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Title: Titanium  
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Titanium,  22Ti
General properties
Name, symbol titanium, Ti
Appearance silvery grey-white metallic
Titanium in the periodic table


Atomic number 22
Standard atomic weight 47.867(1)
Element category transition metal
Group, block group 4, d-block
Period period 4
Electron configuration [Ar] 3d2 4s2
per shell 2, 8, 10, 2
Physical properties
Phase solid
Melting point 1941 K ​(1668 °C, ​3034 °F)
Boiling point 3560 K ​(3287 °C, ​5949 °F)
Density near r.t. 4.506 g·cm−3
liquid, at m.p. 4.11 g·cm−3
Heat of fusion 14.15 kJ·mol−1
Heat of vaporization 425 kJ·mol−1
Molar heat capacity 25.060 J·mol−1·K−1
P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T (K) 1982 2171 (2403) 2692 3064 3558
Atomic properties
Oxidation states 4, 3, 2, 1[1] ​(an amphoteric oxide)
Electronegativity Pauling scale: 1.54
Ionization energies 1st: 658.8 kJ·mol−1
2nd: 1309.8 kJ·mol−1
3rd: 2652.5 kJ·mol−1
Atomic radius empirical: 147 pm
Covalent radius 160±8 pm
Crystal structure hexagonal close-packed (hcp)
Hexagonal close packed crystal structure for titanium
Speed of sound thin rod, at r.t. 5090 m·s−1
Thermal expansion 8.6 µm·m−1·K−1 (at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity 21.9 W·m−1·K−1
Electrical resistivity at 20 °C: 420 nΩ·m
Magnetic ordering paramagnetic
Young's modulus 116 GPa
Shear modulus 44 GPa
Bulk modulus 110 GPa
Poisson ratio 0.32
Mohs hardness 6.0
Vickers hardness 970 MPa
Brinell hardness 716 MPa
CAS number 7440-32-6
Discovery William Gregor (1791)
First isolation Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1825)
Named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1795)
Most stable isotopes
iso NA half-life DM DE (MeV) DP
44Ti syn 63 y ε 44Sc
γ 0.07D, 0.08D
46Ti 8.0% 46Ti is stable with 24 neutrons
47Ti 7.3% 47Ti is stable with 25 neutrons
48Ti 73.8% 48Ti is stable with 26 neutrons
49Ti 5.5% 49Ti is stable with 27 neutrons
50Ti 5.4% 50Ti is stable with 28 neutrons

Titanium is a chemical element with symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It is a lustrous transition metal with a silver color, low density and high strength. It is highly resistant to corrosion in sea water, aqua regia and chlorine.

Titanium was discovered in Cornwall, Great Britain, 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, which are widely distributed in the Earth's crust and lithosphere, and it is found in almost all living things, rocks, water bodies, and soils.[2] The metal is extracted from its principal mineral ores via the Kroll process[3] or the Hunter process. Its most common compound, titanium dioxide, is a popular photocatalyst and is used in the manufacture of white pigments.[4] 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.[2]

Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, and 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, orthopedic implants, dental and endodontic instruments and files, dental implants, sporting goods, jewelry, mobile phones, and other applications.[2]

The two most useful properties of the metal are corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-density ratio of any metallic element.[5] In its unalloyed condition, titanium is as strong as some steels, but less dense.[6] There are two allotropic forms[7] and five naturally occurring isotopes of this element, 46Ti through 50Ti, with 48Ti being the most abundant (73.8%).[8] Although they have the same number of valence electrons and are in the same group in the periodic table, titanium and zirconium differ in many chemical and physical properties.


  • Characteristics 1
    • Physical properties 1.1
    • Chemical properties 1.2
    • Occurrence 1.3
    • Isotopes 1.4
  • Compounds 2
    • Oxides, sulfides, and alkoxides 2.1
    • Nitrides, carbides 2.2
    • Halides 2.3
    • Organometallic complexes 2.4
  • History 3
  • Production and fabrication 4
  • Applications 5
    • Pigments, additives and coatings 5.1
    • Aerospace and marine 5.2
    • Industrial 5.3
    • Consumer and architectural 5.4
    • Jewelry 5.5
    • Medical 5.6
    • Nuclear waste storage 5.7
  • Bioremediation 6
  • Precautions 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • External links 11


