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Science Innovation Centre · 022 · Titanium

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Chemical element, Ti, atomic number 22 and atomic weight 47.90. Its chemical behaviour shows many similarities with that or silica and zirconium, as an element belonging to the first transition group. Titanium is a transition metal light with a white-silvery-metallic colour. It is strong, lustrous, and corrosion-resistant. Pure titanium is not soluble in water but is soluble in concentrated acids. This metal forms a passive but protective oxide coating (leading to corrosion-resistance) when exposed to elevated temperatures in air but at room temperatures it resists tarnishing.

The titanium dioxide is extensively used as a white pigment in outside paintings for being chemically inert, for its great coating power, its opacity to UV light damage and its autocleaning capacity. The dioxide was also used once as a bleaching and pacifying agent in porcelain enamels, giving them a final touch of great brightness, hardness and acid resistance. A typical lipstick contains 10% titanium.

Titanium alloys are characterized by very high tensile strength even at high temperatures, light weight, high corrosion resistance, and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Use to these properties they are principally used in aircraft, pipes for power plants, armour plating, naval ships, spacecraft and missiles. Titanium is as strong as steel but 45% lighter.

In medicine titanium is used to make hip and knee replacements, pace-makers, bone-plates and screws and cranial plates for skull fractures.