Welcome to You Ask Andy

Annie Wuorinen, age 14, of Decatur, I11., for her question:


Titanium is a lightweight, silver gray metal that has a density between that of aluminum and stainless steel. It was discovered in 1791 by an Englishman named William Gregor and was named in 1795 by a German named Martin Klaproth.

It wasn't until the 1930s, however, that a refining method adaptable to large scale production was worked out by William Kroll of Luxembourg. And it wasn't until 1948 that the Dupont Company became the first to produce the metal commercially.

Today, the production of titanium remains low because of the difficulty and expense involved in the separation of pure titanium from the ores with which it is found.

Research is being conducted at the present time to increase the supply of the metal and lower ,its cost. The United States manufactures most of the world's titanium although Japan and Great Britain also share in the production market.

Titanium resists sea water and sea air corrosion or rust as well as platinum and better than stainless steel. It is also ahead of steel in its strength weight ratio.

First commercial use of titanium was as an oxide to substitute for white lead in paint. Used this way, the white pigment has superior power to cover surfaces in painting.

Titanium is also used in the manufacture of linoleum, rubber, textiles, paper, welding rods and porcelain enamels. A compound can be used in place of crystals in television and radar sets, microphones and phonographs.

Titanium metal serves as an important alloying element because it unites with nearly every material except copper and aluminum. It is used principally as an alloy in iron.

A large a;nount of titanium is used in aircraft and jet engines because it is strong but light. It also withstands operating temperatures up to about 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The metal is also used for propeller blades for ships, surgical instruments and tools.

Titanium is never found in a pure state. It is usually found in ilmenite or rutile but can also be found in titaniferous magnetite, titanite and iron ore.

Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, New York and Virginia are the leading titanium producing states in the United States. Quebec is the only Canadian province that produces the metal.

Leading titanium producing countries of the world are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Malaysia, Norway and the United States.

Titanium has an atomic number of 22 and an atomic weight of 47.90. It melts at 3,047 degrees Fahrenheit and it boils at 5,900 degrees Fahrenheit.

Titaniferous ore is the iron ore rich in titanium. It is usually a black, granular mixture of minerals. The ore is ground and the minerals are separated with magnets.



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