Why Is the Application of Titanium So Widely?

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Material is the foundation of all engineering construction. One important indicator of the progress of human civilization is the constantly updating and increases of materials. Materials, energy and information are the three pillars of modern science and technology development.

Among the metallic materials, a new type of titanium metal material has become a dazzling “star”. Titanium is light metal, and pure titanium has many excellent properties. Although the specific gravity of titanium is only 50% of steel, its strength is approximately 18% more than steel, and its ductility is much higher than steel, being able to withstand hammering and drawing just like copper. Titanium’s melting point is 1600°C, much higher than steel; if titanium and steel are put into the steel-making furnace, steel melts while titanium remains the same. Steel gets brittle in the ultra-low temperature environment that it will break after falling to the ground, while titanium still has good mechanical properties even at -100°C. Titanium metal powder also has good acid and alkali resistance and corrosion resistance: the steel corrodes in strong acid solution while titanium is left intact; steel rapidly corrodes in seawater while titanium won’t within at least five years. Cooking with titanium pot won’t cause pan stick. Made with titanium non-stick has entered the family. Titanium also has many advantages compared to aluminum, that titanium has higher hardness than aluminum, and therefore strong than aluminum, hard to deform; the melting point is much higher aluminum (600°C).

Titanium as the matrix, by adding aluminum, vanadium, molybdenum, zirconium and other metals, we can get 90% titanium-containing high quality material —-titanium. Titanium has light weight, impact resistance, tensile pressure and many other excellent performances, as the advanced materials in mechanical, aviation, aerospace and other industries. The aircraft with titanium-based system is of high- strength, low weight, and can improve the speed by about 1/3 and greatly increase the capacity (to increase by more than 100 on large aircraft), fuel saving as well. The saprobes with titanium alloy can dive to a depth of 6500 meters without being crushed, while submarines made of steel only can dive to 300 meters. In aerospace and aerospace industry, titanium alloys are widely used for its excellent performance; such as launcher, satellites, space shuttle, space stations, planetary probes and so on, most of them use titanium alloy for shell making. This metal shell can maintain tough in space and withstand high temperatures generated from the intense friction during high-speed flight.

In chemical industry, equipments need corrosion-resistant pumps, valves, and reactors, etc. mostly are made of titanium alloy. The combination of Titanium and nickel also can be made into “memory alloys”; when deformation occurs due to crash, cars made by this material can restore its original shape by blowing it with 80°C hot wind.

Titanium is also excellent decorative material, titanium-coated materials are not only bright and beautiful, but also has a strong resistance to abrasion and corrosion; under vacuum conditions, the titanium plasma plated on building has a gold resembling appearance, known as titanium gold. In China, the torch in Beijing Asian games village and Tiananmen Square flagpole dome, the roof of Grand View Garden are all decorated with titanium. Using titanium as architectural ornament can save a lot of gold while giving the same dazzling, elegant look just like the “real” gold. Titanium is also used for decoration of furniture, lighting, sanitary ware, fitness equipment, bicycles, motorcycles, etc.

There are rich deposits of titanium in the earth’s crust, ranking the ninth in a variety of metals reserves, about 17 times as the total of copper, nickel, aluminum, and zinc. There are more than 70 kinds of titanium-containing minerals, mainly distributed in rutile and ilmenite in igneous rock. In the past, due to the difficulties in extraction, high cost, application of titanium powder were limited; but now smelting technology has greatly improved and the cost is gradually reduced, therefore the application of titanium will be more extensive.