What do jewelry, watches, golf clubs, bicycles, surgical instruments, cookware, cars and jets all have in common? Believe it or not, many of these things are made of titanium – a useful metal alloy that has numerous applications.
By nature, titanium is 45 percent lighter than steel yet just as strong. It is likewise twice as strong as aluminum but 40 percent lighter. Because of these properties, it is commonly mixed with other chemical elements.
Although pure titanium is often used in making orthopedic and dental implants, it is usually added to steel, aluminum and iron to make the finished product stronger and lighter. These titanium alloys can withstand high temperatures and are extremely resistant to corrosion.
In commercial use, titanium alloys are used anywhere strength and weight are an issue. Bicycle frames, automobile and plane parts, and structural pieces are some common examples. In medical use titanium pins are used because of their non-reactive nature when contacting bone and flesh. Many surgical instruments, as well as body piercings are made of titanium for this reason as well, according to Brendan McGuigan of WiseGeek.Com.
Because of its resistance to sea water, titanium can be found in the moving parts of ships such as propellers and rigging. Want to know why Porsche and Ferrari cars move so fast? Look under the hood and you’ll find titanium alloys in engine components.
Ever wondered what causes rubies and sapphires to sparkle? The answer lies in titanium. Jewelry made from titanium can be colored easily and is less likely to cause allergic reactions. And if you’re happy with the way your newly painted room looks, thank titanium too. It’s also found in your favorite sunscreen that you bring to the beach.
In fact, the most common derivative of titanium is titanium dioxide which is primarily used in the production of white paint. This accounts for about 50 percent of titanium applications. We see about 40 percent of titanium production used in the manufacture of paper and plastic products. Its qualities allow paper to take on an opaqueness quality. Titanium dioxide is also commonly used in fabrics and textiles, ink, flooring materials and ceramics.
By far, the greatest application of titanium is in the manufacture of aircraft and spacecraft which accounts for 65 percent of all titanium sold in the market. The military relies heavily on titanium to make helicopters, missiles, submarines and airplanes. These are just some of the extraordinary uses of titanium.