ASK is a series of posts answering questions asked by readers about the operative, survivalist and nomadic lifestyle. Contact us to ask your own.
I saw that you wear that covert titanium cache necklace all the time, including through flights. I’ll be traveling like you abroad soon and want to bring some titanium EDC gear for carry-on. So does titanium set off metal detectors at airport security checkpoints?-Matthew K.
A metallurgist with a background in physical perimeter security can answer this better.
I can answer this from my extensive experience going through dozens of airports around the world with various amounts of titanium on (and in) my person.
My face is full of titanium screws, pins and plates from reconstructive surgeries. Throughout the hundreds of metals detectors I’ve passed at airports and government facilities, it has never set them off.
This includes the significant amount of the titanium I wear around my neck as shown in the photo below.
Metal detectors don’t literally detect metal material but the magnetic field that metal produces.
Titanium is non-ferrous (non-iron based) so it has an extremely low magnetic field. So minute that titanium is widely considered a nonmagnetic metal. Therefore, the airport metal detectors are not set off.
But I see that you said you wanted to bring titanium EDC through airport security. I’m assuming this includes knives? I do not recommend that.
However, tools and weapons that are of higher density and mass may trigger more sensitive detectors and or specific settings.
Furthermore, unlike carbon fiber, titanium can not deceive visual / body / x-ray scanners.
So for non-permissive items, it’s suggested that you custom make your own titanium equipment or adequately test any manufactured gear before attempting live security checks.
Besides, you really don’t need a bladed tool or edged weapon while on a commercial flight. More importantly, you don’t want to get caught with one.