Titanium is a chemical agent represented in a short form as “Ti.” It is regarded as a lustrous transition metal with an atomic weight of 47.867. Titanium is very special because it is durable and applicable in many engineering applications. It is lightweight and highly corrosion-resistant. It is often preferred to other popular metals like steel because it is lighter- it is 40% lighter than steel, for instance. The Titanium also has a wide range of applications in other fields aside from engineering; for example, it is used for many purposes in dentistry and medicine.
So, is Titanium Magnetic?
Yes, but it is weakly magnetic compared to other ferromagnetic materials.
Extracting Pure Titanium
Unfortunately, the extraction and preparation of Titanium from its ores or other forms can be harrowing. For this reason, Titanium cannot be obtained through standard methods such as reducing Oxide with carbon, and the reason is that a stable carbide will form. Similarly, Titanium is very reactive towards Oxygen, and Nitrogen, especially at elevated temperatures.
Since 1950, special procedures have been created for extracting Titanium in all its forms, in commercial quantities. The Kroll Process, for instance, involves the application of red heat on the Titanium ores like Ilmenite or Rutile alongside the use of carbon and chlorine to produce Titanium Tetrachloride. The Titanium Tetra Chloride is then fractionally distilled to remove impurities before the final substance is further reduced with molten magnesium at about 800C degrees to produce the metallic Titanium.
What Are The Properties Of Titanium?
Titanium, just like any other metal, comes with several physical and chemical properties as described below;
1. Physical Properties of Titanium
Titanium was discovered by William Gregor in 1791 and had an atomic number of 22 and about 47.9g/mol of weight. It has a density of 4.52 g/cm at 20C degrees. Titanium has a very high melting point of 1660C degrees and a boiling point of 3287C degrees. There are eight Isotopes in Titanium.
2. Chemical Properties of Titanium
The chemical behavior of Titanium is quite similar to other elements like Zirconium and Silica. It takes part in aqueous solutions, especially when it is in its lower oxidation states- this is where it shares similarities with Chromium and Vanadium.
Titanium is chemically regarded as a transition metal characterized by a white- silver metallic color. It is robust, lustrous, and highly corrosion-resistant. Pure Titanium is insoluble in water but highly soluble in concentrated acids. The metal will form a passive but concentrated ad protective oxide coating substance when exposed to higher temperatures – This is why it is corrosion-resistant. Titanium can also resist tarnishing when kept at room temperatures.
Titanium will burn in the air when heated to extract the Dioxide state or when it reacts with halogens. Titanium will absorb hydrogen in any reaction.
How Does Titanium Occur?
Titanium is widely and naturally distributed as it constitutes about 0.44% of the Earth’s crust. This metal can be found combined with rocks, clay, sand, and many types of soil. You can also find it in plants, animals, natural waters, meteorites, deep-sea dredging, and stars.
The main commercial minerals where You can find Titanium are the Rutile and Ilmenite. Titanium was first isolated in its pure form in 1910, and it can still be separated from its compound states till today.
The substance is found unbound to many other substances in nature; it remains the 9th most abundant element found in igneous rocks and sediments. The primary ore containing Titanium is found mainly in Australia, Ukraine, Canada, and Norway. There are also significant deposits of Rutile or Titanium in many parts of North America and the Southern part of Africa.
The world production of Titanium dioxide currently stands at 4.3 million tonnes a year, while the production of the metal itself worldwide stands at 90 million tonnes a year.
Titanium dioxide, the most popular diluted form of Titanium, often appears as a brownish or blackish substance known as Rutile. These natural forms of Titanium are less frequently found in nature. The BASIC Oxide is known as Ilmenite, and that is the leading commercial form of Titanium.
What Are The Environmental And Health Effects Of Titanium?
There have been questions on the effect of Titanium on the health of animals and the environment in recent years;
1. Impact of Titanium on the Environment
Titanium has very low toxicity levels; hence no environmental effects of its existence in the Earth’s crust have been reported.
When it is present in a metallic powdered form, Titanium may possess some significant fire risks. Also, when Titanium is heated in the air, there is a risk of explosion.
2. The Effects of Titanium on Human and Animal Health
There has been no know biological established for Titanium; hence there have been no severe side effects of the substance in very low quantities in the human body. It is believed that humans ingest an average of 0.8mg a day of Titanium, but most pass out of the body without being absorbed into the bloodstream.
The human body is believed to be capable of tolerating Titanium the body even at moderate doses. The elemental Titanium comes with low toxicity; hence it is not a poisonous metal to humans and animals in low to moderate doses. Perhaps this is the reason why it is applicable in many medical practices.
Laboratory animals have been exposed to various doses of Titanium dioxide via some inhalations were found to have developed some dark spots in localized areas in their lungs. It was later discovered that excessive exposure to the substance in humans might slightly alter the appearance of the lungs.
It has been discovered that Titanium dust inhalation may cause tightness of the chest, and some pain may accompany this. You may also notice coughing and difficulty in breathing in some individuals who have a low tolerance to the substance. Contact of Titanium in its oxidized form with the skin or eye may also cause some irritation. For this reason, it is recommended that anyone handling the substance must wear some protective covering for the nose, mouth, and skin.
According to the International Agency for Cancer Research- IARC, Titanium oxide has been listed in category 3 of substances which means Titanium Oxide is not carcinogenic or cancerous to humans.
What Are The Applications And Uses Of Titanium?
Titanium is applicable in diverse fields; these include the following;
1. Painting and Other Chemical Processing Industries
Titanium dioxide, a derivative of Titanium is used in the painting making industry as white pigment in outside paints because it is chemically inert. It also offers a very great coating power, and it comes with high UV light reflection properties. This substance comes with an auto-cleaning features, thus making your outer structure painting seem new always.
The Titanium dioxide is also found in some bleaching and pacifying agents found in porcelain enamels. It is the Titanium oxide that gives porcelain substances their final brightness touches. Titanium oxide also gives porcelain materials their acid-resistant and hardness features. The famous lipsticks used by women are known to contain a little Titanium.
2. Aviation and Metal Manufacturing
Titanium is used in making certain alloys with high tensile strengths. These materials are characterized with the ability to withstand higher temperatures. Titanium is lightweight and corrosion-resistant too. All these characteristic features make it possible to use Titanium in Aircraft manufacturing. These features also make Titanium highly useful in the manufacture of pipes, naval ships, armor plating, missiles and space crafts.
Titanium is considered in manufacturing processes because it is as strong as steel but up to 45% lighter. Titanium also comes at a much lower cost in the making of most metallic materials.
3. Titanium is Useful in Medicine
In medicine, it is common to find Titanium as a material used in the making of items like knee and hip replacements, bone plates, plates makers, cranial plates for fractures in bones like the skull, screws, and can also be used in the making of false teeth.
4. Other Industries
Titanium comes with many other remarkable properties that make it highly useful. They are used in the thermal stability of other substances their low dielectric hysteresis. They can also be found in sound detectors and ultrasonic vibration generators.
Pure Titanium is described as ductile and at that state, it can be half as dense as Iron. Titanium can be polished into a high luster substance. Due to its low electrical and thermal conductivity properties, Titanium can be used in altering the features of materials to reduce their heat and electric conductance. Various researches are still ongoing on the safety and uses of Titanium in various industries. Though the substance is still considered safe for most human usage, experts still recommend that direct contact with the metal and its combined or reactive state must be avoided.
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