Physical properties

A metallic element, titanium is recognized for its high strength-to-weight ratio.[7] It is a strong metal with low density that is quite ductile (especially in an oxygen-free environment),[2] lustrous, and metallic-white in color.[9] The relatively high melting point (more than 1,650 °C or 3,000 °F) makes it useful as a refractory metal. It is paramagnetic and has fairly low electrical and thermal conductivity.[2]

Commercial (99.2% pure) grades of titanium have ultimate tensile strength of about 434 MPa (63,000 psi), equal to that of common, low-grade steel alloys, but are less dense. Titanium is 60% more dense than aluminium, but more than twice as strong[6] as the most commonly used 6061-T6 aluminium alloy. Certain titanium alloys (e.g., Beta C) achieve tensile strengths of over 1400 MPa (200000 psi).[10] However, titanium loses strength when heated above 430 °C (806 °F).[11]

Titanium 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.[9] Titanium alloys have lower specific stiffnesses than in many other structural materials such as aluminium alloys and carbon fiber.

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).[11] 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.[11] 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.[12]

Chemical properties

The Pourbaix diagram for titanium in pure water, perchloric acid or sodium hydroxide[13]

Like aluminium and magnesium metal surfaces, titanium metal and its alloys oxidize immediately upon exposure to air. Nitrogen acts similarly to give a coating of the nitride. Titanium readily reacts with oxygen at 1,200 °C (2,190 °F) in air, and at 610 °C (1,130 °F) in pure oxygen, forming titanium dioxide.[7] It is, however, slow to react with water and air, as it forms a passive and oxide coating that protects the bulk metal from further oxidation.[2] 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.[14]

Related to its tendency to form a passivating layer, titanium exhibits excellent resistance to corrosion. It is almost as resistant as

  • "Titanium: Our Next Major Metal", Popular Science, October 1950—one of first general public detailed articles on Titanium
  • Titanium at The Periodic Table of Videos (University of Nottingham)
  • A Cleaner, Cheaper Route to Titanium
  • International Titanium Association
  • Metallurgy of Titanium and its Alloys, Cambridge University
  • World Production of Titanium Concentrates, by Country
  • "Truth in Sparks: Titanium or Plain Ol' Steel?", Popular Science
  • Metal of the gods

External links

  • Barksdale, Jelks (1968). "Titanium". In Clifford A. Hampel (editor). The Encyclopedia of the Chemical Elements. New York: Reinhold Book Corporation. pp. 732–738.  
  • Emsley, John (2001). "Titanium". Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press.  
  • Flower, Harvey M. (2000). "Materials Science: A moving oxygen story".  
  • Greenwood, N. N.; Earnshaw, A. (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.  


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See also

Titanium can catch fire when a fresh, non-oxidized surface comes in contact with liquid oxygen.[87] Such surfaces can appear when the oxidized surface is struck with a hard object, or when a mechanical strain causes the emergence of a crack. This poses the possible limitation for its use in liquid oxygen systems, such as those found in the aerospace industry.

When used in the production or handling of chlorine, care must be taken to use titanium only in locations where it will not be exposed to dry chlorine gas which can result in a titanium/chlorine fire.[86] A fire hazard exists even when titanium is used in wet chlorine due to possible unexpected drying brought about by extreme weather conditions.

As a powder or in the form of metal shavings, titanium metal poses a significant fire hazard and, when heated in air, an explosion hazard.[85] Water and carbon dioxide–based methods to extinguish fires are ineffective on burning titanium; Class D dry powder fire fighting agents must be used instead.[4]

Titanium is non-toxic even in large doses and does not play any natural role inside the human body.[20] An estimated quantity of 0.8 milligrams of titanium is ingested by humans each day, but most passes through without being absorbed.[20] It does, however, have a tendency to bio-accumulate in tissues that contain silica. One study indicates a possible connection between titanium and yellow nail syndrome.[84] An unknown mechanism in plants may use titanium to stimulate the production of carbohydrates and encourage growth. This may explain why most plants contain about 1 part per million (ppm) of titanium, food plants have about 2 ppm, and horsetail and nettle contain up to 80 ppm.[20]

The dark green dentated elliptic leaves of a nettle
Nettles contains up to 80 parts per million of titanium.


