanium’s high structural efficiency is due to its elevated strength-to-density ratio. Its weight is about half of its competitors such as steel, nickel or copper alloys. In addition, it has excellent corrosion/erosion resistance to seawater, chlorides, sour and oxidizing acidic substances and has the added benefit of high heat tolerances. These multiple attributes are of critical importance to the chemical processing industry as well as the industrial, automotive, marine, medical and various commercial industries.


Corrosion and Erosion Resistance

Ti Squared Technolgies pours titanium alloys that exhibit exceptional resistance to a vast range of chemical environments and conditions provided by a thin, invisible but extremely protective surface oxide film known as alpha-case. This film, formed by a metal- mold reaction which is primarily TiO2, is highly tenacious, adherent, and chemically stable, and can spontaneously and instantaneously reheal itself if mechanically damaged if the least traces of oxygen or water (moisture) are present in the environment. This metal protection extends from mildly reducing to severely oxidizing, and from highly acidic to moderately alkaline environmental conditions; even at high temperatures.


Titanium is especially known for its elevated resistance to localized attack and stress corrosion in aqueous chlorides (e.g., brines, seawater) and other halides and wet halogens (e.g., wet Cl2 or Cl2-sat. brines), and to hot, highly-oxidizing, acidic solutions (e.g., FeCl3 and nitric acid solutions) where most steels, stainless steels and copper- and nickelbased alloys can experience severe attack. Titanium alloys are also recognized for their superior resistance to erosion, erosion-corrosion, cavitation, and impingement in flowing, turbulent fluids. The case hardening inherent in titanium castings can provide exceptional corrosion and erosion resistance with surface hardness approaching 50 HRc.


This useful case hardness improves the resistance of titanium alloys to highly-reducing acid media, such as moderately or highly concentrated solutions of HCl, HBr, H2SO4, and H3PO4, and in HF solutions at all concentrations, particularly as temperature increases. However, the presence of common background or contaminating oxidizing species (e.g., air, oxygen, ferrous alloy metallic corrosion products and other metallic ions and/or oxidizing compounds), even in concentrations as low as 20-100 ppm, can often maintain or dramatically extend the useful performance limits of titanium in dilute-to-moderate strength reducing acid media. Therefore, titanium alloys generally offer useful resistance to significantly larger ranges of chemical environments (i.e., pH and redox potential) and temperatures compared to steels, stainless steels and aluminum-, copper- and nickel-based alloys.


Other Attractive Properties

Titanium alloys possess coefficients of thermal expansion which are significantly less than those of aluminum, ferrous, nickel and copper alloys. This low expansivity allows for improved interface compatibility with ceramic and glass materials and minimizes warpage and fatigue effects during thermal cycling. As a casting material, Titanium has very minimal shrink and is very stable dimensionally.


Titanium is essentially nonmagnetic (very slightly paramagnetic) and is ideal where electromagnetic interference must be minimized (e.g., electronic equipment housings, well logging tools). When irradiated, titanium and its isotopes exhibit extremely short radioactive half-lives, and will not remain “hot” for more than several hours. Its rather high melting point is responsible for its good resistance to ignition and burning in air, while its inherent ballistic resistance reduces susceptibility to melting and burning during ballistic impact, making it a choice lightweight armor material for military equipment. Alpha and alpha-beta titanium alloys possess very low ductile-to-brittle transition temperatures and have, therefore, been attractive materials for cryogenic vessels and components.


Heat Transfer Characteristics

Titanium has been a very attractive and ,well-established heat transfer material especially in seawater coolers. Exchanger heat transfer efficiency can be optimized because of the following beneficial attributes of titanium:


  • Exceptional resistance to corrosionand fluid erosion
  • An extremely thin, conductive oxide surface film
  • A hard, smooth, difficult-to-adhere to surface
  • A surface that promotes condensation
  • Reasonably good thermal conductivity
  • Good strength

Although unalloyed titanium possesses an inherent thermal conductivity below that of copper or aluminum, its conductivity is still approximately 10- 20% higher than typical stainless steel alloys. With its good strength and ability to fully withstand corrosion and erosion from flowing, turbulent fluids (i.e., zero corrosion allowance), titanium walls can be thinned down dramatically to minimize heat transfer


  • Exceptional erosion and erosion/corrosion resistance
  • High fatigue strength in air and chloride environments
  • High fracture toughness in air and chloride environments
  • Low modulus of elasticity
  • Low thermal expansion coefficient
  • High melting point
  • Essentially nonmagnetic
  • High intrinsic shock resistance
  • High ballistic resistance-to-density ratio
  • Nontoxic, nonallergenic and fully biocompatible
  • Very short radioactive half-life
  • Excellent cryogenic properties

Titanium’s relatively low density, which is 56% that of steel and half that of nickel and copper alloys, means twice as much metal volume per weight and much more attractive mill product costs when viewed against other metals on a dimensional basis. Together with higher strength, this obviously translates into much lighter and/or smaller components for both static and dynamic structures (aerospace engines and airframes, transportable military equipment), and lower stresses for lighter rotating and reciprocating components (e.g., centrifuges, shafts, impellers, agitators, moving engine parts, fans). Reduced component weight and hang-off loads achieved with Ti alloys are also key for hydrocarbon production tubular strings and dynamic offshore risers and Navy ship and submersible structures/components.


Titanium alloys exhibit a low modulus of elasticity which is roughly half that of steels and nickel alloys. This increased elasticity (flexibility) means reduced bending and cyclic stresses in deflection-controlled applications, making it ideal for springs, bellows, body implants, dental fixtures, dynamic offshore risers, drill pipe and various sports equipment. Titanium’s inherent nonreactivity (nontoxic, nonallergenic and fully biocompatible) with the body and tissue has driven its wide use in body implants, prosthetic devices and jewelry, and in food processing.


Stemming from the unique combination of high strength, low modulus and low density, titanium alloys are intrinsically more resistant to shock and explosion damage (e.g., resistance (and cost). Titanium’s smooth, noncorroding, hard-to-adhere to surfaces maintains high cleanliness factors over time. This surface promotes drop-wise condensation from aqueous vapors, thereby enhancing condensation rates in cooler/condensers compared to other metals. The ability to design and operate with high process or cooling water side flow rates and/or turbulence further enhances overall heat transfer efficiency.


All of these attributes permit titanium heat exchanger size, material requirements and overall initial life cycle costs to be reduced, making titanium heat exchangers more efficient and cost-effective than those designed with other common engineering alloys.


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