Potential for Automotive Applications of Titanium Alloys 860608
Titanium alloys offer a unique combination of high strength-to-weight ratio, good corrosion resistance and favorable high temperature mechanical properties. While the high cost of titanium has severely restrained consideration of titanium usage in mass produced automobiles, there are certain components for which titanium alloys are particularly well suited from a design viewpoint. The most promising of these applications include suspension springs and engine components such as valves, valve springs and valve retainers. The technical advantages offered by the use of titanium alloys in these applications include reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in performance, fuel economy and packaging efficiency. This paper reviews characteristics of the several types of titanium alloys. Material properties and processing methods are discussed and comparisons between currently used materials and titanium alloys including rough estimates of the potential costs and benefits of using titanium in different automotive applications are presented.