You are on page 1of 5


Titanium was discovered in 1791 by the Reverend William Gregor, an English

pastor. Pure titanium was first produced by Matthew A. Hunter, an American
metallurgist, in 1910. Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the earth's
crust and is primarily found in the minerals rutile (TiO
), ilmenite (FeTiO
) and
sphene (CaTiSiO
). Titanium makes up about 0.57% of the earth's crust.
Titanium is a strong, light metal. It is as strong as steel and twice as strong
as aluminum, but is 45% lighter than steel and only 60% heavier than aluminum.
Titanium's physical qualities of high strength, toughness, durability, low density,
corrosion resistance and biological compatibility make it useful in a variety of
Discovered in the late 1500's, titanium was named for the mythological giants, the
Titans. In the 1940's, it was used by the space and defense industries. Today,
titanium is used in aerospace applications, automobiles, prosthetics, buildings, and
sporting equipment.
Titanium is a paradox. Supplies of pure titanium are rare, though titanium ores such
as ilmenite and rutile are very common. There is more titanium in the earth's crust
than there is nickel, zinc, chromium, tin, lead, mercury, and manganese combined!
The ores of these metals are concentrated in large, easily mined bodies, while
titanium ores are dispersed throughout the earth's crust.
Only five percent of the titanium mined today is used in its pure metal form. The
remainder is used to manufacture titanium dioxide (TiO2), an ingredient in paper,
paint, plastics and white food coloring (including the coloring that is used to print the
"m"s on M&M candies).
Titanium, which weighs forty percent less than carbon steels, can be strengthened
by alloying it with elements such as aluminum and vanadium. Titanium is
nonmagnetic and possesses good heat transfer properties. It has the ability to
passivate, thereby giving it a corrosion resistance to acids. It is also nontoxic and
biocompatible. These properties make titanium and its alloys useful in a wide range
of structural, chemical, petrochemical, marine and biomaterial applications.
The most widely used titanium alloy, Ti-6Al-4V, is present in forty-five percent of
industrial applications. The unique combination of this alloy's physical and
mechanical properties with workability, fabricability, production experience and
commercial availability allows it to be economically useful. Some uses of this alloy
are aircraft gas turbine disks and blades, airframe structural components, and
prosthetic devices. Ti-6Al-4V has become the standard alloy against which other
alloys are compared in the process of selecting a titanium alloy for a specific

Name Titanium
Type Transition metal
Atomic weight 47.88
Atomic number 22
Melting point 1941 K (1668C or 3034F)
Boiling point 3560 K (3287C or 5949F)
Density 4.5 grams per cubic centimeter
Phase at room temperature Solid
Period number 4
Group number 4
Group name None
Number of stable isotope 5

Specific heat capacity 0.52 J g

Heat of fusion 14.15 kJ mol

1st ionization energy 658 kJ mol

2nd ionization energy 1310.3 kJ mol

3rd ionization energy 2652.5 kJ mol

Heat of atomization 471 kJ mol

Heat of vaporization 425 kJ mol

Electron affinity 7.6 kJ mol-1

Oxidation & Electrons
Shells 2,8,10,2
Minimum oxidation number -1
Min. common oxidation no 0
Electron configuration [Ar] 3d2 4s2
Maximum oxidation number 4
Max. common oxidation no 4

Harmful effects:
Titanium metal is considered to be non-toxic. As metal shavings, or powder, it is a
considerable fire hazard. Titanium chlorides are corrosive.
Pure titanium is a light, silvery-white, hard, lustrous metal. It has excellent strength
and corrosion resistance and also has a high strength to weight ratio.
At high temperatures the metal will burn in air and, unusually, titanium will also burn
in pure nitrogen. Titanium is ductile and it is malleable when heated. It is insoluble in
water, but soluble in concentrated acids.
Titanium has 18 isotopes whose half-lives are known, with mass numbers 39 to 57.
Of these, five are stable, 46Ti, 47Ti, 48Ti, 49Ti and 50Ti. The most naturally
abundant of these isotopes is 48Ti at 73.8%.


Titanium is not easily corroded by sea water and is used in propeller shafts, rigging
and other parts of boats that are exposed to sea water. Titanium and titanium alloys
are used in airplanes, missiles and rockets where strength, low weight and
resistance to high temperatures are important. Since titanium does not react within
the human body, it is used to create artificial hips, pins for setting bones and for
other biological implants. Unfortunately, the high cost of titanium has limited its
widespread use.
Titanium oxide (TiO2) is used as a pigment to create white paint and accounts for
the largest use of the element. Pure titanium oxide is relatively clear and is used to
create titania, an artificial gemstone. Titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4), another titanium
compound, has been used to make smoke screens.
A final bit of titanium trivia -- titanium is the only element that will burn in an
atmosphere of pure nitrogen.
Titanium metal is used as an alloying agent with metals including aluminum, iron,
molybdenum and manganese. Alloys of titanium are mainly used in aerospace,
aircraft and engines where strong, lightweight, temperature-resistant materials are
needed. As it is resistant to seawater, titanium is used for hulls of ships, propeller
shafts and other structures exposed to the sea.
Titanium is also used in joint replacement implants, such as the ball-and-socket hip
joint. About 95% of Titanium production is used to make titanium dioxide (titania).
This intensely white pigment, with a high refractive index and strong UV light
absorption, is used in white paint, food coloring, toothpaste, plastics and sunscreen.

Titanium is used in several everyday products such as drill bits, bicycles, golf clubs,
watches and laptop computersTitanium also is valued in the petrochemical industry,
where it is used in heat exchangers and reactors. The automotive industry uses it in
automotive components including connecting rods, valves, and suspension springs.
The sporting goods industry uses the metal in the manufacture of bicycles, golf
clubs, tennis rackets, and wheelchairs designed for disabled people who want to
participate in a sport.
Titanium is used in condensers and turbine blades in electric power plants. It is also
incorporated into the architecture of buildings, roofs, piping and cable.
Because of its corrosion resistance, titanium and its alloys are used extensively in
prosthetic devices such as artificial heart pumps, pacemaker cases, heart-valve
parts and load bearing bone or hip-joint replacements or bone splints. Human body
fluids are essentially chloride brines with pH values ranging from 7.4 into the acidic
range and also contain a variety of organic acids and other media, to which titanium
is totally immune.
Since titanium does not become magnetized, it is used in the structural parts
surrounding computer components such as disk drives and microchips, which can be
ruined by stray magnetism.
Other common applications of titanium include shape memory eyeglass frames,
watches and jewelry.
So although titanium deposits in the earth's crust are rare, titanium has abundant
applications in industry and commercial enterprises. This metal makes white whiter,
strengthens buildings, functions in prosthetics, and even increases the performance
of sporting equipment to improve a game of golf or tennis.