Why Engineers Choose Grade 5 Titanium Fasteners
What Is Titanium Grade 5?
Titanium Grade 5 (Ti6Al-4V) is a titanium alloy containing 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium and is regularly chosen due to its excellent formability, weldability and ductility.
Combining Titanium with other metallic elements, such as those mentioned above, makes it significantly stronger than pure titanium (Grade 1) and Grade 2 titanium (commercially pure).
With incredible strength, high impact toughness and superb strength-to-weight ratio, Titanium Grade 5 is the most popular and widely used titanium alloy across the world.
Another beneficial attribute of Grade 5 Titanium is its corrosion resistance. Like other titanium alloys such as Grade 2 and Grade 7 Titanium, Grade 5 Titanium is resistant to most chemicals and salt water. That, in addition to its strength makes it an ideal material choice for many applications.
Common Applications Using Grade 5 Titanium Screws, Nuts and Washers
Titanium Grade 5 is often used in applications which require high strength, low weight and strong corrosion resistance.
Therefore, components made of this material will often be found in industries such as medical, marine, aerospace and chemical processing where these qualities are essential.
Titanium Socket Cap Screws tend to be used in medical applications such as bone replacement, biomedical implants and dental implants. Titanium Washers are another type of component regularly used in the medical industry for instruments and prosthetics.
Being stronger and lighter than steel, they are also a popular choice for aircraft assemblies where they can be used for jet engines, fan blades, landing gear and more.
Titanium Hex Nuts are also ideal for the industries mentioned above. Due to their general and salt water corrosion resistance, they can be a great component for assemblies in offshore tubulars within the oil and gas industry or, due to their lightweight strength, they also work well in sporting equipment.
Titanium Fasteners vs High Tensile Steel Fasteners
When people think of Bolts, more often than not they will generally think of a Steel Bolt.
Different grades of steel offer varying levels of tensile strength - the maximum amount of pressure or stress that the bolt is able to withstand before failing.
Simply put, high-stress applications require fasteners with higher tensile strength ratings.
8.8 Steel Bolts are commonly known as ‘structural grade bolts’ given their frequent use in bolted joints. Other common use cases for this grade of steel bolts are in the manufacturing of motor engines, railroad equipment and bridges.
10.9 and 12.9 Steel Bolts and Machine Screws are widely available from Accu, with these two grades offering superior ultimate tensile strength and durability, making them better suited for automotive applications and heavy duty bolting.
Accu also stocks a standard range of both 4.6 Mild Steel Nuts, Washers and Threaded Bars, commonly used in structural steel applications and 14.9 High Tensile Steel Grub Screws, which offer the highest tensile strength rating within our Steel Fastener range.
High Tensile Bolts are typically used for high-stress fastening applications, often being used in the assembly of renewable energy solutions such as wind turbines. Trains, industrial machinery and automotive applications are also common places to find these components.
High Tensile Steel is known for its high machinability, strength and temperature resistance. Combined with its lower cost and excellent durability, it's a popular material choice for a diverse range of industrial applications, being the most widely used metal in construction, automotive and infrastructure.
Arguably the major disadvantage of using High Tensile Steel however is that without a protective coating or finish, such as zinc plating or galvanised, this material type is much more prone to corrosion.
The most obvious reason to choose Titanium fasteners over High Tensile Steel options is the fact it is around 45% lighter than steel, with the same or higher tensile strength when compared to typical High Tensile Bolts.
Of all known metals, Titanium has the highest strength-to-weight ratio, meaning that for applications with strict requirements on weight, such as in the manufacturing of aerospace assemblies, Titanium would be a more suitable choice over steel components.
As mentioned above, whilst Titanium offers a high strength-to-weight ratio compared to common Stainless Steel and Aluminium alloys, Titanium fasteners generally have a tensile strength that is not comparable to 12.9 Steel. This means that, depending on suitability within your application, a High Tensile Steel option like this may be preferable.
Coupled with the fact that Titanium is almost always a more expensive material option, typically High Tensile Steel fasteners are a more popular choice for industries where cost is a significant factor in budgeting for assembly work.
This is often the case in automotive solutions, for example a production car would require High Tensile Steel to achieve required strength while keeping consumer costs down. On the other hand, a hypercar or purpose built race vehicle would use titanium fasteners or other high-cost alternatives to achieve performance at the expense of cost.
Titanium Fasteners vs Stainless Steel Fasteners
Stainless Screws are Accu’s most popular core range of engineering components, with the vast majority of our flagship products being made from this alloy.
Although this type of metal is still relatively new - arguably being ‘discovered’ in Sheffield in 1913 by steelmaker Harry Brearley - Stainless Steel has very quickly become one of the most widely used materials in the world.
As a multi-purpose metal, it is highly versatile and its shiny appearance is as a result of the same element which gives this material its ‘rust-free’ quality; chromium.
Stainless Steel fasteners are increasingly popular in the marine and food industries, owing to their improved resistance to corrosion, chemicals and liquids, along with good machinability.
More information on the Stainless Steel options we offer within our standard fastener range can be found on our Stainless Steel Grades page.
The most obvious advantage of using Grade 5 Titanium Screws over Stainless Steel Screws is the fact that this material offers a higher standard tensile strength, whilst also affording comparable corrosion resistance to 316 grade Marine Stainless Steel, also known A4.
However, similar to the issue of cost vs performance when choosing between Titanium bolts and Steel bolts, opting for Titanium over Stainless Steel will generally result in a higher unit cost, making it a more premium option.
On top of this, the range of sizes and variations in head sizes, head types and drive types for Titanium Screws, Nuts and Washers is considerably smaller than Accu’s Stainless Steel Screw range, which means that they may not be applicable to your project.
Why Choose Titanium Fasteners?
Titanium is the superior choice for medium-high stress applications, where weight is a concern.
Motorsport is a primary use case for this, particularly in motocross, where large bolts such as the swing arm bolt and axles can be replaced with Titanium alternatives to save significant weight.
In an application where cost is not a concern, the choice is obvious. From a consumer point of view, Titanium has a premium characteristic, which can lend itself to giving your product or project a high-end feel, particularly when marketing the goods.
Titanium fasteners can also be used as “dress up bolts” to add visual appeal to a part, such as cosmetic fasteners in an engine bay, or to change the look of an object with visible components.
Depending on the requirements of your project, Titanium fasteners may be the ideal solution you are looking for.
If you require any more information about how the mechanical properties of these materials stack up, you can learn more in our article on Strength, Rigidity & Hardness.