General Properties of Titanium Alloys

Titanium, though discovered as an element in 1791, commercially produced titanium has been available only since the 1940s, so it is among the newest of engineering metals. Titanium can be the answer to an engineer’s prayer in some cases. It has an upper service temperature limit of 1200 to 1400°F (650 to 750°C), weighs half as much as steel (0.16 lb/in3 {4429 kg/m3}), and is as strong as a medium-strength steel (135 kpsi {930 MPa} typical). Its Young’s modulus is 16 to 18 Mpsi (110 to 124 GPa), or about 60% that of steel. Its specific strength approaches that of the strongest alloy steels and exceeds that of medium-strength steels by a factor of 2. Its specific stiffness is greater than that of steel, making it as good or better in limiting deflections. It is also nonmagnetic.


Titanium is very corrosion resistant and is nontoxic, allowing its use in contact with acidic or alkaline foodstuffs and chemicals, and in the human body as replacement heart valves and hip joints, for example. Unfortunately, it is expensive compared to aluminum and steel. It finds much use in the aerospace industry, especially in military aircraft structures and in jet engines, where strength, light weight, and high temperature and corrosion resistance are all required.

Titanium is available both pure and alloyed with combinations of aluminum, vanadium, silicon, iron, chromium, and manganese. Its alloys can be hardened and anodized. Limited stock shapes are available commercially. It can be forged and wrought, though it is quite difficult to cast, machine, and cold form. Like steel and unlike most other metals, some titanium alloys exhibit a true endurance limit, or leveling off of the fatigue strength, beyond about 10^6 cycles of repeated loading.

Table 1: Mechanical Properties of Some Titanium Alloys