Titanium Grades: A Quick Guide

Competitively Priced Titanium Grades for Bay Area Machinists

Titanium: Light Weight With Exceptional Strength

Titanium is an ideal material for marine and aerospace applications because of its strength, light weight, and corrosion resistance. It’s as strong as steel but is 45% lighter. Because titanium is also biocompatible, it is used to create artificial joints, hardware for setting or repairing bones, and implanted medical devices. 

Titanium is available in commercially pure grades and alloyed grades. Commercially pure titanium is 99% titanium with varying amounts of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, iron, and hydrogen, depending on the grade. The tensile and yield strength of commercially pure titanium increases with the grade.

A five-axis CNC machine mills a titanium grade 5 round bar for use in the aerospace industry.
Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4
Nitrogen 0.03 0.03 0.05 0.05
Carbon 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10
Oxygen 0.18 0.25 0.35 0.40
Iron 0.20 0.30 0.30 0.50
Hydrogen 0.015 0.015 0.015 0.015
Other 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.30
Titanium Remainder Remainder Remainder Remainder

Commercially Pure (CP) Titanium: Grades 1, 2, 3, and 4

Titanium CP4 – Grade 1 is the softest titanium grade—it provides the highest ductility and can easily be cold formed. Grade 1 is the choice for applications where ease of formability is paramount. Its corrosion resistance, weldability, and ability to withstand high impact make it suitable for architectural, automotive, desalination, marine, and medical applications.  

Titanium CP3 – Grade 2 is known as the “workhorse” of the commercially pure titanium industry. It offers moderate strength and excellent cold forming characteristics. Its weldability and excellent corrosion and oxidation resistance make it suitable for aerospace, architecture, automotive, chemical and hydrocarbon processing, desalination, marine, medical, and power generation applications. 

Titanium CP2 – Grade 3 is the least used of commercially pure grades. It is stronger than Grades 1 and 2, and consequently less formable. Its moderate strength and excellent corrosion resistance make it suitable for the same applications as Grade 2 titanium. 

Titanium CP1 – Grade 4 is stronger than Grades 2 and 3. It has lower ductility, but still can be cold formed. High corrosion resistance and strength make it suitable for aerospace and medical applications. 

Titanium Alloys: Three Categories and Numerous Grades

Titanium alloys are classified along a continuum of alpha, near-alpha, alpha-beta, and beta alloys. These classifications describe the microstructure of titanium. 

Titanium has two dominant allotropic (ability for a chemical element to exist in two or more different forms) phases—α+β (alpha and beta). These alpha and beta phases determine the different properties among titanium alloys. The alpha phase is close-packed hexagonal, and the beta phase is body-centered cubic. Alloying elements cause titanium atoms to arrange themselves into either of these phases. The elements that induce the alpha phase include aluminum, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon, while the beta phase is induced by elements such as vanadium, molybdenum, iron, chromium, and manganese.

  • Alpha alloys are not heat treatable, have low to medium strength, reasonably good ductility and weldability, and possess excellent properties in cryogenic environments. 
  • Near-alpha alloys are alloyed with 1–2% of beta phase stabilizers such as molybdenum, silicon, or vanadium.
  • Alpha-beta alloys are heat treatable and offer medium to high strength. They are weldable, though there’s some risk of ductility reduction in the welded area, and have good hot forming qualities. However, cold forming can be difficult. 
  • Beta alloys are readily heat treatable, generally weldable, and maintain high strength at intermediate temperature levels. They are suitable for hot and cold forming applications.

Unlike the relatively simple commercially pure titanium grades 1, 2, 3, and 4, titanium alloys are classified by grade, alloying elements, and sometimes both. You’ll find more than 30 grades of titanium and several more titanium alloys more popularly known by their titanium and alloying elements. Two of the most frequently used titanium alloys in the local manufacturing process are Titanium 6Al-4V (Grade 5) and Titanium 10V-2Fe-3Al.

Titanium 6Al-4V – Grade 5

Titanium 6Al-4V plate for sale in a San Jose, California metal supplier’s warehouse.

Ti-6Al-4V – Grade 5 is an alpha-beta alloy. It is the most commercially available titanium alloy and accounts for approximately half of the titanium used globally. The chemical composition of Ti-6Al-4V is approximately 90% titanium, 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, 0.25% (maximum) iron, and 0.2% (maximum) oxygen. The aluminum and vanadium elements increase material hardness. 

Ti-6Al-4V offers an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, high corrosion resistance, good weldability, and can be heat treated. Machining Ti-6Al-4V can be difficult due to its high strength-to-density ratio and low thermal conductivity. Applications include airframe structures and components, chemical processing equipment, turbine compressor blades, critical forgings such as helicopter rotor hubs, firearm silencers, implants and prostheses, and pressure vessels. 

Titanium 10V-2Fe-3Al

Titanium 10V-2Fe-3Al round bar for sale in a San Jose, California metal supplier’s warehouse.

Titanium 10V-2Fe-3Al, which is also referred to as Ti-10-2-3, is a near-beta alloy. It provides high strength and toughness that surpasses many other commercial titanium alloys. The chemical composition of Ti-10-2-3 is titanium (82.8 – 86.8%), vanadium (9 – 11%), iron (1.6 – 2.2%), and aluminum (2.6 – 3.4%), with traces of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen all less than 0.15%. 

This alloy has high cycle fatigue strength, is weldable and easily formed, and can be heat treated. Ti-10-2-3 is more difficult to machine than Ti-6Al-4V. Applications include critical aircraft structures and components, such as landing gear, actuators, flap tracks, rotor heads, and compressor blades.

Competitively-Priced Titanium Supplies

Due to the complexity of extracting and processing titanium into pure and alloyed forms, you’ll pay significantly more for titanium than for the same volume of steel or aluminum. However, here at Industrial Metal Service, we’re helping manufacturers, machine shops, and fabricators in Northern California and across the country purchase titanium at highly competitive prices. Our inventory includes an extensive supply of the most frequently requested titanium grades available as usable, verified remnants, priced well below what you would pay for new titanium sourced directly from the mill.   

If you need a regularly scheduled supply of titanium for production runs, a one-time order for a special project, or a last-minute piece to complete a prototype, we can meet your titanium demands. We’re conveniently located in San Jose to serve San Francisco Bay Area machine shops. We also ship nationwide with no minimum order requirements. Call us today to discuss your titanium supply needs.

260 Phelan Avenue
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Number
(408) 294-2334

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