Titanium vs. steel

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Facial, Mar 17, 2006.


Your favorite of the two?


    35 vote(s)
  2. STEEL

    14 vote(s)
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  1. Facial Valued Senior Member

    This thread is more intended for a discussion upon the likes of favoritism, since an otherwise objective comparisons are nearly impossible due to the complexity of each material category's variability in form and purpose.

    I have some inspiration from a glimpse of this forum thread, and I thought it would be fairly entertaining to repeat the topic here at Sciforums. As you may have noticed, the discussion in the link is very, errrr, uninformed. Blatantly.

    Anyway, back to the topic. As someone who has some basic knowledge of materials science, I personally have a bias for steel over titanium.

    What do you guys think?
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  3. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Titanium is always better (unless you need something magnetic, like a refrigerator). You can even get it fairly cheap from old russian submarines.
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  5. Poincare's Stepchild Inside a Klein bottle. Registered Senior Member

    Oh, come on. This is comparing apples and oranges.

    Looking at just the structural strength, titanium wins hands down. But steel is vastly more plentiful, and thus vastly cheaper. And steel is a lot easier to work with.
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  7. RubiksMaster Real eyes realize real lies Registered Senior Member

    but titanium has a cooler name, and it makes something sound more "advanced" if you hear it is made of titanium.
  8. domesticated om Stickler for details Valued Senior Member

    I voted steel. When my wife and I went shopping for wedding rings, the 'tungsten steel' ones looked alot cooler than the titanium ones.

    .....however, I do prefer the titanium body piercing jewelry over the stainless steel jewelry, so maybe I should have null voted

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  9. Hurricane Angel I am the Metatron Registered Senior Member

    This is a very limited selection... what about carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes.. or spider silk? or those special glass alloys (I forgot their name, but they're the hot shit right now).

    "Special glass alloys" is my favourite.
  10. CANGAS Registered Senior Member

    I like the menacing look of Titanium such as in skin sections of fighter aircraft. And I like the goldy color of Titnium Nitride.

    Chrome-Moly Stainless Steel ( an Iron based substance ) came in a very, very close second.

    When painting ( pictures ), both Titanium Dioxide and the Iron Oxides are so useful that they have to rate a tie as both being indespensible.
  11. phlogistician Banned Banned

    For what use? I like both. I have a Titanium wristwatch, and a titanium ring, but I wouldn't want a sword made out of it, although a friend has a rather nifty titanium diver's knife. As has been pointed out, steel is easy to obtain, and easy to work.

    So it rather depends. Am I making a thousand of something, or just a few? What's my budget? ;-)
  12. apgrau Registered Member

    Titanium or Stainless Steel Watch?

    Hi guys, I just bought a titanium watch and just found out it is about $100 more expensive from the exact model in stainless steel.
    Is it worth the difference for some reason? or did I just waste $100 just to be able to say it is made out of titanium and show off?
    I didn't know I had the option of material until after I paid..
    Stainless Steel looks shinier and might have looked more posh on the watch and wristband whereas titanium is lighter in weight but darker in colour. I guess a few grams extra on a watch would not be worth $100 though..

    Can someone enlighten me and tell me if it was worth it?

    thanks in advance,

  13. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

  14. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

    Can titanium hold a cutting edge well?
  15. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    As a backpacker, titanium wins, hands down. Light, strong, and most importantly, light.
  16. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

  17. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

    Thanks Q.

    All together, I'd go with steel then. It's also the only viable building material. Titanium is too rare, expensive, and hard to handle for structures of sufficient height.
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I too thank Q for interesting reference. I will add one "pro-titanium" point (from memory, so not 100% sure but easy for some one to check).

    Many years ago, while summer student at LASL, I helped design a vacuum furnace. We used titanium for parts of it as it has better high temperature strength than steel. At the time, LASL was one of the few places in US where titanium could be welded. - It was sort of embarrassing as the Russians were routinely making some part (leading edges etc) of their jet fighters from titanium at the time. I think they still have large-scale titanium production capacity unmatched anywhere else in the world.
  19. Roman Banned Banned

    Always better?

    Titanium doesn't resist shocks like steel can. It's more brittle. It's also far more difficult to wield, as welding titanium must be done in an oxygenless environment.

    For instance, a titanium sword would be difficult to fix when it inevitably chipped. Lower carbon steel has the advantage of absorbng blows, which means it won't turn to fragments when you hit another piece of metal with it.
  20. Facial Valued Senior Member

    Consider this:

    On average, it is safe to say that the average strength of steels made is under that of titanium. However, the strongest steel is stronger than the strongest titanium.

    Notice that even very expensive tools are still fabricated from steel, not titanium metal.

    Steel is stiffer than titanium.

    They both have similar fatigue properties - both exhibit fatigue limits.
  21. Roman Banned Banned

    I don't think so. Steel can be stiffer, if a lot of carbon is put in it. Otherwise, it's more maleable that titanium, which gives it a different sort of strength.
  22. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Titanium is harder to machine that Stainless Steel, and fewer items are made in it, so it costs more. It's not a waste of cash, it has a certain curiosity value, and definitely earns geek points.

    If you get scratches on your watch, give it a polish with a mild abrasive solution, like 'Brasso', the whole watch will take a lighter colour, and then an oxide layer will slowly form again, and your scratch, which was in the old oxide layer will have gone.
  23. iam Banned Banned

    titanium is preferred for personal gadgets like jewelry, watches because it weighs less than steel but anticorrosive. it has a different purpose. I had my pick of a stainless steel fridge or a titanium one, i like the titanium finish because unlike steel it shows no fingerprints but i like the clear sheen of steel.
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