The Physical Properties of Titanium
Titanium pipe is being used in an increasing number of applications because there are so many cases in which stainless steel and other materials are simply insufficient. Tube is one of the common titanium mill products, and it is used in a range of products because of its superior strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance. Now, with various alloy advancements, it is finding use in even more industries, from power generation to chemical and industrial processing.
The Right Grade
Most grades of titanium are approved for pressurized service by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (www. asme.org), which means there are different options available for different projects. While grades 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 11 and others are all usable, grade 2 is the one that is employed for most situations. This grade is readily available, which also makes it a good choice for quick production runs as well as larger orders.
Before settling on any grade, though, it is important to determine exactly how it will be used. In situations that require greater corrosion resistance, then the pipe can be fabricated from grades 7, 12, 16, or 26. For more strength, grades 3 and 12 may be a better choice.
Most Common Applications
Titanium and its alloys continue to develop in order to meet the challenges in many different industries. These are the markets that require the specialized characteristics of this metal in order to be productive and, in some cases, meet federal regulations.
The most common applications include:
- Chemical Processing – The extremely corrosive environment of the chemical processing industry requires heat exchangers, piping systems, and other equipment that can handle the load. Titanium has the corrosion resistance necessary to last for a long time in some extreme situations.
- Oil and Gas – High pressure, high temperature (HPHT) applications like those in oil and gas wells require piping that can withstand the constant use. This industry also requires the high corrosion resistance of titanium, whether it’s in topside, subsea, or downhole applications.
- Aerospace – There are many applications in the aerospace industry for both the airframe and engine components. The tubing provides resistance to fatigue and crack growth, can handle high temperatures without creep, and the lightweight pipes are very valuable for their strength-to-density ratio.
- Power Generation – In high-temperature water and steam environment, titanium pipe can be extremely important. Many power plants around the country have already installed grade-2 titanium to deal with any problems that might otherwise come from condenser and the associated boiler tube failures.