Construction engineers and safety inspectors can see the same building from different perspectives. An engineer or architect may eyeball the individual elements and consider the price of each, adding them up in his or her head to arrive at the bottom line. In contrast, an inspector may be primarily concerned with the durability and dependability of each material used.
No matter which perspective is employed, the goal is to achieve the highest possible value given budget or design limitations. When building, the objective is to attain the most strength and longest life span for the least expense. When it comes to deciding which metal to use in any construction or manufacturing project, you need to weigh all the variables.
The three main factors to consider when choosing a metal are its strength, weight, and cost. Steel is strong and very cost-effective but has a high density. Aluminum is lightweight and moderately priced but lacks relative strength. For a long time, titanium was left out of the conversation based simply on its price. Although its strength comes very close to that of steel and its density is similar to aluminum, the cost of the material frequently drove builders and manufacturers to choose alternatives. This is starting to change, however. Titanium prices are dropping, and, as a result, more companies are choosing to take advantage of everything it has to offer.
This could be good news for many industries, as titanium is one of the most applicable metals in the world. Today’s lower costs mean increased accessibility, and titanium can now be used in a wider range of applications than in the past. For some examples of the role it can play in aerospace and construction, take a look at the accompanying infographic.
Contributing Author: Kim Crabtree, Account Manager, Titanium Processing Center
Author bio: Kim Crabtree is Account Manager for Titanium Processing Center, a woman-owned, global distributor and service center of titanium bar, sheet, plate, pipe and tube. She has eight years of experience in the metal industry and focuses on cultivating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships between customers and Titanium Processing Center.