Why is titanium such an attractive material for fasteners used in critical environments?

titanium fasteners

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Titanium fasteners have become extensively used across many industries over the last few years. The material is very active, flexible/high plasticity, and offers a fantastic combination of strength plus corrosion, oxidation, heat, and cold resistance; it is non-magnetic, non-toxic, and lightweight. It provides a low coefficient of thermal expansion and is not prone to embrittlement at extremely low temperatures.

How are these benefits for a screw?

  • Strength-to-weight ratio: The material’s density is 4.51g/cm3, higher than aluminum and lower than copper, nickel, or steel. Titanium is impressively and uniquely strong as it is also extraordinarily light. Fasteners created from titanium can be four times stronger than 316 stainless steel but at about half the weight, depending on the grade used.
  • High Resistances: Titanium offers unparalleled resistance in many harsh environments. It is resistant to rapidly moving or stagnant water and temperatures as low as -320°F or up to 500°F. The material is practically inert to chlorine or chlorine solutions.
  • Other attractive properties: The material is non-toxic, non-magnetic, and biocompatible.

One of the most notable attributes of titanium fasteners is their superior resistance to sea or salt water. Over decades of use, it has been proven that titanium will resist even the most polluted water, can be used in applications up to a mile below the sea’s surface, will withstand rapid currents and high velocity, and is not affected by sulfides.

The material can rapidly regenerate its protective passive layer in the presence of oxygen. This unique quality makes it extremely resistant to chlorates, chlorites, oxidation, hypochlorites (bleach), perchlorates, sodium chlorite, and chlorine dioxide; as long as moisture is present.

What types of fasteners are made from titanium?

A wide variety of screws, bolts, studs, rods, hex and lock nuts, washers, clamps, and more are made from titanium.

What grades of titanium are used for fasteners?

There are many grades of titanium used to create fasteners; however, the main three are grades 2, 5, and 7. Why?

Grade 2Grade 5Grade 7
2x stronger than 316 stainless steel, commercially pure, and most commonly used to manufacture fasteners2x stronger than grade 2, a true “workhorse” alloy with superior strength-to-weight and corrosion resistanceMost corrosion-resistant titanium alloy, adds 0.12-0.25% palladium

What are the drawbacks of selecting titanium?

The main drawback of selecting titanium is that it is more expensive than comparable metals. However, if your application requires it, the benefits the material offers typically outweigh the slight cost increase.

Another potential problem with selecting titanium is using it in environments utterly devoid of moisture (anything less than 50ppm of moisture) or environments exposed to acids. The material will rapidly corrode and can even ignite.

What industries use titanium fasteners?

The materials’ unparalleled strength-to-weight ratio and other attractive properties make it ideal for use in aerospace, chemical processing, defense, dental, desalination, medical, marine, offshore oil and gas industries, among others.

How can fasteners from UC Components, Inc. help you?

UC Components, Inc. has been the world leader in high vacuum hardware since 1974. While suitable materials, coating, plating, or finishing treatment for your fastener application is best defined by your process engineer, we are always here to assist you. We offer a variety of fasteners including, but not limited to, standard and vented screws, washers, and hex nuts.

We offer numerous finish options, specialized venting designs, complete custom product development, and Class 100/ISO Class 5 Cleanroom cleaning & packaging. View our parts catalog online to find the components you need, request a quote, or contact us for more assistance or additional information. If you do not see the fastener, material, or O-ring that you need listed in our standard products, please give us a call! We may not stock it, but we are happy to acquire or manufacture just about any fastener or O-ring you need.

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