Titanium is the 22nd element on the Periodic Table. The element is known for its strength and has widespread usage in our society. In this article on Titanium facts, we are going to learn about its history, its characteristics, and uses, etc. Let us begin.
But, before we begin, let us take a quick look at some important information about the element.
Facts about Titanium Element – Some Basic Information at a Glance
|Element Family||Transition Metal|
|Atomic Weight||47.867 amu|
|Melting Point||1660.0 °C or 1933.15 °K|
|Boiling Point||3287.0 °C or 3560.15 °K|
|Density at 20 degrees Celsius||4.54 g/cm3|
|Number of Electrons||22|
|Number of Neutrons (as found in the most abundant isotope)||26|
|Number of Protons||22|
|Element Structure||Hexagonal close-packed (hcp)|
|Atomic Radius||147 pm|
Facts about Titanium – Isotopes of Titanium
|Isotope Name||Type and Abundance||Half-Life (HL)|
|38Ti||No Data Available||No Data Available|
|46Ti||Stable, 8.25% natural abundance||Stable so no HL|
|47Ti||Stable, 7.44% natural abundance||Stable so no HL|
|48Ti||Stable, 73.72% natural abundance||Stable so no HL|
|49Ti||Stable, 5.41% natural abundance||Stable so no HL|
|50Ti||Stable, 5.18% natural abundance||Stable so no HL|
Titanium Facts: 1-21 | History of Titanium
Titanium Facts: Discovery by William Gregor
1. An amateur geologist named William Gregor discovered Titanium in the year 1791 from Mannacan in Cornwall, England.
2. He found black and magnetic sand which looked similar to the gunpowder. It was ilmenite – a mixture consisting of oxides of Titanium and Iron.
3. He studied the sand and found that Magnetite (Fe2O3) was the major constituent, and there was a little portion of a new element’s impure oxide.
4. He called the new element as “reddish brown calx.”
5. It turned purple when reduced with Tin, Iron or Zinc and turned yellow when reacted with Sulfuric acid.
6. He reported to the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall that he was dealing with new metal and called the element as Menachanite in honor of Mannacan.
Titanium Facts: Discovery by Martin Klaproth
7. In the year 1795, a German chemist Martin Klaproth discovered a new element and named it Titanium.
8. He named it after Titans, Earth Goddess’s sons in Greek Mythology.
9. He discovered the element in Schörl – a form of rutile, a mineral from Boinik region of Hungary.
Titanium Facts: Klaproth’s Realization
10. Gregor’s calx and rutile both were red. It was in 1797, Klaproth realized that rutile and calx of Gregor are same.
11. He also realized that Titanium and Menachanite are same, and Gregor is the actual discoverer of the element.
Titanium Facts: Purification of Titanium by Matthew Hunter
12. The purification process of Titanium proved to be difficult than discovering it.
13. It took almost 119 years to get 99.9% pure Titanium. It was isolated by Matthew Hunter, a metallurgist in the year 1910 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Schenectady, New York.
14. He heated Sodium and Titanium Tetrachloride to at 700 to 800o C in extremely high pressure using a process called Batch Process or Hunter Process.
15. Even when Titanium was purified, it was strictly limited to laboratory use only.
Titanium Facts: Purification of Titanium by William Justin Kroll
16. In 1932, William Justin Kroll reduced Titanium Tetrachloride using Calcium, and from then, Titanium’s commercial usage started.
17. In 1936, Kroll refined the process and replaced Calcium with Magnesium. This led to the production of Titanium for commercial purpose.
18. Thanks to the contribution of Kroll, the once-hard-to-be-purified element’s production reached 3 tons a year by 1948!
Titanium Facts: Some Random Historical Facts
19. However, small quantities of Titanium (very high purity) were produced by Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Hendrik de Boer by using Iodide or Crystal Bar Process.
20. By 1950s and 1960s, Soviet Union started using Titanium in military aviation and other military equipment related to jets, etc. The USA soon followed suit. As per the data of 2006, Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA is still the leading producer of Titanium (has nearly 29% of the market share).
21. As of 2015, six countries commercially produce Titanium which is – China, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, the US, Ukraine, and India (order of output of Titanium).
