Q:

What is titanium used in?

A:

According to The Royal Society of Chemistry, titanium is as strong as steel, but much less dense, so it is an important alloying agent with aluminum, molybdenum and iron. These alloys are used in aircraft and missiles. The largest use of titanium, however, is in the form of titanium oxide in house and artist paints.

In addition to these functions, titanium is also a great reflector of infrared radiation and is used in solar observatories where high heat causes poor visibility. Titanium is also used in desalination plants, converting sea water to fresh water. Because of its excellent resistance to sea water, it is used to protect the hulls of ships and other structures that may be exposed to sea water. According to The Los Alamos National Laboratory, titanium tetrachloride is used to iridize glass. Because the compound fumes strongly, it can be used to produce smoke screens. In addition, it is produced artificially for use as a gemstone, despite being relatively soft.

Titanium is the ninth most abundant element on Earth and is produced commercially by reducing titanium (IV) chloride with magnesium. Titanium (IV) oxide is produced by either the sulfate process or the chloride process, which prepares titanium oxide from the mineral ilmenite.


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