The key difference between niobium and titanium is that niobium is less corrosion-resistant, whereas titanium is more corrosion resistant than niobium.
Niobium and titanium are corrosion resistant, transition metals. We can compare them with each other according to their corrosion-resistant properties because titanium is more resistant to corrosion than niobium. However, niobium is cheaper than titanium and is highly available. Therefore, people often use niobium as an alternative to titanium.
What is Niobium?
Niobium is a chemical element having the chemical symbol Nb and atomic number 41. It is a light grey, crystalline substance and is also a ductile transition metal. The standard atomic weight of niobium is 9209 amu. Generally, pure niobium has a hardness that is similar to iron. In addition to these, niobium can undergo oxidation in Earth’s atmosphere very slowly. Therefore, it can be used as a hypoallergenic alternative to nickel. Often, we can find this metal in minerals such as pyrochlore and columbite. At room temperature and pressure, niobium is in the solid-state.
When considering the natural occurrence of niobium, we can categorize it as primordial. The crystal structure of this metal is a body-centred cubic structure. The Moh’s hardness of this metal is 6.0. Niobium has several isotopes, and Nb-93 is the most stable isotope.
Niobium metal is important in manufacturing numerous superconducting materials. These are superconducting alloys which also contain titanium and tin. These alloys are useful as superconducting magnets in MRI scanners. In addition to that, there are some other applications of niobium such as welding purposes, nuclear industry, electronics, optics, and jewellery.
What is Titanium?
Titanium is a chemical element having the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It is a d block element, and we can categorize it as a metal. Titanium has a silvery grey-white metallic appearance. Furthermore, it is a transition metal. Titanium has high strength compared to its low density, and more importantly, it is corrosion resistant upon exposure to seawater, aqua regia and chlorine.
For titanium metal, the standard atomic weight is 47.86 amu. It is in group 4 and period 4 of the periodic table. The electron configuration of titanium is [Ar] 3d2 4s2. This metal exists in the solid-state at standard temperature and pressure. Furthermore, the melting point and boiling points of this metal are 1668 °C and 3287 °C, respectively. The most common and stable oxidation state of this metal is +4.
In addition to having a high strength to weight ratio, titanium metal is quite ductile and lustrous. Depending on its high melting point, this metal is important as a refractory material. Furthermore, titanium is paramagnetic and has low electrical and thermal conductivity. We can find titanium metal commonly as titanium oxide in most igneous rocks and in the sediments derived from these rocks. In addition, titanium is the ninth most abundant element on earth’s crust. For titanium metal, the most common minerals where it occurs include anatase, brookite, ilmenite, perovskite, rutile, and titanite.
What is the Difference Between Niobium and Titanium?
Niobium and titanium are transition metals. Both are corrosion-resistant metals. The key difference between niobium and titanium is that niobium is less corrosion-resistant, whereas titanium is more corrosion resistant than niobium. Niobium is a light grey, crystalline substance while Titanium has a silvery grey-white metallic appearance.
Moreover, niobium has a low weight-to-strength ratio, while titanium has a high weight-to-strength ratio.
Below is a summary of the difference between niobium and titanium in tabular form.
Summary – Niobium vs Titanium
The key difference between niobium and titanium is that niobium is less corrosion-resistant, whereas titanium is more corrosion resistant than niobium. Although titanium is more corrosion resistant than niobium, most of the times, the niobium is used instead of titanium because of its low price and high availability.