Re: the use of titanium in commercial planes

Date:         17 Jan 99 02:37:27 
From:         Greg Locock <>
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S.L. wrote:
> James Matthew Weber wrote:
> > Titanium is a very difficult metal to machine, hence it tends to be
> > utilized in places where extreme performance is required, and justifies
> > the very high fabrication costs.
> That is actually a sort of "urban legend" left over from the 60s.
> Titanium requires *different* procedures to machine and particularly to
> weld, however it is not significantly more expensive to work with given
> a machine shop that has experience with both steel and titanium. In
> fact, titanium can be significantly cheaper than steel in some
> applications and when you factor in all the costs associated with making
> and using the part.

I agree - in applications I have used it in Titanium components
typically cost around 20% more than the equivalent part in stainless
steel. This is a roundabout way of saying that for my parts the
machining cost was the largest part of the piece cost. As to the
difficulty of machining - a modern machining centre handles TiAl6V4 with
ease - the short chip lengths make it easier than steel. If you can
machine Unbrako bolts then you can machine Ti. The biggest problem for
small projects is getting the bar-stock in a reasonable size.

Greg Locock
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