The fungal species Marasmius oreades and Hypholoma capnoides can bio convert titanium in titanium polluted soils.[83]


Due to its extreme corrosion resistance, titanium containers have been studied for the long-term storage of nuclear waste (containers lasting over 100,000 years are possible under proper manufacturing conditions to reduce defects in the process).[81] A titanium "drip shield" could also be placed over other types of containers to further contain the waste.[82]

Nuclear waste storage

Titanium is also used for the surgical instruments used in image-guided surgery, as well as wheelchairs, crutches, and any other products where high strength and low weight are desirable.

Since titanium is non-ferromagnetic, patients with titanium implants can be safely examined with magnetic resonance imaging (convenient for long-term implants). Preparing titanium for implantation in the body involves subjecting it to a high-temperature plasma arc which removes the surface atoms, exposing fresh titanium that is instantly oxidized.[33]

Titanium has the inherent ability to osseointegrate, enabling use in dental implants that can last for over 30 years. This property is also useful for orthopedic implant applications.[33] These benefit from titanium's lower modulus of elasticity (Young's modulus) to more closely match that of the bone that such devices are intended to repair. As a result, skeletal loads are more evenly shared between bone and implant, leading to a lower incidence of bone degradation due to stress shielding and periprosthetic bone fractures, which occur at the boundaries of orthopedic implants. However, titanium alloys' stiffness is still more than twice that of bone, so adjacent bone bears a greatly reduced load and may deteriorate.[80]

Titanium biocompatibility: Because it is biocompatible (it is non-toxic and is not rejected by the body), titanium has many medical uses, including surgical implements and implants, such as hip balls and sockets (joint replacement) that can stay in place for up to 20 years.[33] The titanium is often alloyed with about 4% aluminium or 6% Al and 4% vanadium.[79]


The Gold Coast Titans, an Australian rugby league team, award a medal of pure titanium to their player of the year.[78]

The inertness and ability to be attractively colored makes titanium a popular metal for use in body piercing.[76] Titanium may be anodized to produce various colors, which varies the thickness of the surface oxide layer and causes interference fringes.[77]

Titanium's durability, light weight, dent- and corrosion resistance makes it useful in the production of watch cases.[69] Some artists work with titanium to produce artworks such as sculptures, decorative objects and furniture.[75]

Because of its durability, titanium has become more popular for designer jewelry (particularly, titanium rings).[69] Its inertness makes it a good choice for those with allergies or those who will be wearing the jewelry in environments such as swimming pools. Titanium is also alloyed with gold to produce an alloy that can be marketed as 24-carat gold, as the 1% of alloyed Ti is insufficient to require a lesser mark. The resulting alloy is roughly the hardness of 14-carat gold and thus is more durable than a pure 24-carat gold item would be.[74]


Some upmarket categories of tools made to be lightweight and corrosion-resistant, such as shovels and flashlights, are made of titanium or titanium alloys as well.

Because of its superior strength and light weight when compared to other metals traditionally used in firearms (steel, stainless steel, and aluminium), and advances in metalworking techniques, the use of titanium has become more widespread in the manufacture of firearms. Primary uses include pistol frames and revolver cylinders. For these same reasons, it is also used in the body of laptop computers (for example, in Apple's PowerBook line).[73]

Titanium has occasionally been used in architectural applications: the 40 m (131 foot) memorial to Yuri Gagarin, the first man to travel in space, in Moscow (), is made of titanium for the metal's attractive color and association with rocketry.[70] The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Cerritos Millennium Library were the first buildings in Europe and North America, respectively, to be sheathed in titanium panels.[59] Other construction uses of titanium sheathing include the Frederic C. Hamilton Building in Denver, Colorado[71] and the 107 m (350 foot) Monument to the Conquerors of Space in Moscow.[72]

Titanium is used in many sporting goods: tennis rackets, golf clubs, lacrosse stick shafts; cricket, hockey, lacrosse, and football helmet grills; and bicycle frames and components. Although not a mainstream material for bicycle production, titanium bikes have been used by race teams and adventure cyclists.[68] Titanium alloys are also used in spectacle frames.[69] This results in a rather expensive, but highly durable and long lasting frame which is light in weight and causes no skin allergies. Many backpackers use titanium equipment, including cookware, eating utensils, lanterns, and tent stakes.[69] Though slightly more expensive than traditional steel or aluminium alternatives, these titanium products can be significantly lighter without compromising strength. Titanium is also favored for use by farriers, since it is lighter and more durable than steel when formed into horseshoes.[69]

