First discovered in 1791 by British clergyman and mineralogist Rev. William Gregor, titanium has proved to become an incredibly important metal for our everyday lives. Gregor first stumbled upon some black, metallic sand in a creek bed. After thoroughly analyzing it, he discovered it was a mixture of magnetite, a common form of iron oxide, and a brand new metal. This was initially referred to as manaccanite since that was the parish in which Gregor discovered the sand.
Titanium – prevalence & benefits:
Titanium, a transition metal, can use its electrons to form bonds from more than one of its energy levels or shells. Other metals that are considered transition metals include copper, gold, and mercury. According to Chemicool, titanium is the ninth most abundant metal in Earth’s crust.
A huge benefit of using titanium, especially at an industrial level is that it is lightweight, as strong as steel, and resists corrosion. Long-term storage for nuclear waste is actually made from titanium containers. Because of the corrosion resistance, these titanium containers can last upwards of 100,000 years.
Where is the Industrial Metal Titanium Found?
- Airliners – During the Cold War, titanium became a necessary mineral. The Soviet Union started using titanium in aerospace and defense during the 50’s and 60’s.
- Ships – Due to titanium’s slow corrosion rate, it can take about a thousand years in seawater before the corrosion can even start.
- Lacrosse Sticks
- Body Piercings
- In Food Additives (as E171), such as chewing gum, frosting, marshmallows and supplements to create an opaque look or to whiten.
- Medical Equipment
- Medical Implants (ex. Titanium implants can be used to stabilize broken bones. Very small titanium rods can be implanted into the skull behind the ear to improve hearing in patients).
Titanium’s value in Jewelry
More expensive than other metals, titanium costs around $30 per pound. Due to its strength and anti-corrosion properties, titanium jewelry is considered an investment as it can maintain its appearance for a lifetime. When compared with gold, titanium is less expensive and gold jewelry is quite soft especially as the karats get higher and can bend over time.
Additional Information about the Industrial Metal Titanium
Does your Business Produce Titanium Scrap Metal?
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