What is titanium? Titanium is a silvery-grey metal belonging to Group 4 (IVb) of the periodic table. Titanium is a lightweight, high-strength, low-corrosion structural metal that is utilized for parts in high-speed aircraft in the form of alloys. Titanium is a chemical element with the atomic number 22 and the symbol Ti. It has an atomic weight of 47.867 Daltons.
The weight of titanium is 47.867 daltons. It’s a glossy transition metal with a silver hue, low density, and high strength that’s corrosion-resistant in seawater, aqua regia, and chlorine. William Gregor found titanium in Cornwall, Great Britain, in 1791, and Martin Heinrich Klaproth called it after the Greek Titans.
The element is present in practically all living things, as well as bodies of water, rocks, and soils, and is found in a variety of mineral deposits, primarily rutile and ilmenite, which are extensively dispersed in the Earth’s crust and lithosphere.
The Kroll and Hunter procedures are used to extract the metal from its primary mineral ores. Titanium dioxide, the most common component, is a prominent photocatalyst and is used to make white pigments.
Titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4), which is used in smoke screens and catalysts, and titanium trichloride (TiCl3), which is used as a catalyst in the manufacturing of polypropylene, are two more compounds.
Titanium can be alloyed with other elements such as iron, aluminum, vanadium, and molybdenum to create strong, lightweight alloys for applications such as aerospace, military, industrial, automotive, agriculture, medical prostheses, orthopedic implants, dental and endodontic instruments and files, dental implants, sporting goods, jewelry, mobile phones, and other uses.
Titanium is the ninth most plentiful element (0.63 percent by mass) and the seventh most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust. Most igneous rocks, sediments generated from them, living creatures, and natural bodies of water included oxides.
The United States Geological Survey examined 801 different kinds of igneous rocks and found titanium in 784 of them. Its percentage in soils ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 percent. Anatase, brookite, ilmenite, perovskite, rutile, and titanite are some of the most common titanium-containing minerals (sphene).
Akaogiite is a titanium dioxide mineral that is highly uncommon. Only rutile and ilmenite are economically valuable minerals, and even these are difficult to get by in large quantities. In 2011, around 6.0 and 0.7 million tonnes of these minerals were extracted, respectively.
In the ocean, titanium content is about 4 picomolar. The titanium content in water is expected to be less than 107 M at pH 7 at 100 °C. Because of its poor solubility and the absence of sensitive spectroscopic tools, the identification of titanium species in an aqueous solution is uncertain, despite the fact that only the 4+ oxidation state is stable in air.
Although uncommon species are known to accumulate significant levels of titanium, there is no evidence for a biological purpose. Titanium has been found in meteorites and in M-type stars (the coldest form) with a surface temperature of 3,200 degrees Celsius.
The Apollo 17 mission returned back rocks from the Moon with a TiO2 content of 12.1%. Titanium in its purest form (metal) is very uncommon.
What is titanium? Titanium is a silvery-grey metal belonging to Group 4 (IVb) of the periodic table. It’s a lightweight, high-strength, low-corrosion structural metal that’s corrosion-resistant in seawater, aqua regia, and chlorine.
Titanium is the ninth most plentiful element (0.63 percent by mass) in the Earth’s crust. It can be alloyed with other elements to create strong, lightweight alloys for applications such as aerospace, military, industrial, automotive, and medical prostheses.
William Gregor, a priest, and geologist found titanium as an inclusion in a mineral in Cornwall, Great Britain, in 1791. When Gregor discovered black sand by a stream and noted the sand was attracted by a magnet, he realized ilmenite contained a new element.
He discovered two metal oxides in the sand: iron oxide and 45.25 percent of a white metallic oxide he couldn’t identify when analyzing it. Gregor presented his results to the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall and the German scientific magazine Crell’s Annalen after discovering that the mystery oxide included a metal that did not match any known element.
Franz-Joseph Müller von Reichenstein created a similar material about the same period but was unable to identify it. Prussian scientist Martin Heinrich Klaproth independently found the oxide in rutile from Boinik, Hungary, in 1795.
