Difference Between Titanium and Stainless Steel

Main Difference – Titanium vs Stainless Steel

Metals and metal alloys are very important substances in industries and constructions. Titanium is a well-known metal for its applications in the spacecraft industry. Steel is a metal alloy. It is composed of iron and some other elements. Steel is widely used all around the world due to several reasons such as low cost, easy production, strength, etc. There are different grades of steel available according to their properties. Stainless is such a type of steel. The main difference between titanium and stainless steel is that titanium is a metal whereas stainless steel is a metal alloy.

Keya Areas Covered

1. What is Titanium
     
– Definition, Properties, Uses
2. What is Stainless Steel
     
– Definition, Different Types, Chemical Composition
3. What is the Difference Between Titanium and Stainless Steel
     
– Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Austenitic Stainless Steel, Biocompatibility, Corrosion, Duplex Stainless Steel, Ferritic Stainless Steel, Martensitic Stainless Steel, Metal, Metal Alloy, Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel, Steel, Titanium

Difference Between Titanium and Stainless Steel - Comparison Summary

What is Titanium

Titanium is a chemical element that is given by the symbol “Ti”. The atomic number of Titanium is 22. This means one Titanium atom has 22 protons in its nucleus. It is a metal with a silvery-gray color. The atomic weight of this metal is 47.87. This indicates that one mole of Titanium has a weight of 47 g. Therefore, the molar mass of Titanium is 47.87 g/mol.

Titanium is a d block element in the periodic table of elements. Since its atomic number is 22, the electron configuration of titanium is [Ar] 3d2 4s2. At room temperature and pressure, titanium is in the solid phase. The melting point of this metal is about 1668 °C. The boiling point is about 3287 °C.

Titanium has a high strength-to-weight ratio. This means this metal has a high strength compared to its weight. It also has an excellent corrosion resistance and high heat transfer efficiency. These specific properties make titanium an excellent metal for construction purposes.

Main Difference -  Titanium vs Stainless Steel

Figure 1: Titanium is used to make engines and airframes of spacecraft.

One major application of titanium metal is in the aerospace industry. Since it is a light-weight metal with a high strength, titanium is used for the production of spacecraft parts such as engines, airframes, etc. Titanium is also used to produce pipes to transport chemical due to its resistant to corrosion.

According to recent researches, titanium is highly biocompatible. This means it is ignored by the human immune system. Therefore, titanium can be used to replace damaged hip or knee bones. The property of corrosion resistance is also useful in this application.

What is Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a metal alloy composed of iron and chromium along with some other elements such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium, and copper. Stainless steel is a type of steel. The chromium content of stainless steel is about 10-30%.

The most desired property of stainless steel is its corrosion resistance. Unlike normal steel, it does not undergo corrosion; therefore, rusting is absent. This property makes it useful in the production of kitchen and healthcare products because it is safe to be used in moist environments. Stainless steel can withstand high temperatures. Therefore, stainless steel is used to make kitchen items. Unlike normal steel, stainless steel has a shiny appearance which is very attractive.

Difference Between Titanium and Stainless Steel

Figure 2: Stainless steel is used to make kitchen items.

There are five types of stainless steel. They are;

  • Austenitic
  • Ferritic
  • Martensitic
  • Duplex
  • Precipitation Hardening

Austenitic stainless steel is the most weld-able stainless steel. It contributes to the largest portion of the stainless steel in the steel market. Ferritic stainless steel is composed of trace amounts of nickel, chromium, and carbon. This steel has good ductility and malleability. Martensitic stainless steel is another type of stainless steel which has about 20% of chromium. Duplex stainless steel is mostly used in piping applications. Precipitation hardening is a chromium-nickel stainless steel. This alloy allows the stainless steel to be hardened by solutions and aging heat treatment.

Difference Between Titanium and Stainless Steel

Definition

Titanium: Titanium is a metal that is indicated by the symbol “Ti”.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is a metal alloy composed of iron and chromium along with some other elements.

Biocompatibility

Titanium: Titanium is biocompatible.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is not biocompatible.

Weight

Titanium: Titanium has a low weight compared to its strength.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel has a high weight.

Density

Titanium: Titanium is denser than stainless steel.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is less dense than titanium.

Applications

Titanium: Titanium is used in aerospace industry and used to replace hip and knee bones.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is used to make kitchen and healthcare products.

Conclusion

Titanium is a well-known metallic substance due to its high strength-to-weight ratio. It has many applications in aerospace industry. Stainless steel is well-known for its corrosion resistance which is absent in other forms of steel. The main difference between titanium and stainless steel is that titanium is a metal whereas stainless steel is a metal alloy.

References:

1.  “Stainless Steel | The Four Types of Steel | Metal Supermarkets.” Metal Supermarkets – Steel, Aluminum, Stainless, Hot-Rolled, Cold-Rolled, Alloy, Carbon, Galvanized, Brass, Bronze, Copper, 17 May 2016, Available here.
2. “Chemistry of Titanium.” Chemistry LibreTexts, Libretexts, 23 Aug. 2017, Available here.
3. “Titanium.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine,  Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Space Shuttle Atlantis launches from KSC on STS-132 side view” By NASA/Tony Gray and Tom Farrar  (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Kitchen Knife 03 Stainless steel Cutting edge” By Ligfebow – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Madhusha

Madhusha is a BSc (Hons) graduate in the field of Biological Sciences and is currently pursuing for her Masters in Industrial and Environmental Chemistry. Her interest areas for writing and research include Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry.

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