# Relative cost of some alloys

Gold Member
Does anyone have an approximate idea of the relative cost of the following allows / metals:

Titanium
SS904L
2205 Duplex Steel
6Mo (Super Austentic Stainless Steel)
Alloy 400
SS316L (just as a convenient reference price)

Of course, I'm not looking for accuracy just approximate price ratios.

Context: For an high temperature application involving Sodium Chloride all these seem potential options (except SS316L) and in a preliminary evaluation I am trying to figure out some cost factors.

## Answers and Replies

Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
Have you tried canvassig manufacturers?
i.e. Titanium metal trades at around US$680/100g - you can get that from a traders index. Different traders will have different prices of course. But I suspect you don't just want an ingot: the cost varies with how you want it. rollingstein SteamKing Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Homework Helper Have you tried canvassig manufacturers? i.e. Titanium metal trades at around US$680/100g - you can get that from a traders index. Different traders will have different prices of course.
But I suspect you don't just want an ingot: the cost varies with how you want it.
Not sure where this price for titanium comes from, nor what the quality of the metal is. Whatever, it is an enormously inflated price.

Even so called .999 fine titanium bullion can be purchased for about US $80/kg, and industrial grades of Ti can be had much cheaper. http://www.providentmetals.com/bull...nt/art-bars-rounds/titanium-bullion-bars.html A price of$6.80/gram would severely limit the use of Ti for industrial purposes. It has a prominent role in aircraft production and some marine applications. It was also once used as a pigment in white paint in the form of titanium dioxide TiO2.

Gold Member
Thanks! No I haven't tried talking with the manufacturers yet. Like you say it is a good idea. I will.

Ingot cost should be perfectly fine. Sheet cost roughly varies in that proportion I think; so at current levels of accuracy ingot cost is good. Problem is that for stuff like SS904 I don't know any approximate ingot estimates even.

That's what I'm hoping someone on the forum might know.

Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
I may have misplaced a decimal point :)
Note: don't need to phone the actual people - the suppliers usually have web sites.

Gold Member
Even so called .999 fine titanium bullion can be purchased for about US $80/kg, and industrial grades of Ti can be had much cheaper. This 2013 article quotes a price of$6 per kg for Titanium. You think it is right?

Intuitively sounded too low to me.

http://www.gizmag.com/titanium-metal-electrowinning/29337/

Gold Member
Note: don't need to phone the actual people - the suppliers usually have web sites.

Yes I know. :)

That's what I've been trying but it's terribly hard to get pricing info. for the more exotic alloys. Try it! :)

Properties? Now those are easy. :)

SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
This 2013 article quotes a price of $6 per kg for Titanium. You think it is right? Intuitively sounded too low to me. http://www.gizmag.com/titanium-metal-electrowinning/29337/ A price of US$6.00/kg is in the range for titanium metal in 'sponge' form, which is how the metal is produced from current refining methods and before it is alloyed.

Although titanium is more expensive than other structural materials, it is not so expensive that further research in cheaper methods of production would be of no value. Things like large commercial aircraft typically use thousands of kilograms of titanium in critical structural components to provide high strength and lower weight than other alloys like steel. If the titanium metal could be produced cheaper, it would mean that aircraft could get lighter and use less fuel. It would also expand the use of the metal into other areas where the current cost prohibits its use.

Alloys like steel are cheap because methods were developed to make it less costly to produce in large amounts. 150 years ago, steel was more expensive than wrought or cast iron, and even though it could be made stronger than iron, steel was used very little because it was expensive to make. Once the Bessemer process was developed, the price of steel came down quite sharply, and its use skyrocketed.

A similar situation applied to aluminum. Before the introduction of the Hall process to refine its ore, aluminum was so difficult to produce and so rare, it was considered a precious metal. Once the Hall process was shown to refine aluminum ore cheaply and make large quantities of the metal, the cost plummeted, and the use of aluminum increased dramatically.

