Titanium, along with carbon fiber, represents the modern world.
It is polished, metallic white in color and boasts unique characteristics among metals, ranking fourth in quantity on the earth’s surface.
It was discovered inside the ilmenite by an English cleric, in 1790. It was then the German Klaproth to rediscover it and give it the Titanium name for its mechanical characteristics that recalled the power of the Titan of Greek mythology.
Became the preferred material for processing for the aerospace industry, thanks to the excellent weight/strength ratio and corrosion resistance, nowadays Titanium finds applications in almost all product sectors. Among its features:
- it is extremely light and quite ductile
- it is not subject to oxidation
- it has low thermal expansion, high mechanical resistance to atmospheric agents
- has a low density (40% of the steel)
- it is refractory, thanks to its relatively high melting point
- it is as resistant as steel but 45% lighter
- weights 60% more than aluminium but with double resistance
- it is non-magnetic
- has a good biocompatibility.
Being a hard material, during its processing the generated heat is absorbed by the cutting tool, and not by the material. This causes non-negligible wear of the tools, a phenomenon that can be avoided by water cutting, which makes “cold” cuts without altering thermally the cutting area.
Titanium forgings are in great demand in industries such as the chemical, petrochemical, automotive and aerospace industries. Through the forging operation, the molten titanium (bar) is hot-pressed and transformed into drive shafts, disks, rings, valve bodies, flanges.
Titanium welding processes are particularly complex, although titanium is better welded than steel.
Titanium can be colored by an “anodic oxidation” that covers the material with a protective titanium oxide film of a few nanometers thick. With electrolytic anodization techniques it is then possible to obtain a wide range of interference colors that make titanium interesting also for artistic applications.