The Difference Between Titanium vs Steel?

Titanium and steel are the strongest and most widely used metals in the manufacturing and machining industries and can be used to produce high-strength products. Although their application areas overlap, however, they each have their advantages, so it is a bit difficult to make the better choice.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into the differences between titanium and steel, outline their advantages, disadvantages, and common applications, and provide guidance on choosing the right material for your project.

Read more: What does a metal fabricator do? A complete guide.

What is Titanium?

Titanium is an elemental earth metal, known for its high cost and use in high-performance industries. It has an extremely high melting point and is often alloyed with metals like iron and aluminum.

Titanium alloys, such as the common Ti-6Al-4V (containing 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium), combine titanium with other elements. These alloys have very high tensile strength and toughness, even at extreme temperatures. They are lightweight, extremely corrosion-resistant, and can withstand extreme temperatures. However, compared to steel, titanium is relatively difficult to machine.


Advantages of Titanium

The following are the main benefits of titanium:

High Strength

The advantages of titanium are high strength and light weight, and it is also one of the strongest materials currently available.

Corrosion Resistance

Titanium has excellent corrosion resistance. When titanium comes into contact with air, a thin, opaque oxide layer forms on its surface. At the same time, this oxide layer has high corrosion resistance and is highly resistant to almost all major corrosion sources, including seawater, chlorine, and certain acids. It is very suitable for marine hardware, chemical processing equipment, and other fields.

High Melting Point

The melting point of titanium is higher than many metals, about 1668℃, and it can maintain strength and shape when most steels will soften.

Ability to Withstand Extreme Temperatures

Titanium’s low thermal expansion ensures that it will not shrink or expand under temperature changes and will retain its original shape.

Non-toxic Element

Unlike most metals, titanium does not cause adverse reactions in the human body, so it is widely used in applications such as joint replacements and dental devices.

Disadvantages of Titanium

The following are the main disadvantages of titanium:

High Cost

Titanium is expensive to extract and process because the extraction process is complex and titanium ore is relatively scarce. These factors also push up the price of titanium, making it more expensive than many other metals, such as steel.

Complex Processing

The toughness and high strength of titanium make it more difficult to process than other materials, which reduces production efficiency and increases manufacturing costs.

Difficult to Extract

Titanium is not easy to mine. The raw materials are expensive and dangerous to process. At the same time, over-mining can cause soil erosion and other environmental problems.


Titanium has high strength, but relatively low plastic deformation capacity, and is more likely to break during processing. In addition, its high hardness also makes traditional cutting tools more susceptible to wear, thereby increasing manufacturing costs and maintenance difficulties.

What are Steel?

Steel is an alloy made of iron, carbon and other elements. It has the characteristics of high temperature resistance and tensile strength, making it the most widely used material. This is because of its excellent manufacturing cost, durability and performance.

In addition, there are many types of steel, including carbon steel, stainless steel, etc., each of which is designed according to specific usage.


Advantages of Steel

Following are the main advantages of steel:

High Strength

Steel’s high strength allows it to withstand the test of harsh environments such as huge tornadoes and hurricanes and maintain structural integrity.

Low Cost

Steel is relatively cheap to produce, especially compared to many other metals. This affordable price makes it popular in many industries.

Sustainable Development

One of the biggest advantages of steel is that it can be processed and reused repeatedly without losing quality. It can also maintain its original strength.


Steel is relatively easy to weld, cut, and form, making it ideal for manufacturing and construction. Steel can be molded into components of various shapes and sizes, which can be used for creative and functional designs in architecture and engineering.


Compared to other materials, designers can easily alloy steel with other elements and subject it to different heat treatments.

Disadvantages of Steel

The following are the main disadvantages of steel:

Corrosion Sensitivity

Steel corrodes easily when exposed to moisture and oxygen, which can lead to rust and deterioration over time. Regular maintenance such as painting or galvanizing is required to protect the steel surface.

High Cost

Although steel is generally cost-effective, if it is exposed to certain environments for a long time, if it is not properly maintained, the thickness of the steel will lose 0.5 mm per year, and the strength will also decrease, and the maintenance cost will increase.

