Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. Sometimes called the “space age metal”, it has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color.

Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, molybdenum, among other elements, to produce strong lightweight alloys for aerospace (jet engines, missiles, and spacecraft), military, industrial process (chemicals and petro-chemicals, desalination plants, pulp, and paper), automotive, agri-food, medical prostheses, orthopaedic implants, dental and endodontic instruments and files, dental implants, sporting goods, jewellery and other applications. Titanium was discovered in England by William Gregor in 1791 and named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth for the Titans of Greek mythology.

The element occurs within a number of mineral deposits, principally rutile and ilmenite, and it is found in almost all living things, rocks, water bodies, and soils.

The metal is extracted from its principal mineral ores via the Kroll process or the Hunter process. Its most common compound, titanium dioxide, is a popular photocatalyst and is used in the manufacture of white pigments. Other compounds include titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4), a component of smoke screens and catalysts; and titanium trichloride (TiCl3), which is used as a catalyst in the production of polypropylene).

The two most useful properties of the metal form are corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. In its unalloyed condition, titanium is as strong as some steels, but 45% lighter. There are two allotropic forms and five naturally occurring isotopes of this element; 46Ti through 50Ti, with 48Ti being the most abundant (73.8%). Titanium's properties are chemically and physically similar to zirconium.


A metallic element, titanium is recognized for its high strength-to-weight ratio. It is a strong metal with low density that is quite ductile (especially in an oxygen-free environment), lustrous, and metallic-white in color. The relatively high melting point (over 1,649 °C or 3,000 °F) makes it useful as a refractory metal.

Commercial (99.2% pure) grades of titanium have ultimate tensile strength of about 63,000 psi (434 MPa), equal to that of common, low-grade steel alloys, but are 45% lighter. Titanium is 60% more dense than aluminium, but more than twice as strong as the most commonly used 6061-T6 aluminium alloy. Certain titanium alloys (e.g., Beta C) achieve tensile strengths of over 200,000 psi (1,400 MPa). However, titanium loses strength when heated above 430 °C (806 °F).

It is fairly hard although not as hard as some grades of heat-treated steel, non-magnetic and a poor conductor of heat and electricity. Machining requires precautions, as the material will soften and gall if sharp tools and proper cooling methods are not used. Like those made from steel, titanium structures have a fatigue limit which guarantees longevity in some applications.

The metal is a dimorphic allotrope whose hexagonal alpha form changes into a body-centered cubic (lattice) β form at 882 °C (1,620 °F). The specific heat of the alpha form increases dramatically as it is heated to this transition temperature but then falls and remains fairly constant for the β form regardless of temperature. Similar to zirconium and hafnium, an additional omega phase exists, which is thermodynamically stable at high pressures, but is metastable at ambient pressures. This phase is usually hexagonal (ideal) or trigonal (distorted) and can be viewed as being due to a soft longitudinal acoustic phonon of the β phase causing collapse of (111) planes of atoms.

The most noted chemical property of titanium is its excellent resistance to corrosion; it is almost as resistant as platinum, capable of withstanding attack by acids.

This metal forms a passive and protective oxide coating (leading to increased corrosion-resistance) when exposed to elevated temperatures in air, but at room temperatures it resists tarnishing. When it first forms, this protective layer is only 1–2 nm thick but continues to slowly grow; reaching a thickness of 25 nm in four years.

Titanium burns in air when heated to 1,200 °C (2,190 °F) and in pure oxygen when heated to 610 °C (1,130 °F) or higher, forming titanium dioxide. As a result, the metal cannot be melted in open air as it burns before the melting point is reached, so melting is only possible in an inert atmosphere or in a vacuum. It is also one of the few elements that burns in pure nitrogen gas (it burns at 800 °C or 1,472 °F and forms titanium nitride, which causes embrittlement). Titanium is resistant to dilute sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid, along with chlorine gas, chloride solutions, and most organic acids. It is paramagnetic (weakly attracted to magnets) and has fairly low electrical and thermal conductivity.

Experiments have shown that natural titanium becomes radioactive after it is bombarded with deuterons, emitting mainly positrons and hard gamma rays. When it is red hot the metal combines with oxygen, and when it reaches 550 °C (1,022 °F) it combines with chlorine. It also reacts with the other halogens and absorbs hydrogen.


The base value of each unit of ranges between 5 and 20Ð per unit, with up to 3 units being found at any one time.

Presence on Mars: Common

Martian Minerals
Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Group 5 | Group 6
Group 2 |Argon | Bromine | Cadmium | Gallium | Germanium | Gold | Helium III | Krypton | Molybdenum | Neon | Niobium | Nitrogen | |Palladium | Rhodium | Rubidium | Ruthenium | Scandium | Selenium | Silver | Strontium | Technetium | Titanium | Vanadium | |Yttrium | Zirconium|

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