Titanium metal is used in automotive applications, particularly in automobile or motorcycle racing, where weight reduction is critical while maintaining high strength and rigidity.[66] The metal is generally too expensive to make it marketable to the general consumer market, other than high-end products, particularly for the racing/performance market. Late model Corvettes have been available with titanium exhausts.[67]

Consumer and architectural

Titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4), a colorless liquid, is important as an intermediate in the process of making TiO2 and is also used to produce the Ziegler-Natta catalyst, and is used to iridize glass and because it fumes strongly in moist air it is also used to make smoke screens.[9]

Welded titanium pipe and process equipment (heat exchangers, tanks, process vessels, valves) are used in the chemical and petrochemical industries primarily for corrosion resistance. Specific alloys are used in downhole and nickel hydrometallurgy applications due to their high strength (e. g.: titanium Beta C alloy), corrosion resistance, or combination of both. The pulp and paper industry uses titanium in process equipment exposed to corrosive media such as sodium hypochlorite or wet chlorine gas (in the bleachery).[63] Other applications include: ultrasonic welding, wave soldering,[64] and sputtering targets.[65]

High-purity (99.999%) titanium with visible crystallites


[58] Due to its high corrosion resistance to

Due to their high tensile strength to density ratio,[7] high corrosion resistance,[3] fatigue resistance, high crack resistance,[57] and ability to withstand moderately high temperatures without creeping, titanium alloys are used in aircraft, armor plating, naval ships, spacecraft, and missiles.[3][4] For these applications titanium alloyed with aluminium, zirconium, nickel,[58] vanadium, and other elements is used for a variety of components including critical structural parts, fire walls, landing gear, exhaust ducts (helicopters), and hydraulic systems. In fact, about two thirds of all titanium metal produced is used in aircraft engines and frames.[59] The SR-71 "Blackbird" was one of the first aircraft to make extensive use of titanium within its structure, paving the way for its use in modern military and commercial aircraft. An estimated 59 metric tons (130,000 pounds) are used in the Boeing 777, 45 in the Boeing 747, 18 in the Boeing 737, 32 in the Airbus A340, 18 in the Airbus A330, and 12 in the Airbus A320. The Airbus A380 may use 77 metric tons, including about 11 tons in the engines.[60] In engine applications, titanium is used for rotors, compressor blades, hydraulic system components, and nacelles. The titanium 6AL-4V alloy accounts for almost 50% of all alloys used in aircraft applications.[61]

Aerospace and marine

powder is chemically inert, resists fading in sunlight, and is very opaque: this allows it to impart a pure and brilliant white color to the brown or gray chemicals that form the majority of household plastics.[4] In nature, this compound is found in the minerals anatase, brookite, and rutile.[2] Paint made with titanium dioxide does well in severe temperatures, and stands up to marine environments.[4] Pure titanium dioxide has a very high index of refraction and an optical dispersion higher than diamond.[3] In addition to being a very important pigment, titanium dioxide is also used in sunscreens due to its ability to protect skin by itself.[9]

About 95% of titanium ore extracted from the Earth is destined for refinement into titanium dioxide (TiO
), an intensely white permanent pigment used in paints, paper, toothpaste, and plastics.[17] It is also used in cement, in gemstones, as an optical opacifier in paper,[56] and a strengthening agent in graphite composite fishing rods and golf clubs.

Watch glass on a black surface with a small portion of white powder
Titanium dioxide is the most commonly used compound of titanium

Pigments, additives and coatings

Titanium is used in pyrotechnics as a source of bright-burning particles.

A titanium cylinder, "Grade 2" quality


Commercially pure flat product (sheet, plate) can be formed readily, but processing must take into account the fact that the metal has a "memory" and tends to spring back. This is especially true of certain high-strength alloys.[52][53] Titanium cannot be soldered without first pre-plating it in a metal that is solderable.[54] The metal can be machined using the same equipment and via the same processes as stainless steel.[11]

In terms of fabrication, all welding of titanium must be done in an inert atmosphere of argon or helium in order to shield it from contamination with atmospheric gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, or hydrogen.[11] Contamination will cause a variety of conditions, such as embrittlement, which will reduce the integrity of the assembly welds and lead to joint failure.

