Titanium is the one of the closest things to a miracle metal found on earth. This silvery gray metal is stronger than steel (if you consider the strength-to-weight ratio). It resists corrosion and rust more effectively than platinum, which is a noble metal. Titanium is not impacted by weather or most environments and is even resistant to most chemical acids and bases. As a result, it is used to build ships, airplanes, trains, buses, and cars.
Who Discovered Titanium?
Titanium was discovered by William Gregor in 1791 and given its name by Martin Klaproth in 1795. Fittingly, he named it after the primordial Greek gods, the Titans, because of its great strength. Titanium is flexible as well as very ductile, which means it can be drawn into thin wire. It is also malleable, so it is often hammered into thin sheets.
Titanium has an atomic number of 22, an atomic weight of 47.90 and a density that’s between aluminum and stainless steel. It can alloy with nearly every other element except for copper and aluminum, and it is most often used as an alloy in iron. It has a melting point of 3074 degrees Fahrenheit and a boiling point of 6395 degrees F.
Nearly every type of igneous rock, including granite, has some titanium. Igneous rocks are those formed in volcanoes. However, it is difficult to separate titanium from its ore, and it wasn’t until the 1930s that a refining method was developed that could produce large amounts of industrial titanium.
Putting Titanium to Use
Titanium’s first commercial use was as titanium dioxide to obviate the need to put white lead in paint. Now, titanium dioxide is used to make rubber, paper, porcelain enamels, and linoleum. Its use as a whitening agent in food products has become controversial. Some researchers believe that titanium dioxide found in foods and products such as toothpaste can exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease.
One of the most important uses of titanium is for prosthetics. Titanium posts are used for dental implants and anchors. Titanium is also used for:
- artificial joints
- heart valves
- hearing aids
- expandable rib cages and plates
- devices used to heal broken bones
This is because titanium is biocompatible as well as corrosion-resistant. Titanium is also used for surgical tools such as forceps, needles and hemostats.
Besides being useful in industry, titanium can also be used for jewelry. Titania is made of titanium dioxide crystals, and some people believe it is even more brilliant than a diamond when it is cut and polished. It is a highly versatile metal that many industries depend on to create quality products.
At Avion Alloys, we are leading suppliers of titanium and other high-quality metals. We are a NASA and Lockheed Martin-approved vendor who understands the importance of on-time delivery and top product quality. Our long-term commitment with producers ensures availability of stock, continuity, and reliability. Call (800) 408-2329 for a free quote or contact us online to learn more about our services.