Klaproth discovered that it contained a new element, which he called after the Greek Titans. He collected a sample of manaccanite after hearing about Gregor’s previous finding and verified that it contained titanium.
The existing methods for extracting titanium from its different ores are time-consuming and expensive; it is not feasible to reduce the ore by heating it with carbon because titanium reacts with carbon to form titanium carbide.
Matthew A. Hunter at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute initially created pure metallic titanium (99.9%) in 1910 by heating TiCl4 with sodium at 700–800 °C under high pressure in a batch method known as the Hunter procedure.
William Justin Kroll developed titanium metal by reducing titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) with calcium in 1932, which was the first time it was utilized outside of the laboratory. In what became known as the Kroll method, he developed this procedure using magnesium and salt eight years later.
Despite ongoing research into more cost-effective and efficient techniques, the Kroll process is still employed in commercial manufacturing. When Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Hendrik de Boer devised the iodide method in 1925, they were able to produce highly pure titanium in tiny amounts by reacting with iodine and decomposing the generated vapors over a hot filament to pure metal.
As part of Cold War initiatives in the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet Union pioneered the use of titanium in military and submarine applications. Starting with aircraft like the F-100 Super Sabre and Lockheed A-12 and SR-71 in the early 1950s, titanium became widely used in military aviation, notably in high-performance jets.
During the Cold War, the US government regarded titanium to be a strategic resource, and the Defense National Stockpile Center kept a substantial stockpile of titanium sponge (a porous version of the pure metal) until it was distributed in the 2000s.
VSMPO-AVISMA, located in Russia, was the world’s biggest manufacturer in 2006, accounting for around 29% of the global market. China, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, the United States, Ukraine, and India were the top seven nations producing titanium sponge in 2015.
Titanium was discovered for the first time in 1791 by William Gregor, a priest, and geologist. Prussian scientist Martin Heinrich Klaproth discovered it in rutile from Boinik, Hungary, in 1795.
The existing methods for extracting titanium from its ores are time-consuming and expensive. The Soviet Union pioneered the use of titanium in the 1950s and 1960s as part of Cold War initiatives.
Titanium metal is processed in four steps: reduction of titanium ore to “sponge,” a porous form; melting of sponge, or sponge plus a master alloy, to form an ingot; primary fabrication, in which an ingot is converted into general mill products such as billet, bar, plate, sheet, strip, and tube; and secondary fabrication, in which mill products are converted into finished shapes.
Titanium metal is made by reducing TiCl4 with magnesium metal in the Kroll process since it cannot be made easily by reducing titanium dioxide. Despite the fact that the Kroll process is less costly than the Hunter process, the difficulty of batch production in the Kroll method explains the comparatively high market value of titanium.
The dioxide is carbothermically reduced in the presence of chlorine to create the TiCl4 needed by the Kroll process. Chlorine gas is passed through a red-hot combination of rutile or ilmenite in the presence of carbon in this procedure.
The TiCl4 is reduced using 800 °C (1,470 °F) molten magnesium in an argon environment after substantial purification by fractional distillation. The van Arkel–de Boer procedure, which includes the thermal breakdown of titanium tetraiodide, may further purify titanium metal.
2 FeTiO3 + 7 Cl2 + 6 C → 2 TiCl4 + 2 FeCl3 + 6 CO (900 °C)
TiCl4 + 2 Mg → 2 MgCl2 + Ti (1,100 °C)
The FFC Cambridge process, a more recently discovered batch manufacturing technique, reduces titanium dioxide electrochemically in molten calcium chloride to create titanium metal as powder or sponge. The result is an alloy when mixed oxide particles are employed.
Reduction is used to create most titanium alloys. Cuprotitanium is reduced (rutile with copper added), ferrocarbon titanium is reduced (ilmenite reduced with coke in an electric furnace), and manganotitanium is reduced (rutile with manganese or manganese oxides).
About fifty grades of titanium alloys have been created and are presently in use, however only a few dozen are commercially accessible. There are 31 grades of titanium metal and alloys recognized by ASTM International, with grades one through four being economically pure (unalloyed).
