Titanium alloys have been used in the shipbuilding industry since the 1960s, about 10 years after titanium was used in the aerospace industry. The United States, Russia, Japan, and China are the first countries to study the application of titanium in the field of ships.
Hull construction material
The hull made of titanium is lighter and can increase the effective loading weight compared with the previously used fiber reinforced plastics, aluminum alloy, steel and other materials. Besides that, it has a long life that requires little maintenance and is easy to remove marine life from the surface. For example, the titanium fishing boats built by Japanese steel company, Toho Technology Company, and Eto Shipbuilding Company are made of titanium for their hull, deck and structural parts.
Ship pumps, valves, pipes and other accessories
Pumps, valves, and pipes on ships made of copper and stainless steel have a lifespan of only 2 to 5 years due to poor working conditions. Titanium has excellent corrosion and erosion resistance, good yield strength and low density, so it can be used to make thin walls, small diameter pipes, valves and other accessories. The pipes and fittings of ships made of titanium can not only reduce the weight but also significantly extend the life of the system and improve the service reliability. Experience shows that titanium alloy materials have high reliability in both mechanical strength and seawater corrosion resistance. Corrosion life of titanium alloy pipes, valves, pumps and other accessories shall not be less than 1.2×105 h, and service life shall not be less than 40 years. The service life of all kinds of pumps, valves, and tubes made of titanium alloy is much longer than that of copper or stainless steel products.
The propellers and propeller shafts of ships made of titanium alloy can increase the propulsion speed and prolong the service life. The use of titanium alloy can extend the service life of the engine by more than 10 times. Besides that, a large amount of titanium alloy material is also used in ship engine parts such as engine disc and rotor blade. The titanium alloy propulsion apparatus can also overcome the large induction current caused by the cutting of the earth’s magnetic field lines during navigation caused by the use of copper alloys.
The light and radio waves attenuate much more than sound waves in seawater, so sonar is widely used in ships, torpedoes, and underwater targets detection in the development and utilization of the ocean. Various acoustic materials with different properties are needed in sonar equipment, and titanium alloy has been widely used in sonar system of modern ships because of its good acoustic performance.