Titanium is a lustrous, lightweight, and highly corrosion-resistant metal with remarkable technical properties that make it an invaluable material in various industries. It boasts a low density of around 4.5 grams per cubic centimeter, which is approximately 60% that of steel, making it exceptionally lightweight. Despite its lightness, titanium is incredibly strong, boasting a tensile strength similar to that of some high-strength steels, while also exhibiting excellent stiffness. These mechanical attributes, combined with its corrosion resistance, make titanium a prime choice for applications in aerospace, marine, and chemical processing industries. Additionally, it has excellent biocompatibility, making it suitable for medical implants and surgical instruments. In terms of thermal conductivity, titanium falls in the middle range of metals, making it useful in applications requiring heat transfer, and its electrical conductivity is relatively low compared to other metals, though still sufficient for electrical applications.
What sets titanium apart is its outstanding corrosion resistance, particularly in aggressive environments such as seawater and various chemical solutions. This resistance stems from the formation of a stable and protective oxide layer on the metal’s surface, preventing further degradation. Furthermore, titanium is capable of withstanding high temperatures, making it essential in industries that require materials to operate in extreme conditions. It retains its structural integrity at temperatures exceeding 600 degrees Celsius, significantly higher than many other metals. These technical characteristics, combined with its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, make titanium a preferred choice for aircraft components, naval vessels, chemical processing equipment, and even in emerging fields such as 3D printing, where its unique properties enable new design possibilities and lightweight structures.
Common Industry Applications
DMLS titanium components find application in aircraft and spacecraft for their exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, in the medical industry for creating biocompatible implants, and in military applications due to their high-performance characteristics.
3D Printing – Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
|Coefficient of Thermal
Expansion (micro m/m-deg)
|70 - 350
When 3D printing with DMLS, titanium offers exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and biocompatibility for aerospace and medical applications. To optimize design, it is essential to consider geometry and orientation to minimize support structure requirements. Additionally, ensuring adequate cooling and using thermal modeling can help control the risk of distortion. To leverage the corrosion resistance of titanium, post-processing techniques like surface finishing and stress relieving may be necessary.
Cost Saving Tip
When 3D printing with titanium using DMLS, cost savings can be achieved by designing parts that require minimal post-processing, exploiting the material’s exceptional strength-to-weight ratio to reduce the volume of titanium used, and employing advanced printing strategies like hollow lattice structures to save material while maintaining structural integrity. Additionally, reusing excess powder and recycling unused build material can significantly lower expenses.