Properties, Development and Application of Titanium Metal

Titanium is a widely distributed metal, ranking seventh in the metal reserves in nature, mainly in the form of titanium alloys, and has important applications in aerospace, medicine, automobile manufacturing and many other fields. With the continuous development of the titanium industry, titanium metal has played an increasingly important role in various fields and has become one of the most valuable metals in the 21st century.

Today, the performance of titanium metal, the development of titanium industry and the specific application of metal titanium and titanium alloys will be analyzed.

First,Performance analysis of titanium metal

(1) Physical properties
Titanium metal mainly exists in the form of TeTiO3 and TiO2 in nature. It accounts for 0.42% of the mass of the earth’s crust and is widely distributed. Up to now, more than 70 kinds of titanium-containing minerals have been discovered. And seawater also contains metallic titanium, and the relevant measurement results show that there is a large amount of metallic titanium in the seabed.

The appearance of titanium metal is similar to that of steel, it is silver-white and shiny, and its density is about 57% of that of steel, but its strength is very close to that of steel, and it has the advantages of light weight and high strength. The higher the purity of titanium, the better the plasticity, but when its impurity content is higher, it becomes hard and brittle.

(2) Chemical properties
Titanium metal is a live-stripping metal. It is easily dissolved in HCL and H2SO4 at room temperature, and is easily corroded by phosphoric acid, hydrofluoric acid and molten alkali, but does not interact with chlorine and nitric acid. Titanium metal has a low equilibrium potential and has a large thermodynamic corrosion tendency, but it has strong stability in most media and has certain corrosion resistance.

Titanium metal will form an inert oxide film on the surface in an oxygen-containing medium to protect its body. The oxide film can maintain its own characteristics under the condition of 315℃, which can effectively protect the metal titanium.

Second, the development of titanium industry

In 1940, Krall successfully extracted titanium sponge by reducing TiCl4 with magnesium, and obtained pure metal titanium by argon arc smelting, which laid the foundation of the titanium industry.

However, due to the difficulty of smelting titanium metal, there are still a small number of countries with titanium metal production capacity. Among them, the United States is the birthplace of titanium metal industrial production, the output of metal titanium is the highest, and most metal titanium and its alloy materials are used in the aviation field. Japan’s titanium metal materials are used in the manufacture of corrosion-resistant materials, and are widely used in aircraft, ships, automobile manufacturing and other fields.

Third, the specific application of titanium and titanium alloys

(1) Application in the aerospace field
Titanium metal and its alloys have good physical and chemical properties, and have important applications in aerospace, medical, petrochemical and other fields, and are also used to manufacture components for nuclear reactors. Adding 1% titanium metal to stainless steel can greatly improve the rust resistance of stainless steel.

In the aerospace field, titanium metal and titanium alloys are used as raw materials for the manufacture of space shuttles, satellites, rockets, etc. Fine titanium powder can also be used as rocket fuel and has good combustion characteristics. The application of titanium metal in the aerospace field is closely related to its durability. Its corrosion resistance is more than 15 times that of ordinary stainless steel, and its service life can reach about 10 times that of ordinary stainless steel. Due to this characteristic of titanium metal, it is also widely used in the manufacture of printing equipment in film studios, which can effectively resist various strong acids and alkalis.

On the other hand, titanium alloys can maintain good mechanical properties at high temperatures above 550 °C, so they are widely used in the manufacture of components such as aircraft jet engines and airframes. Due to the high surface temperature of supersonic aircraft during flight, it is difficult to maintain mechanical properties using general metal materials, so titanium alloys have become its main manufacturing materials, and supersonic aircraft are also known as titanium aircraft.

(2) Application in the medical field
Metal titanium is widely used in the medical field, such as artificial hearts, artificial bones, artificial joints and titanium dentures. Metal titanium performs well in implant dentures, can be well combined with bone tissue, and has good ductility and corrosion resistance, and is known as the third set of teeth. In the past surgical osteosynthesis, stainless steel metal was mainly used, but after curing, the steel sheet needs to be removed, otherwise, the rust of stainless steel will cause harm to the human body.

The use of titanium metal instead of stainless steel can save the patient from this pain. The newly grown bone and muscle fibers will wrap the titanium sheet, making it part of the flesh and blood, supporting the bones in the human body, and there is no need to worry about the titanium sheet will be corroded.

Titanium metal is a superior biological material and has important applications in the fixation of joints and bones. The strength and toughness of titanium metal are very close to the requirements of biological bones, but due to its lack of biological activity, it cannot be a substitute for bones, which limits the application of titanium metal in medicine to a certain extent.

(3) Application in the automobile manufacturing industry
Titanium and titanium alloys also have important applications in the automobile manufacturing industry. The magnesium-titanium alloy developed by Japan’s Panasonic Corporation has a hydrogen storage capacity far exceeding that of lanthanide alloys and is used in the manufacture of automobile hydrogen storage tanks. The main reason why titanium is concerned by the automobile manufacturing industry is its light weight and high strength. The use of titanium materials to make auto parts can effectively reduce the weight of the car body, and it has a very wide range of applications in racing car manufacturers.

At present, only the automotive materials made of titanium are mainly intake and exhaust valves, connecting rods, crankshafts, engine parts, and pressure plates and other components. The clutch housing made of titanium alloy can also effectively prevent the impact damage of the flywheel.

(4) Applications in other fields
Titanium metal and titanium alloy are also widely used in life. At present, golf clubs, tennis racket frames, bicycle frame structures, etc. are used more. Titanium metal can show a variety of colors after electroplating and heating, and it is strong and corrosion-resistant, and is also widely used in the field of jewelry design. The application of titanium metal in notebook manufacturing can provide effective protection for notebook computers and avoid damage to notebook computer components in wireless environments. Due to the excellent properties of titanium metal, it is also widely used in the fields of building materials, eyes, and watch manufacturing.

To sum up, titanium metal is a kind of high-quality metal widely distributed in nature and has great application value. important driving force for the development of other fields.