Gold Member
A price of US $6.00/kg is in the range for titanium metal in 'sponge' form, which is how the metal is produced from current refining methods and before it is alloyed. I'm confused mainly because different ways to estimate the Ti price give such grossly varying answers. e.g. The commercial price of a sheet of dimensions 144x11x2 inches is$23,500. If I did my calculations right that's approx $90/kg. That's 10x the earlier estimate. (One additional variable seems to be that structural Ti rarely seems native Ti. Even for airplanes. The price of sheet above is for the common Ti product called 6AL-4V ) http://www.titaniumjoe.com/index.cfm/products/product-details/?code=SP:6AL-4V:11.900:144.250:2.000 Yet another online source reports structural Ti (ingot of 6AL-4V)) to be 4.5 times as expensive as SS316L. If I assume SS316L currently costs approximately$4.5/kg (can anyone verify this?) that would make Ti's price $20/kg. http://www.roymech.co.uk/Useful_Tables/Matter/Costs.html What gives?$6/kg to $90/kg seems a very wide range for Ti price. Gold Member Things like large commercial aircraft typically use thousands of kilograms of titanium in critical structural components to provide high strength and lower weight than other alloys like steel. Indeed! It also has tons of marine applications. For seawater contact it seems one of the top choices for MOC. Even in salt manufacturing & chlor alkali they seem to use Ti a lot for contact parts, pumps, piping, heat exchangers etc. SteamKing Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Homework Helper I'm confused mainly because different ways to estimate the Ti price give such grossly varying answers. e.g. The commercial price of a sheet of dimensions 144x11x2 inches is$23,500. If I did my calculations right that's approx $90/kg. That's 10x the earlier estimate. (One additional variable seems to be that structural Ti rarely seems native Ti. Even for airplanes. The price of sheet above is for the common Ti product called 6AL-4V ) http://www.titaniumjoe.com/index.cfm/products/product-details/?code=SP:6AL-4V:11.900:144.250:2.000 Yet another online source reports structural Ti (ingot of 6AL-4V)) to be 4.5 times as expensive as SS316L. If I assume SS316L currently costs approximately$4.5/kg (can anyone verify this?) that would make Ti's price $20/kg. http://www.roymech.co.uk/Useful_Tables/Matter/Costs.html What gives?$6/kg to $90/kg seems a very wide range for Ti price. I don't think you'll find one price for a given metal or alloy. The price will depend, in part, on the purity of the metal or the composition of the alloy, the quantity of the material to be purchased, the form in which it is to be purchased (e.g., sheet, rolled shape, cast ingot, extrusion, forging, any heat treatment or other processing, etc.), the source or manufacturer, etc., etc. Gold Member I don't think you'll find one price for a given metal or alloy. The price will depend, in part, on the purity of the metal or the composition of the alloy, the quantity of the material to be purchased, the form in which it is to be purchased (e.g., sheet, rolled shape, cast ingot, extrusion, forging, any heat treatment or other processing, etc.), the source or manufacturer, etc., etc. I totally agree. But the price differences, should not be order of magnitude ones right?$9/kg versus $90/kg seems too much to attribute to manufacturer variances, processed form etc. Bystander Science Advisor Homework Helper Gold Member Set up charges, price breaks on quantity, easily cover order of magnitude. Gold Member Set up charges, price breaks on quantity, easily cover order of magnitude. Thanks. I hadn't realized that. Astronuc Staff Emeritus Science Advisor What gives?$6/kg to $90/kg seems a very wide range for Ti price. Processing. I saw a quote of$16-\$17/kg for Ti-6Al-4V in ingot form. Further processing increases cost.

http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Flagships/Future-Manufacturing-Flagship/Titanium-processing/Why-do-titanium-products-cost-so-much.aspx [Broken]
Somewhat dated (29 April 2011 | Updated 19 September 2012)

One maybe could do a rough estimate of cost based on composition and cost of elements.

One would also want to get very clean alloys - low in S and P.

Some old prices on stainless steels - by the lb.
http://www.aksteel.com/pdf/markets_products/stainless/stainlesssteelpricelist.pdf

Incidentally - Rolex became, in 1985, the first watchmaking brand to use 904L steel due to it's corrosion resistance that acquires an exceptional sheen when polished.

http://www.sandmeyersteel.com/2205.html - they may be able to provide prices.

Outokumpu makes a number of the steels or superalloys cited.

Last edited by a moderator:
Gold Member
Thanks @Astronuc!

Maybe I should expand the original question. Suppose you wanted to choose an MOC for 2-3mm thick tubes for use in an evaporator in contact with hot (90 C), saturated NaCl brine which might be the MOC you might consider.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Thanks @Astronuc!

Maybe I should expand the original question. Suppose you wanted to choose an MOC for 2-3mm thick tubes for use in an evaporator in contact with hot (90 C), saturated NaCl brine which might be the MOC you might consider.
Probably 654 SMO, but that could be overkill depending on pH, aeration and other factors.

This might help - http://www.outokumpu.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Outokumpu-corrosion-management-news-Acom-2-2014.pdf

Grades 2507 and 4501 are regarded as super duplex grades. They are highly alloyed and have a corrosion resistance comparable to high performance austenitics like 254 SMO®. Typical applications for super duplex are desalination plants, seawater systems, flue-gas cleaning, umbilicals, storage tanks and pressure vessels.

Special Metals Corporation makes Monel Alloy 400. You might ask them for pricing as well.
http://www.specialmetals.com/documents/Monel alloy 400.pdf

http://swcc.gov.sa/files/assets/Research/Technical%20Papers/Corrosion/CORROSION%20AND%20MATERIAL%20SELECTION%20IN%20DESALINATION%20PLANTS....3.pdf [Broken]

http://turbolab.tamu.edu/proc/pumpproc/P26/ch09_Morrow.pdf [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator:
Gold Member
Processing seems a huge price markup. e.g. From Ti sheet to tube seems approx. a 3x markup based on weight.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus