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#41595 - 06/08/05 12:49 PM Titanium
Polak187 Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York
I recently acquired a titanium zippo lighter and being a hard core zippo user for quite a while I did feel the difference in weight. I also have titanium spork but with that I really couldn’t tell the difference because I've been using plastic spoons so much. I would like to invest into some titanium cookware and cups even if they are really expensive due to weight and “legendary” durability abilities.

So here's what I was thinking. I know that titanium is hard and light but my spork and lighter after just carrying them as regular items look like they went thru WW3. I mean they are all scratched up. I know it's all surface stuff but any type of abrasion produces powder shavings. Is there any health risk associated with that? I mean it never happened on stainless steel items and spork really has a small surface area but a cooking pan is pretty big.

And second thing. Most of new flashlights are pretty expensive but still heavy. Why nobody utilizes titanium in that industry? Does it has to do with price of the metal, difficulty in molding or heat conductivity is too big to use it in high powered lights?

#41596 - 06/08/05 04:58 PM Re: Titanium
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I've never heard of any titanium toxicity. Even concerns over aluminum have been largely dismissed. It's ironic, we have continuing toxicity from asbestos, older buildings with lead paint, shooting ranges and even a recent run of low cost eating utensils, toys and costume jewelry were made with low grade radioactive waste. Flashlight's main weight handicap are batteries. I imagine a titanium unit would be a reverse situation of "penny wise and pound foolish."

#41597 - 06/08/05 05:14 PM Re: Titanium
macgyverdt007 Offline

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 7
all my cookware is titanium as well as my watch. it is a Hypo-allergenic metal so people with metal allergies and what not have no problems, unlike nickel.

#41598 - 06/08/05 05:34 PM Re: Titanium
groo Offline

Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 722
Loc: Florida
Titanium is currently more expensive than aluminum, due mostly to the refining process. (USGS Metal prices shows Aluminum at a little over $0.60 a pound vs. Titanium at around $4 a pound.)

Titanium is more difficult to machine than Aluminum.

Obviously, flashlights and other items could be made from titanium, but the added cost wouldn't be worth it in most cases. I'd love to have a Ti HDS EDC, but it'd cost $$$ for something that would only be a little lighter.

Now, the titanium scales on my Sebenza are worth it, since they're large hunks of metal that'd make the knife much heavier in anything else.

#41599 - 06/08/05 11:47 PM Re: Titanium

The only real risk I can think of is that Ti is an -um metal. Aluminimum, magnisium, titanium, plutonium, they all burn when flaked/ribboned and provided with enough energy. So sayth my old college chem professor.

I can say I have lit magnesium and aluminum, but I doubt you will ever get that much off your spork and lighter without destroying a grinder in the process.

And I'm not going to speculate on Pu, other than to say you can't get me close enough to it find out.

#41600 - 06/09/05 04:39 AM Re: Titanium
Vinosaur Offline
dedicated member

Registered: 03/25/04
Posts: 128
Loc: North Central IL
Ti is more difficult to machine than Aluminum. That is true and is much more expensive. Also, if you have to weld Ti, you have to do so in a completely inert enviornment. No so with Aluminum or Steel. Many people don't see the advantage of Ti, and honestly (even though I have a huge Ti fetish), it is hard to justify the cost difference. Espcially when Aluminum performs so well for lights.
If only closed minds came with closed mouths.

#41601 - 06/27/05 11:03 PM Re: Titanium
physics137 Offline

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 64
Loc: New York City
No, I don't think titanium is a good idea for flashlights.

Yes, titanium has a relatively low density; that is, compared to the iron or steel that would be used as structural metal instead.

But most metal flashlights are constructed of aluminum, which is actually less dense than titanium. It's also a better electrical conductor (used for the current's return path). Aluminum is also much easier to machine and to work with in general, and an order of magnitude cheaper. Both resist corrosion quite well, but especially aluminum, which forms a thin but nearly impervious layer of Al2O3 on its surface.

So unless you spcifically need the added strength that Ti provides above Al (and these uses would likely already be using steel), using Ti is counterproductive.

I'd never buy a titanium flashflight. Its aluminum cousin would be just as capable, effective and durable, and probably weigh less to boot. And it would sure cost a hell of a lot less.

Still, it might be a nice marketing gimmick for someone trying to sell crappy flashlights at high prices. Nobody knows a damn thing about titanium, but as soon as you mention titanium, people buy the things up like it has some kind of magical power.

Titanium, like iron, various carbon steels and stainless steels, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, silver, gold, lead, tin and so on, has a list of unique properties that suit it to certain applications.

Aluminum gets a bad rap, but it's pretty damn good for a huge number of things - it resists corrosion exceptionally well, can be easily machined, is quite light and offers a great deal of strength per pound. And pound per pound, aluminum is a better electrical conductor than copper, silver or gold (you just need larger diameter wires, but they still weigh less than narrower copper, silver or gold wires of the same resistance.) In fact the primary drawbacks of Al for electrical purposes is that it's harder to solder than the "noble" metals, and that it is less ductile than the same.

#41602 - 06/28/05 01:53 AM Re: Titanium
brian Offline

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
Well, no offense but I wont be trading in the Titanium slabs on my Sebenza for Aluminum any time soon. Oh did I say "soon"... I meant "ever". <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Wouldn't want steel either. Too much weight. I think when you want more strength than aluminum provides and you are counting weight to the ounce, or even the gram then titanium is the best thing available at this point in time. I'd buy a titanium flashlight (provided that it conducts electricity well enough) since it would stronger than aluminum and weigh less than steel.
Learn to improvise everything.

#41603 - 06/28/05 02:32 AM Re: Titanium
physics137 Offline

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 64
Loc: New York City
But is strength really a limitation when it comes to an aluminum-barreled flashlight?

How many aluminum flashlight barrels have you bent or broken in the normal course of use? (If you used your 6D Mag to thwart a burglar, I'd say it can be honorably retired.)

When was the last time you had to re-sharpen your aluminum flashlight barrel because it got dull?

There *are* many uses for titanium. Flashlight barrels aren't one of them. I can't think of a single reason why I'd prefer titanium over aluminum for a flashlight, even all else being equal (and all else is not equal, most notably price). But they'd still sell like hotcakes for the reason I gave, so if there's some enterpreneur out there, I can tell you there's a dormant but lucrative market for titanium barreled flashlights.

#41604 - 06/28/05 05:06 AM Re: Titanium
turbo Offline

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Oregon
Aluminum is not a better electrical conductor than copper, silver, or gold. It is not as strong as any of the three in the same diameter. It is just cheaper. It also corrodes faster and in more environments then copper, silver, or gold!

Electrical engineer in communications for thirty years and in charge of maintenance engineering for 15 years for the Bell System.

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