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Difference between magnesium, titanium, and aluminum

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Anyone with a background in ski construction know what the major differences will be among these three when used in skis? I ask because while many brands use titanal (which of course doesn't have an atom of titanium in it, just being aluminum alloy), some use titanium (which I assume is really an alloy, probably with aluminum), and Blizzard makes a big deal about its magnesium (which I assume is really another mainly aluminum alloy.)

I can't really tell the difference. Although I expect that titanal will prang easier than titanium, because latter is more flexible, and I know that titanal should be a lot lighter than titanium, cuz aluminum is.

But what's the rationale? Just price point and advertising, or will these different metals really affect handling differently? :
post #2 of 11
Hummm.....I think most of the time, the difference in the metal sheet isn't nearly as noticeable as the overall design of the ski.

However, a sheet of titanium the same mass as a sheet of aluminium will usually be more flexable, since it would be thinner.

At least in the case of my skis, the ones with titanium (im88, M777) tend to be softer flexing and a bit more damp, while being easier to ski....compared to stockli SS and Asteriods. However, the designs are all fairly different...
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

But what's the rationale? Just price point and advertising, or will these different metals really affect handling differently? :
You've mostly answered your own question. The differences here are more about angels and pinheads than anything else. Ti is very strong but not very damp and any alloy that usues Ti does not use much of it. Mag is exceptionally light but doesn't offer a lot structurally. Basically all the metal layers in use today boil down to a cup of Alu and a pinch or two of other stuff. There are lots of trade names for these alloys with titanal being one and zicral being another. Spring steel has been used with some success by volkl in mid level skis (it's not an expensive material) This is not to say that there are not different alloys with different characteristics. However those characteristics are more related to the other components and not much to the "miracle" material of the moment.

Ti is the new Kevlar ('member the 4SK??) Again, in that case, the amount of Kevlar was pretty small.

When I first became a product manager and sat in my first international meeting, I was a little dissapointed to find out how mundane the world of ski construction really is. I sorta expected the ski designer to get up and say............

Quote:
"Well.......we have discovered that if we take the spectra 9000 and lay a 33.72 degree angle in the fibers and then we take the wood from the north side of the trees on the north side of the hill and we cut the core juuuust riiiight......we will have the best skis known to man"


Didn't quite happen thatta way...................


SJ
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
...
Ti is the new Kevlar ('member the 4SK??) Again, in that case, the amount of Kevlar was pretty small.
....

SJ
That's like full circle. IIRC, Ti was in before Kevlar, with brief flirts in 'ceramic'
post #5 of 11
From what I've been able to find, Titanal is just a brand name for a proprietary Aluminum alloy. Somewhere I have the actual composition of it written down, IIRC it is in the 7000 series.

As far as the other materials, I'm willing to bet that they are all some similar aluminum alloy, and that different manufacturers use the title of Ti, Mg and such for marketing and to avoid paying for Titanal (both the material and the name).

You and me (and I suspect Bode too) will never notice a difference out of the "3".
post #6 of 11
I used to be an engineer in a magnesium plant. Lots of alloys to choose from, and each alloy was developed for a specific use. AZ-91 has dampening qualities that are good for use in laptop frames and cordless drill frames, but in a ski - hmmm?? Blizzard's website doesn't specify what Mg alloy they are using, but I would hope that it contains mainly Mg.

Titanium is ultra-expensive now, and most of it is being snapped up by other industries.
post #7 of 11
"Titanal" has 88.5% aluminum, 7% zinc, 2.5% magnesium, 1.5% copper and 0.1% zirconium
post #8 of 11
Atomic's been using Mg for yonks.
post #9 of 11
Just so people know, there are many skis that actually use true titanium alloy (not titanal). Some elans, heads and volkls, for instance.

Aluminum is by far the most popular though.
post #10 of 11
If so, what models? Is there any evidence of this, other then a manufacturers claim?
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
If so, what models? Is there any evidence of this, other then a manufacturers claim?
Er....yes.
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