Titanium is the only metal that combines extremely high strength and very light weight with outstanding heat and corrosion resistance and is the fourth most plentiful metal on earth. The difficult and complicated process for converting the ore to metal has only been commercially viable for a little more than 50 years.
Titanium won’t corrode when exposed to harsh weather, grease or most chemicals. The natural blue patina that titanium develops over time actually adds to its rust resistance.
Many vital everyday products are made using Titanium. There are 40,000 pounds of titanium on a Boeing 747. In medicine, replacement hips and joints, surgical staples and sutures are titanium. Golfers buy over 15 million pounds of titanium clubs each year.
Titanium is important as an alloying agent with aluminium, molybdenum, manganese, iron, and other metals. Alloys of titanium are principally used for aircraft and missiles where lightweight strength and ability to withstand extremes of temperature are important.
Titanium is as strong as steel, but 45% lighter. It is 60% heavier than aluminium, but twice as strong.
Titanium is sustainable and has potential use in desalination plants for converting sea water into fresh water. The metal has excellent resistance to sea water and is used for propeller shafts, rigging, and other parts of ships exposed to salt water.
A titanium anode coated with platinum has been used to provide cathodic protection from corrosion by salt water.
Titanium dioxide is extensively used for both house paint and artist's paint, because it is permanent and has good covering power. Titanium oxide pigment accounts for the largest use of the element.
Titanium paint is an excellent reflector of infrared, and is extensively used in solar observatories where heat causes poor viewing conditions.
Titanium tetrachloride is used to iridize glass. This compound fumes strongly in air and has been used to produce smoke screens.