What's titanium worth to you?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Stumble, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. myark
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    myark Senior Member

  2. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    For a pleasure boat it probably is too expensive. But the point of the ship building is not upfront cost, but life cycle costs. I actually graduated from UNO, and have met with the prof that is doing this research. The number indicate that the all up cost for construction wouldn't be even doube the cost of a comperable ship, more likely about 50% more or so.

    But from day one the ship starts to pay that investment back. Because it is lighter it can use smaller engines saving money right there. I also means that the ship is more fuel efficient saving money over the long haul. That may not be such a big deal if you put a few hundred hours a year on the boat, but for the shipping industry it is huge. You also never have to worry about replateing the hull, which is a huge cost savings down the rode, and paint is no longer a maintenance issue, just a cosmetic one. Life cycle costs are expected to actually be significantly lower than a comperable steel ship.

    For the recreational user, well you keep talking about it being outrageously expensive. It is a but more expensive than stainless, but not much. Just a couple of examples (these are all retail priced btw, not wharehouse pricing):

    1) our lifeline stantions are $60
    2) 9,000lb MBL D shackle $60
    3) entire chainplate assembly for an Island Packet 38' (all 3 side stays, under deck crossbar, and T-brackets) - $680

    As for how to tell if something is titanium.... Assuming its metal, pick it up, if its lighter than stainless but heavier than aluminum then it's titanium. There aren't many metals that are close to the same weight, in fact I can't think of any. It is also completely non-magnetic, can't rust, and won't show any surface corrosion of any type.

    If you want to get specific, you can even determine what grade you have with a kitchen scale and a beaker of water. The different alloys have slightly different densities, so unlike with stainless you can test it pretty easily.
  3. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    You sell stanchions? do you ship to australia? i likey....
  4. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Not surprised. My Whitworths catalog lists Ronstan 316 stanchions at $90 each. Ti at $60 each would be a no-brainer.

    I made my own from 316 so no personal interest. Worked out to be very cheap but I like the 'industrial' look and I like them welded down. If I used Ti then I'd have to drill a pile of holes through my welded deck or make custom bases to bolt the Ti stanchions to. Far too much like hard work.

  5. myark
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    myark Senior Member

  6. BMcF
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    BMcF Senior Member

    That is very true in the case of our Ti underwater control appendages; we investigated the use of 316 and similar stainless alloys and the Ti option was very nearly the same total cost. The stainless was cheaper by the kg...but many more kg were required. Welding and machining costs very close to the same. Any reamaining difference in cost that might have favored the stainless option was offset by the weight savings of the Ti option and all..literally 100%..of our products are installed in high-performance marine vehicles that are always very weight sensitive.

    I guess the moral of the story is that Ti is great stuff when its the best choice for a specific set of requirements.;)
  7. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    I love it when the sales guys keep saying it is only a little more expensive.

    What I found indicated 50% to 80% more in upfront costs.

    On an 8 billion dollar carrier, assuming the hull is 1 billion, I could not find ANY breakdowns of component costs, 100 million a year in fuel is the amount of fuel, the difference in price would buy. Easily.

    So, in a military vessel, or a racing vessel, there are advantages, NOT SAVINGS.

    BUT, in military vessels, the NAVY said the COST outweighed the advantages.

    Who do I trust the salesmen, or the Navy? Both have ulterior motives. But, whose motive do I trust as I read this?

    PS - I do lean towards the Navy. I read TOO MANY articles indicating that Titanium is longer lasting


    and all of them had a long list of "if's" One of the if's was INSPECTION. And if I have to inspect, I have to anticipate replacement costs.

    Replacement costs is one of the biggest reasons given for moving TO titanium ....

    And around we go.
  8. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member


    We do ship to Australia. But I am not sure what. The shipping costs would be. If you want to send me the specifics in a PM I can check for you.

    El Guero,

    I couldn't possibly sell enough titanium to you to make it worth my while posting on these threads. My income is made in selling large quantities to commercial buyers (oil industry, shipping companies, ect), and making one off parts for the industrial world.

    We sell to the private yacht world, because the owner of the company also owns a boat yard, and many of the employees are sailors and want it on our boats. It's more of a bonus than a focus of the company. As an example, if you were to replace all the stantions on a boat (let's say you need 10 of them) I would make about $40 off of that sale. Since I have never sold anything through a forum, and I probably spend 5 hours a week or so on sailing forums... I figure my per hour rate would be around .05 cents per hour. Certainly not enough for me to lie about our products.

    I am more than happy to talk about the advantages (and disadvantages) of titanium, and have a huge amount of technical information available (both my own and other experts to rely on). So if you have a specific question I am happy to try and answer it, but I resent being called a liar, particularly since you are just generally calling me a lier without pointing to a specific statement you think is in doubt.

