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When you think about the strongest and most versatile metals used in industries like aerospace, military, automotive engines, marine equipment, or jewelry, titanium is one of the elements that’ll come to your mind. Because of its superior chemical and physical properties, titanium is suitable for a variety of applications.
However, due to its high price, many people assume that it’s a very rare element. But that’s not the case at all. Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the earth’s crust, so what is the reason behind the high market price of titanium? And why tools made of titanium are so expensive? Well, that’s exactly what we are going to find out.
What Is Titanium?
Titanium is a glossy, gray metal with excellent strength and negligible corrosion. Although it does not exist in big concentrations, titanium is found in small amounts in practically all rocks. Since titanium is a naturally occurring element that can be found in both pure and alloyed forms. The most typical titanium alloy you’ll encounter is Ti 6-4, an alloy with aluminum and vanadium.
Why Tools Made Of Titanium Are So Expensive?
“Titanium is expensive because it is extremely light, has immense strength, doesn’t corrode, is non-toxic to humans, and has a very high melting point.”
Here is a breakdown of all these facets.
One of the primary reasons why titanium is so expensive is because it has an excellent ability to resist corrosion. It forms a thin, impenetrable layer of oxide on its surface when exposed to air. Consequently, it makes titanium a fantastic option for various outdoor applications because of the oxide layer’s inherent strength and resistance to practically all causes of corrosion. You can expose titanium to seawater and chlorine, and it still won’t be affected adversely.
Extremely High Melting Point
Titanium has an unbelievably high melting point. It is the ideal material for high-temperature applications, such as turbine jet engines, due to its melting point of around 1668 °C. Additionally, due to its resistance to contraction and expansion, titanium is a crucial element in maintaining structural integrity. These unique characteristics make titanium highly sought after by many important industries like aerospace and military.
As mentioned earlier, naturally, titanium has an extremely high melting point which makes this element very tough. This also makes it very hard to machine or process titanium compared to other elements like steel.
The metal can be found in multiple alloys of iron, aluminum, and various other compounds. The production of titanium requires a lot of energy, labor force, and time to get the final product. The more time a product manufacturing process takes, the more expensive it will be.
Moreover, any product made with titanium loses some of its material while going through its final development process. Chances are when you’re paying for any titanium-made product, you would be paying for some of the waste that was created in the process as well. So, titanium waste contributes largely to a larger production cost.
Titanium is not hazardous to people or animals, in contrast to most other materials. This is why titanium is often used in the medical sector. When it comes to dental braces and bone strengthening, titanium tends to be the preference for most medical experts. Due to its biocompatibility, titanium is also used in surgical implants and instruments.
Dental implants and hip ball socket replacement are only two of the medical applications that involve titanium. More than 20 years can pass with these implants in place. 4% vanadium and 4% to 6% of aluminum are typically found in titanium implants.
Those who work with titanium are aware of the significance of this material and its potential for a wide range of applications. So, the next time you buy a titanium product, consider the process, how its extracted, the complexity of its manufacturing process, and other production costs. Then you probably will have an easier time understanding why they are so expensive.