The term “titanium tubing” refers in general to all sorts of hollow, cylindrical tubes and pipes made from pure titanium metal or titanium metal alloys. Titanium tubing is known for the same qualities as the metal from which it was made. These qualities include lightness, rigidity, high strength to weight ratios, superior corrosion resistance and exceptional wear, tear and corrosion resistance. These qualities are especially evident when titanium tubing is compared to tubing made from other metals. In fact, titanium and titanium alloys can support the same amount of weight as aluminum, copper or brass while contributing only about half as much material volume as the others.
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Titanium Applications and Benefits
Because titanium and titanium alloys are particularly resistant to salt, oxygen, chloride and acid corrosion, titanium tubing requires much less maintenance than other types of metal tubing. In addition, titanium tubing lasts much longer than most of them as well. Given its many attributes, titanium tubing is heavily used in the making of products and machinery for industries including agriculture, petro-chemical, food processing and marine, among others. In processes that require the transference of corrosion chemicals, titanium tubing most notably offers the benefit of corrosion resistance. It saves fuel lines and valves from the potentially dangerous corrosion, breakage and chemical leaks they would face with more easily corroded metal tubing. Likewise, titanium tubing and titanium pipes ward off the perils of weather that run down lesser metals over time.
Shaping Titanium Tubing
Manufacturers make titanium tubing from stock titanium parts, such as bars, slabs, foil, rods, profiles, strips, tubing, shims, sheets, plates and wire. Stock shapes such as these allow for ease of warehouse management and shipping and transportation to manufacturers. Typically, titanium customers purchase the metal in one or more of these forms and then process them further for their individual applications. Titanium tubing and titanium pipes can be manufactured using a variety of different methods, but most often, these alloyed stock shapes are formed using a powdered or melted form of titanium, to which they add precise amounts of other metallic powders or liquids. Once they have the desired mixture, they melt it together and then press or cast it into a mold or die. In this case, the mold is always in the form of a stock shape. The exact mixture from which an individual piece of titanium tubing is made depends generally on the application and what substance or substances would work best with its temperature and load requirements, location and mode of transportation.
Grades for Titanium Alloys
Titanium alloys can be selected by the grade, which is an alloy classification that helps manufacturers decide what alloy is best for a job, based on various alloy properties. Such properties include hardness, flexibility, corrosion resistance and heat resistance, among others. Titanium grade 1, for example, is the softest and most ductile of all the titanium alloys, and it is valued for use with cold forming processes and corrosive environments. Grade 5 titanium, however, is the most commonly used grade of titanium. It is strong, stiff, heat treatable and corrosion resistant, and is most often processed via welding.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Titanium Tubing
Today, titanium is very popular in many industries and deemed the best solution for their manufacturing needs, despite its relatively high cost. This cost is due to the fact that, because titanium is not found in its pure form in nature, its fabrication price is quite high. First, it must be extracted from naturally occurring mineral deposits, and then it must be prepared for secondary fabrication. After that, it must undergo procedures like refining, tooling and processing via casting, spinning, forging or machining. In addition to the high price and long amount of time that must be spent doing these things, such processes can prove challenging to perform because titanium has special handling requirements that call for extra care and because it is hard to mold and shape. Also, because it is such a durable material, titanium can actually cause heavy wear and tear to the tools and machinery used to mold and shape it. As noted, however, these challenges do not deter the countless manufacturers that see its worth.
Equal in strength to steel and yet carrying only half of its density, titanium tubing and titanium pipes make excellent choices for components in process vessels, process valves, heat exchangers and tanks, as well as innumerable other applications in the aerospace, agriculture, agri-food, construction, machinery, manufacturing, marine and petro-chemical industries. For the best information on how titanium tubing can serve your application, contact an experienced titanium manufacturer near you. Find the best of the best by browsing the list of companies we’ve provided for you near the top of this page.