Tiger Titanium
Tiger Metals Group

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Automotive uses of Titanium

Everything about the automotive/transportation industry these days is based on economy. MPG is the watchword. Engines are built smaller and smaller and run at higher RPMs in the name of fuel economy. All moving parts have vibration harmonics, ranges where they try to rip themselves apart. A big old V-8, running at 3000 RPM requires only very basic balancing to run smoothly, while a four cylinder engine, at much higher speed, is little less than a fatigue test machine. Reducing the weight of the rapidly moving parts in the engine is the only way to reduce the inherent forces. Titanium connecting rods and piston pins weigh half as much as high quality, aftermarket steel parts. Reduced rotating and reciprocating mass means that balance weights in the crank shaft can also be reduced. Bearing life is extended and vibration generated heat is reduced also. Modern roller-tappet cams try to open and close the valves at very high acceleration rates. Since Force still equals mass times acceleration, reducing the mass is the only way to reduce the forces required to move the valves rapidly. Titanium valves, springs, retainers and lifters do a fine job. In addition, the lower mass of Titanium springs allow them to operate at much higher cyclic rates without harmonics and without the hysteresis (heat and noise, energy) losses of steel springs. In extreme drag race use, steel springs fail (relax) and must be replaced after one 5 second run (lots of work!!) Titanium springs last for 30 runs. Many other transportation uses for Titanium are apparent. Consider tanker trucks used for chemical transport. Road use rules limit the total weight of the truck plus load. A Titanium tank is vastly stronger, half the weight and much more corrosion resistant, allowing an over thirty percent increase in usable load. Two trucks with their associated drivers, taxes and fuel use on the road in place of three.

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