titanium vs aluminum

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 2ms, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    Why did Apple switch from titanium to aluminum in the high-end laptops? Titanium is about twice as strong as aluminum is is much more scratch resistant.

    I know they made the change forever ago, but I've alsways wondered why. Especially as notebooks get thinner and thinner, I would think they'd pursue stronger and stronger materials, rather than the other way around. Yes I know that aluminum is cheaper of course. But then why did they go titanium before?
  2. mBurns macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2006
    You mentioned durability---

    If I remember correctly, many Titanium PB owners have complained of paint wearing off their laptops. Also, hinge problems..
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I remember that another theory (it makes sense, fwiw) is that Al has better heat dissipation characteristics than Titanium.... by a fairly large degree, IIRC, like a factor of 10 or 20 larger.
  4. Helfeather macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Cause it's cheaper and if they could provide enough reasons for it, people will accept it.
  5. sellitman macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2007
    Its probably easier to re-cycle aluminum. Jobs did promice to be greener right? [​IMG]
  6. Eallan macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    Titanium's thermal conductivity is 17 W/m-K versus 210 W/m-K on aluminum.

    Aluminum is cheaper and easier to work too.
  7. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    Where did you get that Ti is more scratch resistant than Al?

    Anodized Al is far far more scratch resistant than Ti as I understand it.
  8. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    There is also the issue that although Titanium is abundant, refining and manufacturing with it is not that easy. Most companies that use titanium actually implement a titanium alloy for a number of reasons. Easier to manufacture, and overcomes some of titanium's inherent deficiencies such as susceptibility to cold temperatures. However, even with an alloy, titanium is still fairly brittle in teh cold (I used to play lacrosse, most of us used titanium alloy shafts since they were cheaper than the more exotic alloys but still very light. However, I personally witnessed 3 different Ti-Alloy shafts break in the cold)

    Plus the heat dissipation issue, Anodized Aluminum is the better way to go.

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