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Can a titanium chain mail stop a bullet? How thick the chains would need to be?

Or a titanium plate would be more efficient? How thick the plate should be?

Of course, against normal weapons, like pistols or submachine-guns or even an AK-47 (I say that, because the videos where guys shoots titanium plates, they're using a thick plate and anti-armor weapons).

I know, titanium is very expensive, but let's just say that for (whoever person/society) can easily extract titanium.

Thank you for your attention. :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Titanium is actually very cheap. A lot of white things are painted with titanium oxyde, from refrigerators to toothpaste. $\endgroup$ – Renan Mar 31 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Renan: Titanium oxide is not made from titanium; it's produced from ilmenite or rutile. On the contrary, titanium is smelted from titanium oxide. Titanium is pretty expensive, about 40,000 USD per ton -- about 100 times as expensive as steel. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 1 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ I'd question the usefulness of any sort of chain mail against bullets. The bullet might not penetrate, but the chain is flexible enough that the impact would push it some distance inwards, producing a broader but still major injury. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Apr 1 at 17:30
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The TLDR is that Titanium is actually not that good at stopping bullets. Good bulletproof armor requires a combination of strength AND flexibility, and titanium doesn't have that.

There's a lot of VERY useful information in this thread right here:

https://www.quora.com/Why-isnt-titanium-used-in-body-armour

The Real Science is here though. You want to have a look at page 12. The critical point is that while the Ballistic Mass Efficiency of the Titanium alloy here is superior to steel options like RHA, ceramic composites are a LOT better.

https://cdn.ymaws.com/titanium.org/resource/resmgr/2005_2009_papers/FanningJohn_2008.pdf

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Nope for chain

As far as titanium chain mail stopping a bullet, probably not. First, titanium has lower strengths-per-volume compared to steel. This will mean that a titanium chain mail armor is weaker than a steel chain mail, and use of steel chain mail in the 1800s as protection against bullets did not work out well. (The titanium chain mail must be weaker in order to allow for the same flexibility as the steel one.) In addition, titanium is generally more brittle than steel, so the rings would shatter and actually make the problem worse.

Not worth it for plate

A titanium plate would work better, but it would be thicker than an equivalent steel plate. While it would be lighter it would also be bulkier, making the joints even larger, and possible cumbersome. In addition, because titanium is more brittle it would be more likely to crack from a shot as opposed warping and retaining most of the strength.

In addition, because the titanium is more likely to be cracked than warped, you can't just hammer out dents in it in the field. The difficulty in working titanium (it requires an inert atmosphere and not many people know how to work it) is actually a significant amount of the cost. Meanwhile getting people to work steel is easy.

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If your world has the technology and resources to produce titanium alloys like ATI 425 then they would also be able to form them into plate armors that can handle bullets. You will still need some sort of padding underneath to help absorb energy transmitted through from hits.

There is always an arms race. Once upon a time they developed plate armor strong enough that no sword could pierce it so everybody left their swords at home and carried maces and hammers to war, bashing their enemies with heavy hits that bent the armor and crushed the person inside. If titanium plate that can stop normal lead bullets is common in your world then people will stop using lead bullets and use something like tungsten.

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  • $\begingroup$ This always bothered me about the Gears of War series. Yeah modern guns don't kill Locust in one shot, but that's because our guns are as deadly as necessary. If we had to fight Locust we should have much more lethal guns $\endgroup$ – Andrey Apr 1 at 20:31
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Contrary to popular belief, titanium is not stronger then steel, it is only stronger per weight then some types of steel.

The only advantage titanium offers over steel is its melting point, of about 4000f, steel's melting point is much lower at 2500f. So going with titanium rather then a superior steel alloy will reduce your chain mails strength.

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