Low Strength at High Temperatures

In a high temperature environment, if it is not adequately maintained and protected, the steel will gradually lose strength. Although there is no danger of burning, it will be easily deformed when exposed to high temperatures for a long time, and in severe cases, it will cause the collapse of the overall structure, which also increases the maintenance cost.

Titanium Vs Steel: 7 Major Differences

Titanium and steel are both high-strength materials that are common in various industries. So, between titanium and steel, is titanium better or steel better?

The correct answer lies in their metal laser cutting design and application fields. Sometimes, considering the performance requirements and disposable budget, steel may be more suitable. However, the excellent physical properties of titanium may also be what you need in various applications.

When you are choosing which is better, titanium or steel, here are 7 differences you can consider.

Titanium vs Steel Hardness 

Although titanium is not as hard as steel, pure titanium generally has a hardness of 200 to 240 Vickers. In alloy form, the hardness is greatly increased, for example: Ti-6Al-4V, the hardness can generally reach 350 Vickers. This hardness makes titanium alloys resistant to wear and deformation.

Titanium vs Steel Strength

Before comparing the tensile strength of titanium and steel, you should know that titanium is stronger per unit weight. At the same time, steel is still the best in terms of strength.

If you are only concerned about the strength of the metal you choose, steel is a good choice. If you are concerned about both strength and weight, then titanium is a good choice.

Titanium vs Steel Cost

Titanium is generally more expensive than steel due to the difficulty in extraction and complex processing. This also leads to the high price of titanium, especially in the refining and alloying stages.

Steel is more affordable in comparison due to the abundance of iron ore in the bottom shell and the relatively simple processing process.

Titanium vs Steel Weight

Despite its high strength-to-weight ratio, titanium is only about 60% as dense as steel, making it significantly lighter than steel. This allows manufacturers to reduce overall weight without compromising overall quality. This does not compromise the structural integrity and performance of the product.

Steel, on the other hand, is denser and lighter. This fundamental difference in weight often determines whether you can choose to use titanium or steel, depending on the needs of your project or the specific requirements of your product.

Titanium vs Steel Elemental Composition

The main component of titanium is titanium, which is a silver-gray metal with high strength, low density and extremely high corrosion resistance.

In contrast, steel is an alloy composed of iron and carbon, and the carbon content is usually between 0.2% and 2.1%. In addition, other elements such as chromium, nickel and manganese are also often used to make various types of steel, such as stainless steel, carbon steel, etc. These elements can improve the strength, plasticity and corrosion resistance of steel, making steel a widely used material.

Titanium vs Steel Durability

Steel alloys perform on par with titanium in terms of strength and longevity. However, titanium’s resistance to corrosion and high temperatures makes it stand out.

While steel alloys perform well in many situations, they are susceptible to corrosion due to the presence of iron.

Titanium vs Steel Elasticity

Titanium has a lower modulus of elasticity, around 107 GPa, while steel typically has a modulus of elasticity around 200 GPa. Steel is more rigid and less suitable for applications that require flexibility to withstand dynamic loads without permanent deformation.

This difference means that titanium is more flexible and can absorb and release energy more efficiently, making it ideal for applications such as the aerospace and automotive industries that require elasticity under pressure.

Common Applications

Titanium is often used in high-performance applications that require excellent thermal properties, corrosion resistance, and a high strength-to-weight ratio. The following are common applications for titanium:

  • Medical devices
  • Sports equipment
  • Chemical processing
  • Marine applications
  • Consumer electronics
  • Aerospace industry

Steel and its alloys are the most widely used metals. They are widely used in various industries, including metal parts manufacturing, infrastructure construction, machine research and development, etc. The following are common applications of steel:

  • Construction industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Shipbuilding industry
  • Household appliances
  • Manufacturing tools and machinery


Titanium and steel are the strongest and most widely used metals in the manufacturing and machining industries, and can be used to manufacture high-strength products.

Are you still hesitating about how to choose titanium? Or steel? Or do you want to find a service provider specializing in metal manufacturing? If you want to find a service provider specializing in metal manufacturing, then Shanghai Widetop Hardware Co is what you are looking for.

Whether you need metal manufacturing services or need expert advice, we are always here to help you. In addition, we are very familiar with the application of titanium alloys and steel, and we can tailor it to our customers. At the same time, we can also provide customers with competitive product samples according to customer needs.