Titanium Facts: 22-36 | Titanium Properties and Characteristics
22. Titanium belongs to d block, group 4, period 4.
23. It is metallic white, has low density, but has a high strength to weight ratio.
24. It is ductile and lustrous, has a high melting point which makes it a refractory metal (highly resistant to wear and heat).
25. It is paramagnetic, which means, it is weakly attracted to the externally applied magnetic field and has low thermal and electrical conductivity.
26. Titanium, which is used for commercial purposes, is less dense but strong. Titanium is 60% denser than Aluminum, but it is two times stronger than Aluminum. However, if heated to over 430o C, it loses its strength.
27. Just like Aluminum and Magnesium, it oxidizes as soon as it is exposed to air.
28. It reacts with Oxygen and forms Titanium Oxide. It doesn’t readily react with water or air as it forms an oxide layer (as soon as it comes in contact with air), which protects the rest of the Titanium.
29. Its resistance to corrosion is almost the same as Platinum.
30. It can even withstand the attack of dilute acids like dilute Sulfuric and Hydrochloric acids, many organic acids and chloride solutions.
31. Titanium gets corroded by concentrated acids.
32. It is a highly reactive metal and burns at temperatures below its melting point.
33. Melting of Titanium can be done only in an inert atmosphere or in a vacuum.
34. It reacts with halogens and absorbs Hydrogen.
35. One of the few metals which burn in pure Nitrogen at 800 degrees Celsius is Titanium. It forms Titanium Nitride.
36. Titanium is mostly seen in its +4 oxidation state (oxidation state is the number of electrons an atom loses in a chemical reaction), but +3 oxidation state is also more or less common.
Titanium Facts: 37-45 | Titanium Uses
37. Titanium is used as an alloying agent and is mixed with many metals like steel, Aluminum, Molybdenum, Copper, Iron, Manganese, etc.
38. The alloys of Titanium are generally used in aerospace, industrial, and recreational markets.
39. Powdered Titanium is used in pyrotechnics or simply fireworks, matchsticks, oxygen candles, etc., because it is the source of particles which burn brightly.
40. Titanium Oxide (TiO2) is a permanent white pigment and is used in the paper, toothpaste, plastics, etc. It is also used as a strengthening factor in graphite component present in golf clubs and fishing rods.
41. Titanium is also used in cement, gemstones, etc.
42. 95% of the Titanium produced is converted into Titanium Oxide.
43. Titanium Oxide is inert, opaque and gives white color to plastics mostly used in households.
44. Paints using Titanium Oxide can bear greater degrees of temperature and can even survive in marine environments.
45. Did you know Titanium Oxide is used in sunscreens as well?
Titanium Facts: 46-54 | Titanium Uses
46. The alloys of Titanium find their way in aerospace because they are high temperature resistant, high corrosion resistant, fatigue resistant, high crack resistant and have the high tensile strength (compared to density).
47. Titanium is mixed with Aluminum, Zirconium, Vanadium, Nickel, etc. elements to make the alloys which are used to make frames of pistols and revolver cylinders, structural parts of aircraft, landing gear, exhaust ducts of helicopters, parts of aircraft engines and frames (two-thirds of Titanium produced in the world is used in aerospace industry).
48. A whopping 59 metric tons of Titanium is used in a Boeing 777, 45 metric tons in a Boeing 747, and 18 metric tons in a Boeing 737.
49. Airbus also uses Titanium. 32 metric tons are used in an Airbus A340, 12 metric tons in an Airbus A320, and 18 metric tons in an Airbus A330.
50. Even ISS (International Space Station) also contains Titanium.
51. It is used for making heat exchangers, propeller shafts, rigging, and in desalination plants. Heater-chillers for aquariums and diver’s knives also are made of Titanium alloys.
52. It reflects Infrared Radiation (IR) and hence used in solar observatories.
53. Walls of the vaults of Juno spacecraft also contain Titanium.
54. Chemical and petrochemical industries use Titanium in tanks, valves, welded Titanium pipes, process vessels, etc.
Titanium Element Facts: 55-63 | Uses of Titanium
55. Nickel metallurgy, paper, and pulp industry also use alloys of Titanium for its high corrosion resistance.
56. Because the alloys of Titanium are lightweight and have high tensile strength, they are used in automobile and racing cars.
