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What is titanium used for


Titanium is absolutely immune to environmental attack, regardless of pollutants. Where other architectural metals exhibit limited lifespan, titanium can still survive. It withstands urban pollution, marine environments, the sulphur compounds of industrial areas and is failure-proof in even more aggressive environments. Because it is the noblest metal, the coupling of titanium with dissimilar metals does not accelerate galvanic corrosion of the titanium.

These properties make titanium perfect in many applications.


The aerospace industry is the largest user of titanium products. Titanium is a useful material for this industry because of its high strength-to-weight ratio and high-temperature properties. Titanium is typically used for airplane parts and fasteners. These valuable properties make titanium useful for the production of gas turbine engines while it is also used for other parts such as the compressor blades, casings, engine cowlings and heat shields.

For these applications, titanium alloyed with aluminum, zirconium, nickel, vanadium, and other elements is used for a variety of components including critical structural parts, fire walls, landing gear, exhaust ducts, and hydraulic systems.

Since the advent of the jet engine, titanium has been used in new alloys and production techniques to meet ever tighter standards for high-temperature performance, creep resistance, strength, and metallurgical structure. Through triple melting, or in some cases, electron beam cold hearth melting, the highest quality titanium metal alloys are achieved. These alloys are used in aerospace applications such as engines and airframes.

Ocean engineering

People have been exploited the ocean resource since the technology allows us to do it and the land resource is getting exhausted. Titanium is appealing for ocean engineering applications because of its excellent corrosion resistance feature. Therefore a great many of titanium products have been applied to the desalination of sea water, as well as for vessels and exploration of ocean resources.

Due to its high corrosion resistance to sea water, titanium is used to make propeller shafts and rigging and is employed in the heat exchangers of desalination plants; In heater-chillers for salt water aquariums, fishing lines and leaders, and for divers' knives. Titanium is used to manufacture housings and other components of ocean-deployed surveillance and monitoring devices for scientific and military use.


Its biocompatibility: Because titanium is biocompatible (it is non-toxic and is not rejected by the body), titanium has many medical uses, including surgical implements and implants, such as hip balls and sockets (joint replacement) that can stay in place for up to 20 years. Titanium is often alloyed with about 4% aluminium or 6% Al and 4% vanadium. What¡¯s more, titanium is completely inert to human body fluids, making it ideal for medical replacement structures. Titanium actually allows bone growth to adhere to the implants, so they last longer than those made of other materials. Reconstructive titanium plates and mesh that support broken bones are also commonly used today.

Titanium has the inherent ability to osseointegrate, making it useful in dental implants that can last for over 30 years. This property is also helpful in orthopedic implant applications. They benefit from titanium's lower modulus of elasticity (Young's modulus) to more closely match that of the bone which such devices are intended to repair. As a result, skeletal loads are more evenly shared between bone and implant, leading to a lower incidence of bone degradation due to stress shielding and periprosthetic bone fractures, which occur at the boundaries of orthopedic implants.

Because titanium is non-ferromagnetic, patients with titanium implants can be safely examined with magnetic resonance imaging (convenient for long-term implants). Preparing titanium for implantation in the body involves subjecting it to a high-temperature plasma arc which removes the surface atoms, exposing fresh titanium that is instantly oxidized.

Titanium is also used for the surgical instruments used in image-guided surgery, as well as wheelchairs, crutches, and any other products where high strength and low weight are desirable.

Industrial Applications

Titanium has an exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio. Titanium's favourable density (approximately half that of ferrous and nickel-based metals) means that when equipment costs are calculated on a per unit area of measure basis rather than per pound, the differential cost of material required narrows dramatically. In other words, about half as much titanium is required to do the same job, based on strength, or the same weight of titanium will go twice as far. Further closing the gap, when applied properly, titanium requires no corrosion allowance; pressure and structural requirements for the system are the only criteria for specifying wall thickness. Any remaining higher up-front costs are almost always recouped in multiple due to increased production time and reduced maintenance.

Power Generation

In power generating plants, where saline, brackish or polluted waters are used as the cooling medium, titanium thin wall condenser tubing will last for the life of the condenser (with a 40-year warranty against failure under proper conditions) and eliminate the need for a corrosion allowance.

Chemical Processing

Many chemical processing operations specify titanium to increase the life of equipment. In lifecycle cost, it offers advantages over copper, nickel and stainless steel grades, while providing advantages in initial cost over materials such as high nickel alloys, tantalum and zirconium.


In the exploration and production of petroleum, titanium pipe's light weight and flexibility make it an excellent material for deep-sea production risers. In addition, titanium's immunity to attack by sea water makes it the preferred material for topside water management systems. It is used on existing platforms in the North Sea and many more projects are in the planning stages. And since it shows virtually no corrosion in salt water, titanium is also the material of choice in desalination plants worldwide.

Automotive Industry

In the automotive industry, uses are being developed for titanium in the automotive/motorcycle after markets and racing market. Engine parts such as connecting rods, wrist pins, valves, valve retainers and springs, rocker arms and camshafts, to name a few, lend themselves to fabrication from titanium, because it is durable, strong, lightweight and resists heat and corrosion. While titanium initially may be more expensive for these applications, designs that exploit its unique characteristics yield parts with better performance and a longer life greatly beyond their price. An all-titanium exhaust system is also being developed to reduce weight and increase longevity.

Geothermal Power

There are new opportunities in geothermal power generation, where highly caustic steam released from the earth is captured to generate electricity. The low lifecycle cost of titanium in these applications provides significant savings compared to competing materials.


Titanium is being widely used in metal matrix composites. As the cost of fabricating these exceptionally strong, lightweight components declines, their popularity and the utilization of titanium will grow.

Armour Applications

High strength-to-weight ratio and superior ballistic properties make titanium well suited for armour applications. Used as protective armours on personnel carriers and tanks, it makes the vehicles much lighter, increasing mobility of the force. Personal armour vests and helmets for police made from titanium are far lighter and more comfortable than those made from competing materials.

Non-traditional Applications

Titanium's unique combination of attributes - lightweight, high strength, biocompatibility, and durability in extreme environments - make it an excellent material for a variety of non-traditional applications.

Other Industries

Titanium alloys are used in dozens of other industrial purposes, such as flue gas desulphurisation for pollution control, PTA plants for polyester production, pressure vessels, heat exchangers. Each grade is tailored to specific operating conditions, emphasizing strength for different pressures, alloy content for different corrosive agents and ductility for different fabrication requirements.

Other Applications

Titanium is also now found in a wide variety of consumer products such as jewellery, watch cases, eyeglasses, bicycles and clocks. The golf industry has found that titanium club heads of light weight can be bigger than those made of steel, enlarging the "sweet spot" of the club and thus increasing distance and accuracy.

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