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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Titanium  is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22.
  • Titanium is present in meteorites and the sun. Rocks obtained during the Apollo 17 lunar mission showed presence of 12.1% TiO2;  rocks obtained during earlier Apollo missions show lower percentages.
  • It is ductile only when it is free of oxygen. The metal, which burns in air, is the only element that burns in nitrogen.
  • Titanium is resistant to dilute sulfuric and hydrochloric acid, most organic acids, most chlorine gas, and chloride solutions.
  • Natural titanium consists of five isotopes with atomic masses from 46 to 50. All are stable. Eight other unstable isotopes are known.

Manufacturing Process

  • Commercial production of titanium metal involves the chlorination of titanium-containing mineral concentrates to produce titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4), which is reduced with magnesium (Kroll process) or sodium (Hunter process) to form a commercially pure form of titanium metal.
  • Titanium is produced using the Kroll process. The steps involved include extraction, purification, sponge production, alloy creation, and forming and shaping.
  • The Armstrong process produces titanium by the reduction of titanium tetrachloride through reaction with sodium.
  • The new processing technique could reduce the amount of energy required and the cost to make titanium parts from powders by up to 50 percent, making it feasible to use titanium alloys for brake rotors, artificial joint replacements and armor for military vehicles.

Applications

  • The majority of titanium applications in the Chemical Processing Industry  have resulted from the excellent corrosion resistance it exhibits in common organic and inorganic media.
  • Titanium is important as an alloying agent with aluminum, molybdenum, manganese, iron, and other metals.
  • Titanium dioxide is extensively used for both house paint and artist's paint, because it is permanent and has good covering power.
  • Titanium applications are most significant in jet engine and airframe components that are subject to temperatures up to 1100 F and for other critical structural parts.
  • The largest single use of titanium is in the aircraft gas turbine engine.

Market

  • The aerospace industry is the single largest market for titanium products primarily due to the exceptional strength to weight ratio, elevated temperature performance and corrosion resistance.
  • Consumption of titanium used in titanium metal and steel production continued to increase because of numerous orders for commercial aircraft, military hardware, and industrial equipment.
  • Global demand growth for TiO2 is expected to increase at historical rates of about 3% annually.
  • Growth in aerospace, defense, and industrial uses is expected to drive demand for titanium metal for the foreseeable future.
  • The new technology coupled with a wide range of uses will drive the US market for titanium dioxide, with the market jumping to $2.2 billion in 2009 and $2.3 billion by 2012.

Report

  • In coming years, researchers expect lightweight corrosion-resistant titanium alloys to make their way into many other products, including automobiles, which will benefit from the decreased weight and will be able to deliver improved fuel economy.
  • To meet the increasing demand of the cyclical aerospace sector, and perhaps to invest in a lucrative stockplle, titanium producers have started to scale - up their sponge and melting capabilities.
  • The production of low-cost titanium for automotive applications will require cost reductions in both raw materials and secondary processing operations.

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