Is Tungsten Stronger than Titanium? (Technically, But…)

Yes, technically Tungsten is stronger than Titanium.

But this doesn’t mean that you’d use tungsten in the place of titanium if you had the choice.

Let us explain.

Is Tungsten Stronger than Titanium? (EXPLAINED)

Out of all metals, perhaps two of the strongest in terms of tensile strength are Tungsten and Titanium.

However, there are other factors to consider besides tensile strength when choosing a metal for the right job, and also when it comes to knowing what metal can hold up to a project.

How is Strength of Metals Determined?

Metals have varying levels of strength, whether they’re alloys or pure elements. To determine the strength of metals, various factors are used including:

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is commonly measured in units of pounds per square inch, known as PSI, or as megapascals, known as MPa.

Tensile strength measures how much pressure a metal can undertake before being pulled apart.

The lower the PSI or MPa, the less tensile strength a metal has.

Comprehensive Strength

Comprehensive strength is a measure of how well a metal stands up to being squeezed.

Comprehensive strength is measured on a scale of 1-10 in what is known as the Mohs Hardness Test.

The number 10 would be the hardest material, with this score currently given to a diamond.

Yield Strength

Yield strength is used to determine the elasticity of a metal, and how much its elastic limit is before it is permanently deformed or bent out of shape (literally).

Impact Strength

As the name suggests, impact strength is used to determine how shatter-resistant an object is when undergoing a direct impact.

What is Tungsten?

Tungsten is a naturally occurring element within the periodic table of elements.

It is given the name W and has the atomic number 74. 

Tungsten is relatively rare on Earth and hardly ever found on its own.

Instead, it is combined with other elements. It has a 19.25 grams per cubic centimeter comparable to gold.

In its raw form, Tungsten appears as a hard, steel-gray metal that is often brittle.

As such, most people find it difficult to work with.

However, after being treated, Tungsten can be easier to work with as it becomes more malleable. 

Tungsten has uses in different metal alloys, and is commonly used in lightbulbs.

See also: Can Tungsten Scratch Glass?

What is Titanium?

Titanium, like Tungsten, is also a pure element that is found in the periodic table of elements.

It has the periodic number 22 and is abbreviated as Ti.

Titanium is one of the most common metals found in a variety of building and other construction applications.

It even has uses in the medical field, such as replacement for body parts like bones and teeth.

Titanium is a silvery gray or white metal that has a density of 4.506 grams per cubic centimeter, making it extremely light-weight and useful in aerospace and aviation applications as well.

How Strong is Tungsten?

Out of all the elements, Tungsten has the highest tensile strength in its raw form at 142,000 psi!

Tungsten also has the highest melting point of any metal at 3,422 degrees Celsius or 6,192 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, as we mentioned earlier, tensile strength isn’t the only determinant of how strong a metal is.

Tungsten is, unfortunately, very brittle, and tends to break apart very easily.

However, it is considered very hard, with a Mohs hardness rating of 9 out of 10!

How Strong is Titanium?

Titanium has less tensile strength than Tungsten, at around 62,000 psi.

Although that is almost half of the tensile strength of Tungsten, and indeed makes it less strong, Titanium has other physical properties that make it strong.

Because Titanium has an extremely low density, meaning it is lightweight, this makes it one of the best metals in terms of strength-to-weight ratio.

Titanium is also malleable, although this does reduce its Mohs hardness to 6 out of 10. 

What are the Benefits of Tungsten?

Tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal, is extremely strong in terms of tensile strength, and is a hard metal.

Because of this, Tungsten is often used in industrial applications.

Mainly, Tungsten is used as a carbide.

As the name suggests, a carbide is any metal mixed with carbon, which makes an extremely strong alloy.

Tungesten carbide is used in machinery such as saws, drills, knives, and other cutting-tools.

More importantly, to showcase its strength, Tungsten Carbide is also used as armor-piercing shells, and even now in jewelry.

What are the Benefits of Titanium?

Titanium is not as strong as Tungsten, however, it does have a high strength-to-weight ratio.

Because fo this, Titanium is used where its lightweight, heat resistance, and resistance to corrosion can be an advantage.

There are a variety of Titanium alloys that are commonly used in the automotive industry such as in engines.

Amazingly, Titanium is also one of the few metals that can interact well with the body, making it a life-saver in surgery such as knee replacement, insertion of a titanium plate, or titanium rods.

Titanium, like Tungsten, is also corrosion-resistant and used in the construction industry as roofing material, exterior, interior, and roof cladding, column covers, and light fixtures just to name a few applications.

How Do I Know What Metal to Choose?

Depending on the project you will be doing, both Tungsten and Titanium have their benefits and their downfalls.

Both metals are strong to some degree, with Tungsten being the stronger of the two in terms of tensile strength.

However, both are expensive materials, with Tungsten being more expensive than Titanium.

Titanium itself is already an expensive metal, and is used in projects where budgeting is not an issue.

In jewelry, both can be beneficial, although the look of the two metals is vastly different.

To Summarize

When answering the question is Tungsten stronger than Titanium, the answer is yes.

But, Titanium has its strength derived from its light-weight makeup.

Titanium also has a variety of biomedical usages on top of industrial projects.

However, Tungsten is incredibly strong, and is best used as Tungsten Carbine for projects where strength is crucial, such as in tools for surgery or construction.

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