Titanium has been a known element for many years, but it is only in the last 50 years or so that its importance has truly grown. The rapid growth of the Titanium industry is due to the versatility of the metal and its unique combination of features. These features include excellent corrosion resistance, outstanding strength to weight ratios and low weight. The mechanical properties of Commercially Pure Titanium grades vary considerably with small changes within the chemical composition of Oxygen, Nitrogen, Hydrogen and Carbon. These alloys exists in two crystallographic forms and its alloys can be put into one of three categories:
- Beta alloys
Pure Titanium has an alpha structure. However, this transforms to a beta form as a result of being heated above 882°C. The addition of alloying elements influences this transformation. Many alloys have been developed where the beta phase is retained at room temperature. This provides a material containing alpha and beta phases. The relative amounts of these phases give rise to variations in properties such as ductility, weldability and ease of forming.
Owing to its property strengths, Titanium has becoming a vital material across a number of industry sectors. Chemical process industries rely on outstanding corrosion resistance, consequently making Commercially Pure Titanium strip an ideal material choice. Other demanding applications within Aerospace, such as static and rotating gas turbine engine components, also require a combination of corrosion resistance, low weight and high strength. The ability to withstand some of the most critical and highly stressed conditions has made it ideal for use in civilian and military airframe parts.
In addition to applications within the Chemical, Aerospace and Automotive sector, these alloys have multiple applications in modern Medicine. In particular, there are a wide range Medical and Dental devices including artificial implants, pace makers, frameworks, in addition to surgical instruments . Whilst it is not completely immune to corrosion within the human body, Titanium is bacteria resistant and offers biocompatibility. Unlike other metals, tissue and bone can bond to an artificial implant. This Osseointegration phenomenon is unique to the alloy. As a result of growing medical procedures and biomedical innovation, Titanium use is expected to grow further.