Titanium, a refractory metal, is at least as strong as steel, but 45% lighter and won’t rust. It is twice as strong as aluminum, but only 60% heavier.Titanium keeps its strength at high temperatures, up to red-hot where steel slumps and aluminum is liquid.
For artistic uses, the refraction of light through a sub-micron thickness of clear oxide on the surface produces interference pattern colors similar to the colors produced by oil on water. Read my short article about the physics of titanium coloring.
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Titanium is a Refractory Metal: It has a very high melting point.
Click here for a new-age, crystal-centric, pagan, or otherwise non-techie description.
|Name origin:||Greek: titanos (Titans)|
|Description:||Shiny, dark-gray metal. It can be highly polished, and is relatively immune to tarnishing.|
|Rarity:||Titanium is present in meteorites and in the sun (Titanium oxide bands
are prominent in the spectra of M-type stars). Some lunar rocks contain
high concentrations of the dioxide, TiO2..
Fortunately, it is also the 9th most abundant element in the earth's crust (5700 ppm), and 4th most common metal (after Aluminum, Iron, and Magnesium).
|Discovered by:||It was discovered in 1791 in its oxide form by an Englishman, William Gregor, and later rediscovered as one component of the oxide rutile and dubbed "Titanium" by the German, Heinrich Klaproth. Not commercially refined until the 1920’s. Barely used until the cold war and the space race created a demand for it.|
|Sources:||Usually occurs in the minerals ilmenite (FeTiO3) or rutile (TiO2). Also in Titaniferous magnetite, titanite (CaTiSiO5 = CaTiOSiO4), and iron ores.|
|Purification:||The elemental metal was not made until 1910 by Matthew A. Hunter. Pure metal is currently produced by heating TiO2 with Carbon and Chlorine gas to produce TiCl4 which is then heated with Mg gas in an Ar atmosphere in an explosive reaction at 800°C (1472°F).|
|Mainstream Uses:||Used in many alloys for corrosion resistance, strength, and temperature
tolerance. Favored material for prosthetic implants because of its extreme
Titanium dioxide (TiO2), a white pigment in paint, rubber, paper and many other places.
|Artistic Uses:||The artistic possibilities of controlled colors from light wave interference/cancellation in the clear refraction layer on titanium began in the late 1970's in England. Colors are produced by heating the metal in the air, or by electrically anodizing it in an electrolyte to bond oxygen to the surface of the metal.|
|Grades Available:||Click here for a list of some of the common grades of titanium|
Although titanium and its colorful oxide coating are immune
to time and any chemical that won't send one to an emergency room, oil and dirt
can temporarily dull some of the colors.
Also, abrasives can gradually wear away the surface coloring. Protect your titanium from scratches.
To clean: Use alcohol or non-moisturizing soap and
water and a soft cloth to gently wipe away dulling dirt and oils.
Avoid metal polishes or scrubbing soaps, because these contain abrasives which may scrub away the sub-micron thick color layer.
Click to see some unique home-made anodized titanium jewelry for sale