Titanium has a high resistance to corrosion and can be passivated
Titanium was discovered by British chemist Reverend William Gregor in 1791. In 1793, a German chemist, M. Klaproth also discovered it independently. The name “titanium” comes from Greek mythology, “Titan” being the personification of a supernatural force. The titanium trade started in the 1950s.
Titanium is the fourth most abundant metallic element in the Earth’s crust. It is found naturally, generally in chemical combination with oxygen and iron.
Titanium is extracted from rutile and ilmenite, minerals found in Australia, Canada, Russia, the United States, Norway, South Africa, and also Sierra Leone. Rutile contains between 93 and 96% titanium dioxide, while ilmenite contains between 44 and 77%. Titanium in its commercial form is produced principally in Russia, the United States, Japan and China.
Titanium production is a particularly complicated process. The first step is to make sponge (which takes its name from its spongy appearance) from the rutile and ilmenite: chlorination, production of titanium tetrachloride, which is then reacted with magnesium (using the Kroll process). The next step is to produce an ingot from the sponge, by melting, either under vacuum using a consumable electrode or VAR (Vacuum Arc Reduction), or by cold hearth Electron Beam (EB) melting, or by PAM (Plasma Arc Melting), or by ISM (Induction Skull Melting). Titanium alloy ingots are produced by the addition of various elements (vanadium, aluminium, molybdenum, tin, zirconium, etc.). The ingots are generally processed by hot forging to obtain semi-products (slabs, blooms and billets), which are in turn processed by rolling, forging, extrusion, machining, etc. to obtain finished semi-products (bars, sheets, tubes, wires, etc.)
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