The grades covered by ASTM and other alloys are also produced to meet Aerospace and Military specifications (SAE-AMS, MIL-T), ISO standards, and country-specific specifications, as well as proprietary end-user specifications for aerospace, military, medical, and industrial applications.[51]

About 50 grades of titanium and titanium alloys are designated and currently used, although only a couple of dozen are readily available commercially.[49] The ASTM International recognizes 31 Grades of titanium metal and alloys, of which Grades 1 through 4 are commercially pure (unalloyed). These four are distinguished by their varying degrees of tensile strength, as a function of oxygen content, with Grade 1 being the most ductile (lowest tensile strength with an oxygen content of 0.18%), and Grade 4 the least (highest tensile strength with an oxygen content of 0.40%).[14] The remaining grades are alloys, each designed for specific purposes, be it ductility, strength, hardness, electrical resistivity, creep resistance, resistance to corrosion from specific media, or a combination thereof.[50]

2 FeTiO3 + 7 Cl2 + 6 C → 2 TiCl4 + 2 FeCl3 + 6 CO (900 °C)
TiCl4 + 2 Mg → 2 MgCl2 + Ti (1100 °C)

Common titanium alloys are made by reduction. For example, cuprotitanium (rutile with copper added is reduced), ferrocarbon titanium (ilmenite reduced with coke in an electric furnace), and manganotitanium (rutile with manganese or manganese oxides) are reduced.[48]

A more recently developed method, the FFC Cambridge process,[46][47] converts titanium dioxide powder (a refined form of rutile) as feedstock to make Ti metal, either a powder or sponge. If mixed oxide powders are used, the product is an alloy.

Because it cannot be readily produced by reduction of its dioxide,[9] titanium metal is obtained by reduction of TiCl4 with magnesium metal, the Kroll Process. The complexity of this batch process explains the relatively high market value of titanium.[45] To produce the TiCl4 required by the Kroll process, the dioxide is subjected to carbothermic reduction in the presence of chlorine. In this process, the chlorine gas is passed over red-hot mixture of rutile or ilmenite in the presence of carbon. After extensive purification by fractional distillation, the TiCl4 is reduced with 800 °C molten magnesium in an argon atmosphere.[7] Titanium metal can be further purified by the van Arkel–de Boer process, which involves thermal decomposition of titanium tetraiodide.

The processing of titanium metal occurs in 4 major steps:[44] reduction of titanium ore into "sponge", a porous form; melting of sponge, or sponge plus a master alloy to form an ingot; primary fabrication, where an ingot is converted into general mill products such as billet, bar, plate, sheet, strip, and tube; and secondary fabrication of finished shapes from mill products.

Basic titanium products: plate, tube, rods and powder
A small heap of uniform black grains smaller than 1mm diameter.
Titanium (mineral concentrate)

Production and fabrication

In 2006, the U.S. Defense Agency awarded $5.7 million to a two-company consortium to develop a new process for making titanium metal powder. Under heat and pressure, the powder can be used to create strong, lightweight items ranging from armor plating to components for the aerospace, transport, and chemical processing industries.[43]

Recognizing the strategic importance of titanium[38] the U.S. Department of Defense supported early efforts of commercialization.[39] Throughout the period of the Cold War, titanium was considered a strategic material by the U.S. government, and a large stockpile of titanium sponge was maintained by the Defense National Stockpile Center, which was finally depleted in the 2000s.[40] According to 2006 data, the world's largest producer, Russian-based VSMPO-Avisma, was estimated to account for about 29% of the world market share.[41] As of 2009, titanium sponge metal was produced in six countries: China, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, USA and Ukraine (in order of output).[42]

In the 1950s and 1960s the Soviet Union pioneered the use of titanium in military and submarine applications (Alfa Class and Mike Class)[36] as part of programs related to the Cold War.[37] Starting in the early 1950s, titanium began to be used extensively for military aviation purposes, particularly in high-performance jets, starting with aircraft such as the F100 Super Sabre and Lockheed A-12.

Titanium of very high purity was made in small quantities when Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Hendrik de Boer discovered the iodide, or crystal bar, process in 1925, by reacting with iodine and decomposing the formed vapors over a hot filament to pure metal.[35]

Titanium sponge, made by the Kroll process

The processes required to extract titanium from its various ores are laborious and costly; it is not possible to reduce the ore in the normal manner, by heating in the presence of carbon, as that produces titanium carbide.[33] Pure metallic titanium (99.9%) was first prepared in 1910 by Matthew A. Hunter at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute by heating TiCl4 with sodium at 700–800 °C in the Hunter process.[3] Titanium metal was not used outside the laboratory until 1932 when William Justin Kroll proved that it could be produced by reducing titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) with calcium.[34] Eight years later he refined this process by using magnesium and even sodium in what became known as the Kroll process.[34] Although research continues into more efficient and cheaper processes (e.g., FFC Cambridge), the Kroll process is still used for commercial production.[3][4]

