Most people associate titanium with a premium type of metal that NASA uses for the construction of cutting-edge technologies and spacecraft of the future.
And the name should point us right in this direction, as Titanium comes from the word Titans, the massive mythical beings to roam the earth even before the gods of Olympus.
The metal has a rather appropriate name, as its strength is incredible, to say the least. Although just as strong as steel, it is about 45% lighter.
With only 60% more weight than aluminum, it has twice its tension resistance. It also resists corrosion in salty waters.
Having a melting point of 3,034.4 degrees Fahrenheit, so about 1,668 degrees Celsius, it is also considered heat-resistant.
When taken to high flow rates, it will withstand erosion, cavitation, and abrasion. It is also biocompatible.
But what is the price of titanium? Here’s a very comprehensive answer.
How Much Does Titanium Cost per Ounce?
The current price of titanium is about $10 per troy oz., but this price, like the price of all metals, will fluctuate depending on several factors, including the current market demand, availability, and more. But we’ll go into more detail below.
Commercially pure titanium (CP) has seen a steep rise in cost since 2003, when it was just about $15.00 per lb, to $40 or so per lb in current days. It is used in many areas as it is very strong but also rather light.
Titanium is even expensive at scrap-metal value, especially if it comes combined with different unique alloys. If you’re unsure whether the metal you’re holding is Titanium, try sticking a magnet to it. Titanium shouldn’t stick to a magnet, especially when it is in its pure form.
Having its place in the world of expensive metals, even the cheap variant of CP-grade titanium costs around $18 per kg. But when it comes to commercially pure Titanium, this is likely to cost $300 per kg or so. So depending on the grade and quality of the metal, you can get Titanium for a price per ounce anywhere between $0.52 and $10.
|Medic Grade Titanium 1 KG||$70 – $80|
|CP-grade titanium 1 KG||$18 – $20|
|Titanium .995 1 oz Bar||$6 – $10|
What is the scrap value of titanium?
As of today, the cost of titanium at scrap value is $0.30-$0.40 per pound, but keep in mind that this is always subject to change especially owing to changing market conditions.
This price will basically be the same for Titanium discs, plates, and even Titanium bars, as well as any other types of solid titanium.
Is titanium an expensive metal?
Considering its availability as one of the main factors keeping its price in check, titanium is rather expensive when compared to other metals because it is also less abundant. It also has a high price for processing, as it is usually found in combination with other elements.
Of course, it will seem very cheap if you were to compare it with desired metals like diamonds or even gold.
Factors affecting the high price of Titanium
Steel was considered by many people of vital importance in the world around the nineteenth century. Just as well, Titanium seems to be the metal that will completely change the world in our century.
Due to its impressive properties, Titanium is considered the steel of the future. It is used in all kinds of areas, including the aviation industry, aerospace, chemical, electricity, medical, construction, and even the sports goods industry. Currently, many customers are still discouraged by the price of titanium products, as the market price is still kept high.
Let’s see what are the more important factors to keep the price of Titanium so high.
It is rather difficult to exploit and use consistently
Only low resource concentrations of ilmenite sand ore can be found, and it is rather scattered. Experts have noticed that through years of constant mining, the big-scale and high-quality resources have already been exhausted.
It is also very hard to create any big-scale development or usage project as the existing exploitation of the available titanium resources is kept mainly private and in the hands of few. There is also pressure from environmental protection agencies to limit its exploitation as some forms of coastal Titanium ore deposits also have radioactive elements.
The lack of titanium production
The main sectors to use Titanium are aerospace, construction, marine, nuclear, and power. It is also used in smaller amounts in fields like chemicals, sports, electronics, automotive and medical industries.
The bad news is that only a handful of industrialized nations around the world have ever been able to make them and then supply them to everyone else.
It is hard to process
The raw material you transform into titanium material, titanium powder, or other components is sponge titanium. With the help of electric furnaces, it is remelted and then it becomes a new structural material called titanium ingots.
Getting to the titanium plates from titanium ingots and sponge titanium will require a whole bunch of procedures. These procedures involve smelting as a way of regulating composition, voltage, current, and rate of melting.
To get a titanium slab from ingots, you will also need quite a few forgings. To turn a slab into a plate, you will also have to follow all kinds of processes including heating, cold rolling, and hot rolling. And these aren’t easy processes either.
All of this is needed as pure Titanium isn’t appropriate for usage as a titanium product as it is very soft. This metal’s properties are enhanced with the help of other elements.
One example is the Titanium 64, known as very important in the aviation industry. This material is doped with several elements to reach the needed metal properties.
Titanium also has the downside of responding strongly to all kinds of elements including halogens, oxygen, sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen, which can contaminate it at higher temperatures. This is why you will also need a vacuum or an inert atmosphere when you smelt it.
Titanium is also very hard to machine. At lower speeds, it can’t be cut at all, while at higher speeds it will oxidize, due to the high amount of heat produced. This is why you won’t be able to process Titanium alloy products in standard machining centers.
Strong demand for Titanium and titanium items
As it is still considered a new metal material, Titanium is still in high demand. Its consumption is connected and proportional to the strength and development level of each individual country.
The consumption of this metal has been on a steep rise as the national strength of different nations has risen around the world.
Is Titanium costlier than silver?
The short answer is no. Currently, the price of Titanium per Kg is around $20, while the price of silver is considerably higher, at about $740 per kg.
This makes Titanium considerably cheaper than silver. And it isn’t a hard fight either, as the difference is an impressive one. And silver is also more sought-after, which makes you can trade using silver.
If you want to invest your money in Titanium, your best bet is to invest in one of the companies that are currently mining the metal or using it in their products. Although, your shares won’t be linked with the price of Titanium, but to the price of the shares of the company instead.
Why is titanium more expensive than other metals?
Titanium is considered the seventh most plentiful metal ever and the ninth most plentiful element on Earth.
But what makes titanium cost more than other metal isn’t its availability as much as it is the difficulty of extracting it from its ore.
What are the different grades of Titanium?
Titanium, as most important metals, can be found in different grades, so if you need to buy it, you should understand its characteristics, purity, and its best uses at each grade.
Although this metal has grades numbered from one to twelve, we will only talk about the first four, as these are the most important to know about. Grade one is considered the purest of them.
- Grade 1 titanium – This is the softest type, although it is resistant to corrosion. It is mostly used in chemical processing, as well as medical applications, and marine industries.
- Grade 2 titanium – Grade 2 is the most common type, being the most readily available as well. It is stronger than grade 1 titanium, and it is also resistant to corrosion.
- Grade 3 titanium – This grade is even stronger than grades 1 and 2. It will usually be formed into more rigid structures like rods. Among its most common usages are in the medical and marine industries, although it is also very important in the aerospace industry.
- Grade 4 titanium – This is the strongest type of commercial pure Titanium and has great corrosion resistance levels. Surgical hardware, airframe components, and heat exchangers need it the most.