Titanium alloy‘s high strength and low elastic modulus endow it with excellent elastic deformation ability, and it is widely used in the aerospace field as a structural and functional integrated material. In the 1950s, the United States first used titanium alloy bolts made of Ti-6Al-4V on B-52 bombers, which opened the application of titanium alloy fasteners in the aerospace field. With the continuous lightweight requirements of aerospace and weapon equipment, light-weight, high-strength & high-elasticity titanium alloy has gradually replaced the traditional 30CrMoSiA steel in fasteners, improving the safety and reliability of equipment.
The tensile strength of commonly used α+β and β titanium alloys is basically 1000 MPa, such as Ti-6Al-4V, Ti-3Al-5Mo-4.5V, Ti-5Mo-5V-8Cr-3Al, and Ti-15Mo -3Al-2.7Nb-0.3Si (β 21S) and so on.
Since the 1970s, McDonnell Douglas began to use Ti-13V-11Cr-3Al to manufacture springs for civil aircraft, replacing spring steel to achieve a weight reduction of 70%. Subsequently, Lockheed, Boeing, and Airbus began to use beta titanium alloys to manufacture spring components such as landing gear locks, hydraulic return, and aircraft controls. Representative alloys are Ti-15V-3Cr-3Al-3Sn and Ti-3Al-8V-6Cr-4Mo-4Zr (β-C), with an elastic modulus of about 104 GPa and tensile strength of 1300 to 1450 MPa.
Since the 1990s, in order to reduce the elastic modulus of medical titanium alloys, a series of low elastic modulus metastable β-type titanium alloys, such as Ti-29Nb-13Ta-4.6Zr and Ti-35Nb-5Ta-7Zr, have been developed to obtain better elastic properties. However, this type of titanium alloy is developed for the medical field and has low strength, which is difficult to meet the high strength and high elasticity requirements of titanium alloys for aviation fasteners and springs.
In 2003, Toyota Central Research Institute of Japan developed a multifunctional titanium alloy (Rubber Metal) with excellent comprehensive performance, with a typical composition of Ti-23Nb-0.7Ta-2Zr-1.2O. After 90% cold rolling, the alloy has a strength of 1200 MPa, a modulus of elasticity of 55 GPa, and an elastic limit of about 2.5%. The alloy shows excellent matching of high strength and high elasticity, and it has constant elasticity in a wide temperature range.
The metastable β-type alloy Ti-24Nb-4Zr-8Sn (Ti-2448) developed by the Institute of Metal Materials of the Chinese Academy of Sciences also shows excellent elastic properties. It has an elastic modulus as low as 42 GPa and an elastic strain as high as 3.3%. After solution aging treatment, it also has excellent high strength and high elasticity matching.
Rubber metal and Ti-2448 are typical representatives of advanced high-strength & high-elasticity titanium alloys, indicating that titanium alloys can achieve high-strength and high-elasticity matching. Its excellent performance depends on ingenious composition design and suitable preparation processes.
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