what is mousetrap vehicle
A mousetrap vehicle is model car that is powered by mousetraps. Many science and engineering competitions, such as Science Olympiad and SECME, host mousetrap vehicle competitions to help teach basic physic concepts to students.
In this post, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of titanium axles in comparison to stainless steel axles.
Titanium vs stainless steel
As we have frequently mentioned in previous posts, weight is an important factor to consider for your mousetrap vehicle.
If you look at titanium axles, they are extremely light compared to stainless steel axles. However, the amount of benefit that you will gain by investing in titanium axles in terms of weight is dependent on the size of axle you need for your specific mousetrap car. If you need to use a larger axles, you will get more benefits and less if you need to use a thinner axle.
Durability is a significant factor to consider when choosing between axles because you want your mousetrap car to last a long time without having to replace any part of your car.
If you have considered using titanium axles, then you are probably under the assumption that titanium is pretty durable. While it is true that titanium is relatively durable, the amount of durability of a thin titanium axle is low. From my own experience, titanium axles are super flexible and it even came bent in the mail due to shipping.
Although it is true that stainless steel axles also have a tendency to bend, they are much more durable and have a higher resistance to bending.
Although cost may not be important towards your mousetrap car’s performance, it is a large barrier to justifying the purchase of titanium axles. If you have done simple research into the pricing of titanium axles, then you know that they are super expensive. For some perspective, you can buy a 1/8″ diameter and 12″ long titanium threaded rod for about the cost of a 1/8″ diameter and 36″ stainless steel threaded rod.
If you are considering investing in titanium axles for your mousetrap vehicle, then you are probably better of with the regular stainless steel. Unless you are fixated on shaving off a few grams of weight form your mousetrap car, there is no need to waste your money on titanium axles; Although titanium axles are cheap, they are not durable enough nor cheap enough to warrant their use.