Grade 1 is the most ductile (lowest tensile strength with an oxygen concentration of 0.18 percent) and grade 4 is the least ductile (lowest tensile strength with an oxygen content of 0.18 percent) (highest tensile strength with an oxygen content of 0.40 percent.
The remaining classes are alloys with ductility, strength, hardness, electrical resistivity, creep resistance, specific corrosion resistance, and combinations of these qualities.
Titanium alloys are also manufactured to fulfill aerospace and military requirements (SAE-AMS, MIL-T), ISO standards, country-specific specifications, and customized end-user specifications for aerospace, military, medical, and industrial uses, in addition to ASTM specifications.
Titanium powder is made using the Armstrong process, a flow production method that is comparable to the batch production Hunter method. A stream of titanium tetrachloride gas is mixed with molten sodium, and the resulting products are filtered to remove the excess sodium.
After that, water washing is used to remove the titanium from the salt. To make and process additional titanium tetrachloride, both sodium and chlorine are recycled.
The Kroll process involves reducing titanium dioxide with magnesium metal in a red-hot combination of rutile or ilmenite in the presence of carbon and using molten calcium chloride to create titanium metal.
Titanium powder is made using the Armstrong process, a flow production method that is comparable to the batch production Hunter method. There are 31 grades of titanium metal and alloys recognized by ASTM International, with grades one through four being economically pure (unalloyed).
Characteristics of titanium are given below:
Titanium is a metal known for its excellent strength-to-weight ratio. It is a strong, low-density metal that is ductile, glossy, and metallic-white in appearance. It’s valuable as a refractory metal because of its comparatively high melting point.
In comparison to other metals, it is paramagnetic and has poor electrical and thermal conductivity. When Titanium is cooled below its critical temperature of 0.49 K, it becomes superconducting.
Titanium has an ultimate tensile strength of around 434 MPa, which is comparable to that of ordinary low-grade steel alloys, although it is less dense. Titanium is 60% denser than aluminum, yet it’s more than twice as strong as the most common aluminum alloy, 6061-T6.
The tensile strength of certain titanium alloys exceeds 1,400 MPa. Titanium, on the other hand, loses strength when heated over 430°C. Titanium is not as hard as other heat-treated steel grades, and it is non-magnetic and a poor heat and electrical conductor.
Precautions must be used while machining since the material may gall if sharp tools and suitable cooling processes are not employed. Titanium structures, like steel structures, have a fatigue limit that ensures endurance in specific applications.
The metal is a dimorphic allotrope with a hexagonal shape that transitions to a body-centered cubic (lattice) form at 882 degrees Celsius (1,620 degrees Fahrenheit). As the form is heated to this transition temperature, its specific heat rises substantially, then decreases and stays rather constant for the form regardless of temperature.
Titanium metal and its alloys, like aluminum and magnesium, oxidize quickly when exposed to air, forming a thin non-porous passivation layer that protects the bulk metal from further oxidation or corrosion.
This protective layer is just 1–2 nm thick when it initially starts, but it grows steadily over time, eventually reaching a thickness of 25 nm after four years. This layer provides titanium a corrosion resistance that is nearly equal to platinum.
Titanium is resistant to most organic acids, as well as dilute sulfuric and hydrochloric acids, chloride solutions, and dilute sulfuric and hydrochloric acids. Concentrated acids, on the other hand, degrade titanium.
Titanium is a thermodynamically reactive metal with a negative redox potential that burns at temperatures below the melting point in a normal environment. Only an inert environment or a vacuum allows for melting. It mixes with chlorine at 550 °C (1,022 °F). It also absorbs hydrogen and interacts with other halogens.
Titanium becomes titanium dioxide when it combines with oxygen at 1,200 °C (2,190 °F) in air and 610 °C (1,130 °F) in pure oxygen. Titanium is one of the few elements that burn in pure nitrogen gas, forming titanium nitride at 800°C (1,470°F) and causing embrittlement.
The titanium that is evaporated from filaments is the foundation for titanium sublimation pumps, in which titanium acts as a scavenger for these gases by chemically adhering to them due to its strong reactivity with oxygen, nitrogen, and many other gases. In ultra-high vacuum systems, such pumps create incredibly low pressures at a cheap cost.
