Grade 5 Titanium

Grade 5 titanium, also known as 6AL-4V or simply 6-4, is a popular choice among manufacturers due to its high strength and low weight. This makes it ideal for aerospace and medical applications, where strength and weight are crucial factors. Its high strength and low weight make it an attractive choice for manufacturers looking to reduce weight without sacrificing strength. It is nearly as strong as steel, but much lighter, making it ideal for applications where weight is a concern.  It's 45% lighter than steel and twice as strong as aluminum but only 60% heavier. This high strength also makes it resistant to fatigue and corrosion, making it a durable and long-lasting material.


In addition to its strength, 6-4 titanium also has excellent resistance to corrosion, making it ideal for use in harsh environments. It is also biocompatible, making it a popular choice for medical implants and devices.


Another advantage of grade 5 titanium is its ability to be machined and welded. It can be easily shaped and molded into various forms, making it a versatile material for many applications. Precautions must be taken to prevent oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen contamination. Fusion welding can be done in inert gas-filled chambers or using inert gas welding of the molten metal and the adjacent heated zones using a trailing shield. Spot, seam, and flash welding can be performed without resorting to protective atmospheres. Its usability lies in its many benefits. Grade 5 titanium may be heat treated to increase its strength. It can be used in welded construction at service temperatures of up to 600° F.


Grade 5 has shown itself to be extremely good for things like earrings and wire work due to easily being formed and with naturally a gray-silvery coloring, it can be anodized in several colors as well as black diamond treated for a glossy durable black look. It is commonly used for body jewelry, piercings, and belly bars. Grade 5 is the most widely used grade of titanium around the world. When it comes to jewelry and artistic uses titanium is very resistant to bending, cracking and has good scratch resistance. Stone settings in titanium resist loosening very well. Titanium's high strength allows innovative and more delicate stone settings than traditional softer jewelry metals.


Typically, 6-4 is used for applications that involve machining. The titanium alloy is most commonly available only in plates and sheets, not coil. Because grade 5 is not cold-formable, it can't be as efficiently stamped or drawn as other grades of titanium. It is most often used when no forming is needed because there are better options in formable titanium alloys. Grade 5 can be hot formed with contact heating but requires special equipment and considerations that are not as streamlined as the process of batch production when unspooling from a coil.


6AL-4V titanium is a fantastic material that is highly desirable for extremely demanding applications. As a result, higher production costs from vacuum melting and process costs rise and the higher value increases warehousing risk and storage expenses for manufacturers. To achieve the desired thickness grade 5 must be meticulously cut or ground down. One drawback is scrap grade 5 titanium material can't be re-melted after it has been mixed with the grinding media which increases the yield loss.

For demanding applications such as biomedical implants where a material is needed that can emulate bone and high-temperature structural applications in the aerospace industry, grade 5 titanium is a common choice. Grade 5 has properties like human bones which makes it the popular choice for orthopedic medical devices. Other more common applications include tension set rings, bicycle parts, and nuts and bolts used in harsh conditions.


For decades grade 5, 6-4 titanium has dominated the titanium discussion when it comes to manufacturing applications, mainly due to the extensive use of this workhorse alloy for military and advanced aerospace applications. What isn't so well known is the fact that while grade 5 titanium alloy is twice as strong its low formability makes it twice as hard to work with than grade 9 titanium.


Grade 5 has production, labor, and manufacturing costs to be considered when compared to other grades. Application is always the determining factor when it comes to making the choice between grades.