    Most of the time the customers I deal with are much more knowlagable than I am (half my products are selected by naval architects or material engineers), and I can promise you any distortion of reality would not only piss them off, but ensure I never get any business from them again.
  9. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member


    I have never called you a liar. If you would like to go to that level ....

  10. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member


    I am not saying you are making a profit off of this forum.

    I am a business man.

    But, what I said, was rather simple. I found two sets of data out there about titanium costs.

    One set is presented by sales people. And the other set of data is presented by various groups. One group was the Navy, another was a group of professors presenting to the Navy if I remember correctly. A couple of sites were engineering sites.

    Sales says it is only a little more expensive and lasts forever.

    The other sites all discuss the difficulty. The higher cost. And the REAL problem that it is not ALWAYS better than Stainless.

    My background is engineering. And I am a pragmatist. It MUST be inspected as often as stainless. It is MORE expensive. It has known corrosion problems - engineering sites.

    NOW, the real problem.

    NONE discussed how to determine if your product was a good product or not. They did not list the varied alloys and what the risks are of different alloys.

    Yes, I could pop over to some aircraft forums and ask around, but I am not going to, aircraft are moving away from titanium except for military and turbine applications ....

    So, that brings me back to my questions which have been revolving around the same things .....
  11. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Thanks but except for a handful of padeyes & other small fittings I'm done with the metalwork side of this boat. The few remaining bits haven't been done due to sloth and a bit of thinking on exact positions is all.

    AFAIK I can't weld Ti to A36 plate whereas I can weld 316 to A36 so, for a metal boat that isn't weight sensitive, I can't see any great advantages. I'd much rather go for a welded fitting over a bolted one any day.

    I do have to machine up my prop shaft and having a Ti shaft would be kind of cool but having never machined any of this stuff, it probably isn't really the place to start. If you'd like to send me a PM with a price on 1.5m of 40mm bar, though....

  12. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    Unlike the people who have fed you data, I am an inquisitive type who does not mind teaching others what I know.

    Even if it leads to "free consulting."

    What alloys should be avoided, and how do you detect them?

    SS is also non-magnetic, and it does not normally show corrosion - on the sales floor, especially.

    TITANIUM DOES CORRODE .... and it does not have a 1 million year life with or without nukes inside ....

    Me thinks, you are a sales guy.

    You have been told what to say by well meaning individuals. They (some engineering types are terrible about this) did not want to waste their time educating you.

    [edited to FIX my mistake - teach me to slow down when I read]

    I skipped the portion of the page dealing with aircraft grade titanium, it used on items like the sr71 blackbirds and jet engine internals because these titanium allows can handle extremes, so I assumed it would handle salt water ....

    OK, do NOT trust aviation grade titaniums ....

    This line was my mistake OK, aircraft grade titanium is to be trusted. The standards the alloys are built to are rigid.

    I hope you understand this was my mistake, aircraft titaniums are not what you want on your boat.

    So, I ask you:

    1. How do I tell the better titanium from the bad? Or, when you ask your engineers:

    a. What titanium alloys are best used for nautical purposes?

    b. What alloyed metals give better corrosion performance - THEY DO CORRODE so, do NOT settle for "they do not." (*)

    c. Stainless products recommend about a 10 year inspection with recurring inspections around once a year ofter that. WHAT ARE THE SAFEST inspection times for first (Initial) and secondary (recurring) inspections. (*)

    d. Is using pure titanium a better option? If so, what are the benefits and disadvantages

    i. in welding

    ii. corrosion resistance

    iii. cost

    e. if pure titanium is better, why are alloys being used?

    DON'T GIVE ME SILLY aviation answers - I know those - HEAT ..... If my boat gets that HOT, I AM DEAD .... already.


    Corrosion can make titanium parts very difficult to work with

    Again, the sites are VERY vague, and some of my understanding about difficulties is from aircraft and military engineers, YEARS AGO.

    AND for everyone: Have your engineers ignored "Stress Corrosion Cracking" or do your alloys GUARANTEE we won't experience this problem in our salt water environments?


    (*) http://www.keytometals.com/Article24.htm
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  13. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    "e. if pure titanium is better, why are alloys being used?"

    If you ask a questions like that and others similar it’s not worth answering.
  14. myark
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    myark Senior Member

    I designed and manufactured some hand tools from TI-6Al - 4V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV40x7ZY5Rw&feature=player_detailpage I have used these on LNG gas projects fitting stainless steel fixtures to piping after ASME 9 welding.
    Because they have a ratcheting motion as well as very light to use or to carry in the back pocket they are a pleasure to have on a construction site compared to heavy steel or stainless steel tools.
    It is the material of choice for the 10-12% of individuals that suffer dermatitis owing to nickel sensitivity.

  15. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member


    Which is it?


    Or, ASTM grades 1, 2, 7, 11 and 12 alloys of titanium?

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