Titanium is a strong, low-density metal that is ductile, glossy, and metallic-white in appearance. It’s valuable as a refractory metal because of its comparatively high melting point. When cooled below its critical temperature of 0.49 K, it becomes superconducting.
Titanium is a thermodynamically reactive metal with a negative redox potential that burns at temperatures below the melting point in a normal environment. It acts as a scavenger for gases by chemically adhering to them due to its strong reactivity with oxygen, nitrogen, and many other gases.
Titanium is utilized as an alloying element in steel to decrease grain size and as a deoxidizer, as well as a carbon content reducer in stainless steel. Aluminum, vanadium, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and other metals are often alloyed with titanium. Industrial, aerospace, recreational, and growing sectors all use titanium mill products. In pyrotechnics, powdered titanium is employed as a source of bright-burning particles.
Titanium ore is refined into titanium dioxide, a highly white permanent pigment used in paints, paper, toothpaste, and plastics, with over 95% of it going to this end. It’s also utilized in cement, gemstones, paper as an optical opacifier, and graphite composite fishing rods and golf clubs as a strengthening agent.
TiO2 pigment is chemically inert, UV resistant, and opaque: it gives brown or grey compounds that make up the bulk of household plastics a pure and beautiful white hue. This combination may be found in nature in the minerals anatase, brookite, and rutile.
Titanium dioxide paint holds up well in extreme temperatures and in maritime conditions. Pure titanium dioxide has a larger optical dispersion than diamond and a very high index of refraction. Titanium dioxide is a highly significant pigment that is also found in sunscreens.
Titanium alloys are utilized in airplanes, armor plating, naval ships, spacecraft, and missiles because of their high tensile strength to density ratio, corrosion resistance, fatigue resistance, strong fracture resistance, and ability to sustain fairly high temperatures without creeping.
Titanium is alloyed with aluminum, zirconium, nickel, vanadium, and other elements to make a range of components for various applications, including key structural sections, firewalls, landing gear, helicopter exhaust ducts, and hydraulic systems.
In reality, aviation engines and frames use around two-thirds of all titanium metal produced. The titanium 6AL-4V alloy makes up over half of all alloys used in airplane applications.
The Lockheed A-12 and its evolution, the SR-71 “Blackbird,” were two of the first aircraft to employ titanium as a structural material, paving the way for its widespread usage in current military and commercial aircraft.
The Boeing 777 weighs 59 metric tonnes (130,000 pounds), the Boeing 747 45, the Boeing 737 18 metric tonnes, the Airbus A340 32, the Airbus A330 18, and the Airbus A320 12 metric tonnes. The Airbus A380 might weigh up to 77 tonnes, with the engines weighing roughly 11 tonnes.
Rotors, compressor blades, hydraulic system components, and nacelles are all made of titanium in aviation engine applications. In the 1950s, the Orenda Iroquois was one of the first jet engines to be used.
Titanium is used to build propeller shafts, rigging, and heat exchangers in desalination plants, as well as heater-chillers for saltwater aquariums, fishing line and leader, and divers’ knives, due to its resistance to corrosion by seawater.
The housings and components of ocean-deployed surveillance and monitoring systems for research and the military are made of titanium. Submarines with titanium alloy hulls were produced in the former Soviet Union by forging titanium in massive vacuum tubes. To insulate onboard electronics, titanium is employed in the vault walls of the Juno spacecraft.
The chemical and petrochemical industries rely on welded titanium pipe and process equipment (heat exchangers, tanks, process vessels, and valves) for corrosion resistance. For their great strength, corrosion resistance, or both, certain alloys are employed in oil and gas downhole applications and nickel hydrometallurgy.
Titanium is used in pulp and paper industry process equipment that is exposed to corrosive fluids such as sodium hypochlorite or wet chlorine gas (in the bleachery). Ultrasonic welding, wave soldering, and sputtering targets are some of the other uses.
The colorless liquid titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) serves as an intermediary in the production of TiO2 and is also utilized to make the Ziegler–Natta catalyst. Titanium tetrachloride is also used to iridize glass and to manufacture smoke screens since it fumes heavily in the damp air.