57. Many sporting products like golf clubs, lacrosse sticks, tennis rackets, helmet grills of cricket, hockey, lacrosse, frames, and components of bicycles (expensive ones) also use alloys of Titanium.
58. Utensils, frames of spectacles also use Titanium. Products of Titanium are lighter, more durable and stronger and hence, expensive than the traditional Aluminum and steel counterparts.
59. The metal is also used in architecture. Monument to Yuri Gagarin, Monument to the Conquerors of Space present on top of Cosmonaut Museum in Moscow are made of Titanium.
61. One of the most interesting Titanium uses is found in laptops. Certain laptop bodies (PowerBook Line of Apple) use Titanium. The element is used in 3D printing as well.
62. Titanium found its way in jewelry as well, thanks to its durability. Designer jewelry especially Titanium rings are a rage now.
63. As it is inert, it can be worn by people who have allergies, or even in swimming pools.
Titanium Facts: 64-73 | Titanium Uses
64. Titanium is mixed with Gold (Au), the Gold becomes harder and more durable than 24-carat Gold. This mixture of Gold and Titanium is still considered 24-carat Gold because less than 1% of Titanium is used in the mixture.
65. Watch cases, sculptures, home or office decor also use Titanium.
66. One of the famous metals used in body piercing is Titanium.
67. You will be surprised, but Titanium complexes are one of the few non-platinum compounds tested for the treatment of cancer.
68. Research is still going on, but the expectations are high because of its low toxic nature and high efficacy.
69. Titanium is not toxic to the human body and is not even rejected by the human body. It doesn’t play any role in the human body.
70. However, it is used in dental and orthopedic implants because it can directly form a structural and functional connection between bone or teeth and itself. It is an inherent quality of Titanium.
71. The bone decay is inevitable, but the Titanium implants delay the decay process as they are only two times stiffer than bone.
72. As they are only paramagnetic, a person with Titanium implants can go for MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
73. It is also used for producing wheelchairs, crutches, surgical instruments, etc.
Titanium Facts: 74-76 | Precautions
74. However, it has to be noted that though it is non-toxic, larger exposure of Titanium may lead to bio-accumulation (accumulation of any chemical substance at a faster rate than removed or expelled by the body).
75. A study indicates the relationship between Yellow Nail Syndrome (a condition where a person has yellow nails and usually have lymphedema) and Titanium.
76. Once Titanium catches fire, Carbon Dioxide and Water can do nothing. Only dry powder agents of Class D have to be used to put off the fire. In short, Titanium must be dealt with carefully and should not be exposed to either air, Chlorine, or Oxygen, etc.
Titanium Facts: 77-87 | Occurrence of Titanium
77. Coming to the natural occurrence of Titanium, it is the seventh most abundant metal in Earth’s crust and 9th most abundant element in the crust of the Earth.
78. Just like Scandium, it is not presently freely in nature but is seen in minerals like rutile, anatase, ilmenite, brookite, akaogiite (very rare mineral), perovskite, and sphene (Calcium Titanium Silicate).
79. Of all these minerals, rutile and ilmenite are the two minerals which are important in economic terms.
80. The deposits of Titanium are spread across Canada, Australia, India, China, Russia, Mozambique, Norway, Ukraine, South Africa, etc.
81. In oceans, its concentration is about four picomolar.
82. Titanium’s concentration in aqueous solution and the human body is unknown. It is present in the human body, plants like Nettles, Horsetails, and even in coal.
83. Few rare organisms tend to accumulate high amounts of Titanium metal.
85. Moon also has Titanium. Rocks brought from Moon, during the Apollo 17 mission had nearly 12.1% of TiO2 in them.
86. Pure metallic Titanium is extremely rare.
87. Did you know every igneous rock (rocks which are formed through the molten rock’s solidification) contains Titanium?
Titanium Element Facts: 88 | Cost of Titanium
88. 100 grams of Titanium costs 661 USD which means a kilogram of Titanium costs only 66,100 USD!