Fun Facts about Titanium
Titanium (Ti) is a chemical element, atomic number 22 on the periodic table, and has an atomic weight of 47.867. It is a silver metallic color and is known for its high strength to weight ratio. Classified as a reactive metal, it possesses a high level of corrosion resistance. In 1791 the English chemist and mineralogist William Gregor discovered titanium but it was not a pure form and was called manachite. In 1795 the German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth renamed it titanium, named after the Titans from Greek mythology. Titanium has been used in a variety of fields, from medicine to aerospace, as described below.
1. Titanium is stronger than steel but about 42% lighter.
2. The melting point of titanium is at 3,020º F and the boiling point is at 5,949 ºF.
3. This metal is the only element that burns in nitrogen.
4. Due to its lightweight properties, titanium has been used in retail products like eyeglasses to premium golf clubs and other sports equipment
5. Due to its hypoallergenic properties, titanium has been used for high quality jewelry. For those who are sensitive or allergice to other metals like gold or silver, titanium offers an alternative. Its silver color is similar to that of sterling silver, but titanium does not tarnish.
6. Titanium has been used in nuclear systems due to its short half-life. It has also been used to construct nuclear waster containers due to its low corrosion characteristics.
7. When combined with other metals, such as steel or vanadium, to create a titanium alloy, it increases the strength and thermal stability of the alloy. It has been used in jet aircrafts and turbines engines. 65% of all titanium is used in spacecraft and aircraft. 85% of the Space Shuttle structure is created from titanium. An average commercial aircraft contains over 1 ton of titanium.
8. Titanium can be combined to create compound called titanium dioxide (TiO2). The primary use of this compound is in the manufacture of white paint. It also is used in the manufacture of various types of paper and plastic materials, to give an opaque color.
9. Another compound made from titanium is titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4). When in a sealed container, it appears to a liquid, clear and colorless. But when exposed to the water vapor in the air, it changes form and appears similar to a white cloud substance. These characteristics of this compound allow for its use in skywriting or for movie smoke effects.
10. Titanium alloys appear to be bio-compatible with the human body and thus have been used for body implants like artificial hips and knees and even pacemaker cases. It has also been used for surgical instruments. The strength and lightness of titanium is also favorable in this application.
Due to its unique properties of strength combined with its lightweight qualities, titanium can be found everywhere in the current world. It is used in a variety of ways, from small items such as eyeglass frames to large items like the Space Shuttle.