Titanium is employed in automotive applications, notably in car and motorcycle racing, where weight, great strength, and stiffness low are required. Although certain late-model Corvettes feature titanium exhausts, and a Corvette Z06’s LT4 supercharged engine employs lightweight, solid titanium intake valves for improved strength and heat resistance, the metal is often prohibitively pricey for the general consumer market.
Tennis rackets, golf clubs, lacrosse stick shafts, cricket, hockey, lacrosse, and football helmet grills, and bicycle frames and components are all made of titanium. Titanium bikes have been employed by racing teams and adventure riders, despite the fact that it is not a common bicycle material.
Titanium alloys are utilized in high-end sight frames that are very sturdy, long-lasting, light, and do not cause skin allergies. Cookware, dining utensils, flashlights, and tent pegs are among the common items used by travelers.
Titanium items can be much lighter without losing strength, although being somewhat more costly than standard steel or aluminum competitors. Farriers prefer titanium horseshoes to steel because they are lighter and more durable.
Titanium has been utilized in architecture on a few occasions. Titanium is used in the 42.5 m (360 ft) Monument to Yuri Gagarin, the first man to journey into space and the 110 m (360 ft) Monument to the Conquerors of Space on top of the Cosmonaut Museum in Moscow.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Cerritos Millennium Library were the first titanium-clad structures in Europe and North America, respectively. The Frederic C. Hamilton Building in Denver, Colorado, uses titanium sheathing.
Titanium has been increasingly often used in the construction of weapons due to its greater strength and lightweight compared to other metals (steel, stainless steel, and aluminum), as well as recent breakthroughs in metalworking processes.
Pis*ols frames and revolver cylinders are two of the most common applications. It is utilized in the body of laptop computers for the same reasons (for example, in Apple’s PowerBook range). Titanium or titanium alloys are used to make several high-end lightweights and corrosion-resistant tools, such as shovels and flashlights.
Titanium has become increasingly popular for designing jewelry due to its endurance (particularly, titanium rings). Because of its inertness, it is a suitable alternative for individuals with allergies or for those who will be wearing the jewelry in situations like swimming pools.
Because the 1% of alloyed Ti is inadequate to necessitate a lower mark, titanium is further alloyed with gold to generate an alloy that may be sold as 24-karat gold. The alloy produced has a hardness similar to 14-karat gold and is more durable than pure 24-karat gold.
Titanium is suitable for watch casings because of its durability, low weight, and resistance to damage and corrosion. Titanium is used by certain artists to create sculptures, ornamental items, and furniture.
Titanium may be anodized to change the thickness of the surface oxide layer, resulting in optical interference fringes and a rainbow of colors. Titanium is a popular metal for body piercing because of its color and chemical inertness.
Titanium is used in a limited number of non-circulating coins and medals. Gibraltar issued the world’s first titanium coin in 1999 to commemorate the millennium. The Gold Coast Titans, an Australian rugby league side, present their player of the year with a pure titanium medal.
Because titanium is biocompatible (meaning it is non-toxic and does not cause the body to reject it), it is used in a variety of medical applications, including surgical instruments and implants such as hip balls and sockets and dental implants that may last up to 20 years. Titanium is often alloyed with 4% aluminum or 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium.
Titanium’s natural propensity to osseointegrate allows it to be used in dental implants that may last up to 30 years. This characteristic is especially beneficial in the case of orthopedic implants. The lower modulus of elasticity (Young’s modulus) of titanium allows these devices to better match the elasticity of the bone they are meant to mend.
As a consequence, skeletal stresses are more uniformly distributed between bone and implant, resulting in less bone degeneration owing to stress shielding and periprosthetic bone fractures, which occur along the implant’s edges. However, because the stiffness of titanium alloys is more than twice that of bone, adjacent bone bears a much lower load and may deteriorate.
Patients with titanium implants can be safely examined with magnetic resonance imaging because titanium is non-ferromagnetic (convenient for long-term implants). Titanium is prepared for implantation in the body by exposing it to a high-temperature plasma arc, which eliminates the surface atoms and exposes new titanium that is immediately oxidized.
