Titanium pipes are often used due to their excellent chemical resistance. As a high-strength and lightweight material with high corrosion resistance, titanium provides a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it an ideal choice for various tube applications. For example, titanium is used to manufacture various parts for metal cutting, including small diameter round tubes for automotive applications, small round titanium pipes for seed casing in close-range radiation therapy, and thin-walled titanium pipes for chemical active container shells in life sciences.
Another advantage of titanium pipes is that, like stainless steel, they have many different grades. For example, ASTM has many standards related to the "formulas" of titanium grades used in different applications. If you look at the specifications, you will find that non-alloy titanium even has multiple grades. The most common commercially available titanium alloy, grade 5, has high strength and toughness. Unlike pure titanium, grade 5 titanium is heat-treatable, weldable, and can be used for tube and other applications in aerospace, marine, chemical, and medical applications.
As a more brittle and less tolerant material, titanium is also more difficult to process. The more work you do on titanium to get the final product, the more likely you are to encounter problems with cracking and other surface roughness. Compared with other materials, processing titanium also requires more coolant. High-pressure coolant must be accurately delivered to the processing position from multiple nozzles and angles to fill the area with coolant. In addition, titanium is rarely used at pipe joints. In fact, any type of metal in the pipe market is only a small part, especially for medical equipment - a lot of machining is required to make flanges, type forgings, and threads at connection points. Instead, specialized plastics such as high-durability PEEK (polyether ether ketone) are more commonly used for pipe fittings in medical equipment as they are easier to mold and process.
In addition to weighing the pros and cons, the cost of titanium pipes must also be considered. Historically, because titanium is not used as frequently as materials like stainless steel, only a few small suppliers produce titanium pipes. In addition, there are fewer standard sizes, and longer delivery times are required to produce customized sizes, which in turn increases costs. Therefore, titanium pipes are a material that you should only specify if you really need it, rather than choosing something randomly.
Here's one more tip: from a practical point of view, when titanium is needed for the final product, companies usually make product design prototypes using another cheaper metal to test feasibility and functionality. If initial tests verify the design, then titanium can be used for retesting.