Around the same time, Franz-Joseph Müller von Reichenstein produced a similar substance, but could not identify it.[4] The oxide was independently rediscovered in 1795 by Prussian chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth in rutile from Boinik (German name of unknown place) village of Hungary (Now in Slovakia).[33] Klaproth found that it contained a new element and named it for the Titans of Greek mythology.[20] After hearing about Gregor's earlier discovery, he obtained a sample of manaccanite and confirmed it contained titanium.

Titanium was discovered included in a mineral in Cornwall, Great Britain, in 1791 by the clergyman and amateur geologist William Gregor, then vicar of Creed parish.[33] He recognized the presence of a new element in ilmenite[4] when he found black sand by a stream in the nearby parish of Manaccan and noticed the sand was attracted by a magnet.[33] Analysis of the sand determined the presence of two metal oxides; iron oxide (explaining the attraction to the magnet) and 45.25% of a white metallic oxide he could not identify.[18] Gregor, realizing that the unidentified oxide contained a metal that did not match the properties of any known element, reported his findings to the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall and in the German science journal Crell's Annalen.[33]

Engraved profile image of a mid-age male with high forehead. The person is wearing a coat and a neckerchief.
Martin Heinrich Klaproth named titanium for the Titans of Greek mythology.


Owing to the important role of titanium compounds as polymerization catalyst, compounds with Ti-C bonds have been intensively studied. The most common organotitanium complex is titanocene dichloride ((C5H5)2TiCl2). Related compounds include Tebbe's reagent and Petasis reagent. Titanium forms carbonyl complexes, e.g. (C5H5)2Ti(CO)2.[32]

Organometallic complexes

Titanium(III) and titanium(II) also form stable chlorides. A notable example is titanium(III) chloride (TiCl3), which is used as a catalyst for production of polyolefins (see Ziegler-Natta catalyst) and a reducing agent in organic chemistry.

Lewis acid, for example in the Mukaiyama aldol condensation.[31] In the van Arkel process, titanium tetraiodide (TiI4) is generated in the production of high purity titanium metal.


Titanium(III) compounds are characteristically violet, illustrated by this aqueous solution of titanium trichloride.

Titanium nitride (TiN), having a hardness equivalent to sapphire and carborundum (9.0 on the Mohs Scale),[26] is often used to coat cutting tools, such as drill bits.[27] It also finds use as a gold-colored decorative finish, and as a barrier metal in semiconductor fabrication.[28] Titanium carbide, which is also very hard, is found in high-temperature cutting tools and coatings.

Nitrides, carbides

Titanium forms a variety of sulfides, but only TiS2 has attracted significant interest. It adopts a layered structure and was used as a cathode in the development of lithium batteries. Since Ti(IV) is a "hard cation", the sulfides of titanium are unstable tend to hydrolyze to the oxide with release of hydrogen sulfide.

The Sharpless epoxidation.

A variety of reduced oxides of titanium are known. Ti3O5, described as a Ti(IV)-Ti(III) species, is a purple semiconductor produced by reduction of TiO2 with hydrogen at high temperatures,[23] and is used industrially when surfaces need to be vapour-coated with titanium dioxide: it evaporates as pure TiO whilst TiO2 evaporates as a mixture of oxides and deposits coatings with variable refractive index.[24] Also known is Ti2O3, with the carborundum structure, and TiO, with the rock salt structure, although often nonstoichiometric.[25]

Titanates usually refer to titanium(IV) compounds, as represented barium titanate (BaTiO3). With a perovskite structure, this material exhibits piezoelectric properties and is used as a transducer in the interconversion of sound and electricity.[7] Many minerals are titanates, e.g. ilmenite (FeTiO3). Star sapphires and rubies get their asterism (star-forming shine) from the presence of titanium dioxide impurities.[14]

The most important oxide is TiO2, which exists in three important polymorphs; anatase, brookite, and rutile. All of these are white diamagnetic solids, although mineral samples can appear dark (see rutile). They adopt polymeric structures in which Ti is surrounded by six oxide ligands that link to other Ti centers.