The potential for titanium utilization in orthopedic implant applications has grown thanks to recent advances in additive manufacturing methods. Complex implant scaffold designs may be 3D-printed using titanium alloys, allowing for more patient-specific applications and better osseointegration.
Titanium is utilized in image-guided surgery surgical tools, as well as wheelchairs, crutches, and other devices that need great strength and low weight. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are commonly employed in electronics, medicinal delivery, and cosmetic delivery.
Titanium containers have been investigated for long-term storage of nuclear waste due to their corrosion resistance. With production settings that reduce material faults, containers lasting more than 100,000 years are estimated to be conceivable. A titanium “drip shield” could also be used to extend the life of other types of containers.
Titanium ore is refined into titanium dioxide, a highly white permanent pigment used in paints, paper, toothpaste, and plastics. It’s also employed in pulp and paper industry process equipment exposed to corrosive fluids such as sodium hypochlorite or wet chlorine gas.
It is used in dental implants that may last up to 30 years and 3D-printed scaffolds for complex structures such as hip, knee, and ankle replacements.
People usually asked many questions about “what is titanium?”, some of the related questions are given below:
Titanium is mined from a variety of naturally occurring ores across the planet. Ilmenite, leucoxene, and rutile are the most common ores used to make titanium. Anatase, perovskite, and sphene are three more prominent sources. Titaniferous ores include ilmenite and leucoxene.
The metal titanium is well-known. Many people are aware that it is found in jewelry, prostheses, tennis rackets, goalie masks, knives, bicycle frames, surgical equipment, mobile phones, and other high-performance items. Titanium is a metal that is as strong as steel but weighs half as much.
Titanium has a number of characteristics that distinguish it from other metals. Titanium metal is a particularly durable metal for engineering applications since it is corrosion-resistant, as well as being very strong and light. It’s 40% lighter than steel yet has the same strength as high-strength steel.
Titanium does not exist as a free element. The element is found in the earth’s crust at the tenth highest concentration. It’s most often found in igneous rocks and the sediments that result from them. It may be found in rutile (TiO2), ilmenite (FeTiO3), and sphene, as well as in titanates and numerous iron ores.
Because titanium metal bonds effectively with bone, it has been used in surgical procedures such as jo*nt replacements (particularly hip joints) and dental implants. Titanium is most often used in the form of titanium(IV) oxide. It’s found in a wide range of products, including home painting, artist’s paint, plastics, enamels, and paper.
Titanium has a maximum tensile strength of roughly 434 MPa (63,000 psi), which is comparable to that of ordinary, low-grade steel alloys, but is less dense. A bullet would be stopped by pure Titanium of the same thickness as low-grade steel.
Precious metals are very rare metals with desired properties, such as the capacity to create exquisite jewelry. Silver, gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium are the eight precious metals. Titanium, tungsten, and cobalt are examples of modern metals.
Titanium is present in practically every living organism. Titania has superhuman strength, protection, and resistance, as well as the ability to fight in hand-to-hand combat. Her strengths include that she is powerful, that she is a poor conductor of heat and electricity, and that she may harden her body for defense.
In the year 2020, China was the world’s top producer of titanium minerals. In 2020, the Chinese mine output of ilmenite with a titanium dioxide concentration of roughly 2.3 million metric tones was more than twice that of South Africa, which was ranked second at the time.
The human body contains measurable amounts of titanium, and it is believed that humans take in roughly 0.8 mg each day, yet the majority of it goes through us without being absorbed. Titanium is not a poisonous metal, and the human body can handle enormous doses of it.
Titanium is a lightweight, high-strength, low-corrosion structural metal. It can be alloyed with other elements to create strong, lightweight alloys. The world’s biggest manufacturer is VVSMPO-AVISMA, located in Russia.
Titania has superhuman strength, protection, and resistance, as well as the ability to fight in hand-to-hand combat. It is 40% lighter than steel yet has the same strength. Titanium is biocompatible and non-toxic and does not cause the body to reject it.