Titanium (Periodic table symbol – Ti & atomic number 22) is a chemical element and one of the most common elements found on the Earth. When formed it has a silver colour, low density and high strength and is resistant to corrosion in sea water, acids and chlorine. It was discovered in the UK in the 18th Century and was named after the Titans of Greek mythology. The element naturally occurs in mineral deposits such as rutile and ilmenite, which are distributed widely in the Earths crust and in the rocky, surface area called the lithosphere. It’s found in almost all living things, in the seas and oceans, in rocks and in soils.
The most common compound, titanium dioxide, is a popular photocatalyst and is used in the manufacture of white pigments. Other compounds include titanium tetrachloride, a component of smoke screens and catalysts; and titanium trichloride, which is used as a catalyst in the production of polypropylene.
Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, and molybdenum, among other elements, to produce strong, lightweight alloys for aerospace (jet engines and spacecraft), military (missiles), industrial processes (chemicals and petrochemicals, desalination plants, pulp, and paper), automotive, agriculture, medical prostheses & implants, dental implants, sporting equipment such as golf clubs, jewellery, mobile phones, as well as many other applications.
The two most useful properties of the metal are corrosion resistance and strength-to-density ratio, the highest of any metallic element. In its unalloyed condition, titanium is as strong as some steels, but less dense, titanium alloys offer reduced material weight and increased strength.