Oxides, sulfides, and alkoxides

The +4 oxidation state dominates titanium chemistry,[21] but compounds in the +3 oxidation state are also common.[22] Commonly, titanium adopts an octahedral coordination geometry in its complexes, but tetrahedral TiCl4 is a notable exception. Because of its high oxidation state, titanium(IV) compounds exhibit a high degree of covalent bonding. Unlike most other transition metals, simple aquo Ti(IV) complexes are unknown.

A steel colored twist drill bit with the spiral groove colored in a golden shade.
TiN-coated drill bit


Titanium becomes radioactive upon bombardment with deuterons, emitting mainly positrons and hard gamma rays.[3]

The isotopes of titanium range in atomic weight from 39.99 u (40Ti) to 57.966 u (58Ti). The primary decay mode before the most abundant stable isotope, 48Ti, is electron capture and the primary mode after is beta emission. The primary decay products before 48Ti are element 21 (scandium) isotopes and the primary products after are element 23 (vanadium) isotopes.[8]

Naturally occurring titanium is composed of 5 stable isotopes: 46Ti, 47Ti, 48Ti, 49Ti, and 50Ti, with 48Ti being the most abundant (73.8% natural abundance). Eleven radioisotopes have been characterized, with the most stable being 44Ti with a half-life of 63 years, 45Ti with a half-life of 184.8 minutes, 51Ti with a half-life of 5.76 minutes, and 52Ti with a half-life of 1.7 minutes. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives that are less than 33 seconds and the majority of these have half-lives that are less than half a second.[8]


Titanium is contained in meteorites and has been detected in the sun and in M-type stars,[3] which are the coolest type of star, with a surface temperature of 3,200 °C (5,790 °F).[20] Rocks brought back from the moon during the Apollo 17 mission are composed of 12.1% TiO2.[3] It is also found in coal ash, plants, and even the human body.

The concentration of Ti is about 4 picomolar in the ocean. At 100 °C, the concentration of titanium in water is estimated to be less than 10-7 M at pH 7. The identity of titanium species in aqueous solution remains unknown because of its low solubility and the lack of sensitive spectroscopic methods, although only the 4+ oxidation state is stable in air. No evidence exists for a biological role for titanium, although rare organisms are known to accumulate high concentrations.[19]

It is widely distributed and occurs primarily in the minerals anatase, brookite, ilmenite, perovskite, rutile and titanite (sphene).[14] Of these minerals, only rutile and ilmenite have economic importance, yet even they are difficult to find in high concentrations. About 6.0 and 0.7 million tonnes of these minerals have been mined in 2011, respectively.[17] Significant titanium-bearing ilmenite deposits exist in western Australia, Canada, China, India, Mozambique, New Zealand, Norway, Ukraine and South Africa.[14] About 186,000 tonnes of titanium metal sponge were produced in 2011, mostly in China (60,000 t), Japan (56,000 t), Russia (40,000 t), United States (32,000 t) and Kazakhstan (20,700 t). Total reserves of titanium are estimated to exceed 600 million tonnes.[17]

Titanium is always bonded to other elements in nature. It is the ninth-most abundant element in the Earth's crust (0.63% by mass)[18] and the seventh-most abundant metal. It is present in most igneous rocks and in sediments derived from them (as well as in living things and natural bodies of water).[2][3] Of the 801 types of igneous rocks analyzed by the United States Geological Survey, 784 contained titanium. Its proportion in soils is approximately 0.5 to 1.5%.[18]

2011 production of rutile and ilmenite[17]
Country thousand
% of total
Australia 1300 19.4
South Africa 1160 17.3
Canada 700 10.4
India 574 8.6
Mozambique 516 7.7
China 500 7.5
Vietnam 490 7.3
Ukraine 357 5.3
World 6700 100


Titanium is one of the few elements that burns in pure nitrogen gas, reacting at 800 °C (1,470 °F) to form titanium nitride, which causes embrittlement.[16] Because of its high reactivity toward oxygen, nitrogen and some other gases, titanium filaments are applied in titanium sublimation pumps as scavengers for these gases. Such pumps inexpensively and reliably produce extremely low pressures in ultra-high vacuum systems.

[4] It also reacts with the other halogens and absorbs hydrogen.[3] As indicated by its negative redox potential, titanium is thermodynamically a very reactive metal. One indication is that the metal burns before its melting point is reached. Melting is only possible in an inert atmosphere or in a vacuum. At 550 °C (1,022 °F), it combines with chlorine.[15] However, it is attacked by concentrated acids.[3]

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