(tie-TAY-nee-em) is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver colour.1


Origin and Abundance


Titanium was discovered in Cornwall, Great Britain, by William Gregor in 1791 and named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth after the Titans of Greek mythology.2

Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the earth's crust, there is more titanium in the earth's crust than there is nickel, zinc, chromium, tin, lead, mercury, and manganese combined!3

Titanium Timeline

Event Date: Event Title: Event Description:
1791 Titanium was discovered Titanium was discovered, included in a mineral in Cornwall, United Kingdom, in 1791 by amateur geologist William Gregor. He recognized the presence of a new element in limonite.
1793 Titanium was independently discovered Titanium was independently discovered by the German chemist M.H. Klaproth in 1793.
1910 First pure metallic titanium Pure metallic titanium (99.9%) was first prepared in 1910 by Matthew A. Hunter by heating TiCl4 with sodium at 700–800 °C in the Hunter process.
1925 Titanium of very high purity was made Titanium of very high purity was made in small quantities when some scientist discovered a process that reacted with iodine and decomposing the formed vapours over a hot filament to pure metal. This was discovered in 1925.
1932 Titanium metal used outside the laboratory for first time Titanium metal was not used outside the laboratory until 1932 when William Justin Kroll proved that it could be produced by reducing titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) with calcium.
1957 1st titanium mill opened 1957-11-02 - 1st titanium mill opened, Toronto Ohio.
1959 Titanium used in warfare In the 1950s and 1960s the Soviet Union used titanium in military and submarine applications as part of programs related to the Cold War.
2006 U.S. Defence Agency awarded $5.7 million In 2006, the U.S. Defense Agency awarded $5.7 million to a two-companyies to develop a new process for making titanium metal powder. Under heat and pressure, this could be used to create strong, lightweight items ranging from armour plating to components for the aerospace, transportation, and chemical processing industries.


The titanium dioxide is extensively used as a white pigment in outside paintings for being chemically inert, for its great


coating power, its opacity to UV light damage and its auto-cleaning capacity. The dioxide was also used once as a bleaching agent giving the final touch of great brightness, hardness and acid resistance.

Titanium alloys are characterized by very high tensile strength even at high temperatures, light weight, high corrosion resistance, and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. ue to these properties they are principally used in aircraft, pipes for power plants, armour plating, naval ships, spacecraft and missiles. Titanium is as strong as steel but 45% lighter.

In medicine titanium is used to make hip and knee replacements, pace-makers, bone-plates and screws and cranial plates for skull fractures. It has also been used to attach false feet.7

Uses of Titanium

Titanium metal is used as an alloying agent with metals including aluminium, iron, molybdenum and manganese. Alloys of titanium are mainly used in aerospace, aircraft and engines where strong, lightweight, temperature-resistant materials are needed.


As a result of its resistance to seawater, (see above) titanium is used for hulls of ships, propeller shafts and otherstructures 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 in the forum of titanium dioxide (titania). This intensely white pigment, with a high refractive index and strong UV light absorption, is used in white paint, food colouring, toothpaste, plastics and sunscreen.
Titanium is used in several everyday products such as drill bits, bicycles, golf clubs, watches and laptop computers.8


Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, molybdenum among other elements to produce strong lightweight alloys for aerospace (jet engines, missiles, and spacecraft), military, industrial process (chemicals and petro-chemicals, desalination plants, pulp, and paper) and other applications including automobiles and mobile phones.9


Processing of Titanium

Titanium is processed by means of the Kroll Process. The process was invented in 1940 by William Kroll. The raw ore is reduced with petroleum derived coke in a ¬fluidized bed reactor at 1000°C. The mix is then treated with Chlorine gas, producing titanium tetrachloride. Then the TiCl4 is reduced by liquid Mg at 800-850°C in a stainless steel retort.

2Mg +TiCl4 —> 2MgCl2 + Ti

The resulting material is a porous sponge of Titanium. The material is leached to purify, then crushed. The material is melted in a consumable electrode vacuum arc furnace. Titanium is often re-melted to remove inclusions and to make sure of its uniformity. This whole process is which raises the price of Titanium substantially.

Titanium Reserves

Titanium is very widely distributed around the world. It occurs in most minerals. The countries with the greatest reserves of Titanium include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, South Africa and Ukraine. The total known reserves are estimated to exceed 600 million tons. Australia has the most reserves of Titanium in the world. Titanium is found in banded formations much like iron. The element crystallized into minerals that settled out in magma chambers.

Health effects of titanium


There is no known biological role for titanium. There is a detectable amount of titanium in the human body and it has been estimated that we take in about 0.8 mg/day, but most passes through us without being adsorbed. It is not a poisonous metal and the human body can tolerate titanium in large doses.

Elemental titanium and titanium dioxide is of a low order of toxicity. Laboratory animals (rats) exposed to titanium dioxide via inhalation have developed small-localized areas of dark-coloured dust deposits in the lungs. Excessive exposure in humans may result in slight changes in the lungs.10

Environmental effects of titanium

Titanium is mined with open cut mines. this means that thousands of trees are cut down so the miners can dig down into the ground. Titanium is transported by big trucks which have to burn alot of fuel to reach the ships where it is shipped to many countries in the world. The environmental impact of this is huge. Big ships with fumes of smoke coming out. What if the ship sinks with thousands of tonnes of Titanium with it. It will kill the sea environment in its surroundings destroying reefs and sea wildlife. when it reaches the port. The Titanium is taken off the ship using cranes causing more fuel to be burned letting off more toxic gasses into the atmosphere. It is driven to factories where it is made into products such as laptops, cars and machines. this uses much power and also lets off fumes into the atmosphere. Titanium can be recycles but not everyone does. Titanium can be melted down and made into a new product. This being said the environmental impacts of Titanium are huge!!!!

Macroscopic Table

Here is a table representing the Macroscopic Properties of Titanium.

Property Definition Uses
Density Density is the ratio of the mass of a substance inside a specific volume. It has low density. This makes titanium lightweight yet also durable. Suitable for aeroplane wings and wheels.
Hardness Hardness is a measure of how much a substance can resist denting or scratching on its surface. Hardness is a measure of how much a substance can resist denting or scratching on its surface.
Strength Strength is a measure of the power a material has to resist Stress and Strain that is applied on the material. Titanium can achieve tensile strengths of over 200,000 psi. This makes it a strong object suitable for tough jobs.
Durability Durability is how long a substance can last for before becoming worn out. Titanium is highly Durable. This is why they use it for machines and military uses.
Malleability The ability of an object to be shaped in any way, e.g. by hammering or rolling, is called its Malleability. Titanium is malleable when warmed and easily fabricated. This makes it an easy product.
Fire Resistance The more Fire Resistant a substance is, the longer the time for which it can hold out fire and not be easily burnt. Titanium remains hard until heated. Titanium’s melting point is 3287.0 °C or 3560 K.
Conductivity of Heat Heat Conductivity is how easily a substance will let heat pass through it. Titanium has fairly low electrical and thermal conductivity. This makes titanium good for certain objects but not as a conductor of heat or electricity.
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