Does Titanium Rust?
At some point, every metal and metal alloys break down when exposed to extreme, wet or chemical dominated environments. This break down is visible as rust or corrosion.
Titanium is a popular metal that is recognized as more durable and stronger than steel, yet is lighter and more flexible as steel. These properties of titanium make it a popular metal used in chemical plants, airplanes and various military and engineering applications. Titanium is also used in rifles and air guns. Titanium can withstand extreme temperature and exposure to salt water. It has been hailed as one of the strongest, most durable metals around. With that being said, there is a belief that it doesn’t rust.
As titanium is a resilient metal, but just like all metals, it does rust or corrode. It is a reactive metal that, when exposed to certain environments, such as those with hot nitric acid, creates titanium oxide. This titanium oxide can occur quickly. It provides a strong, durable, almost impenetrable barrier that protects the pure titanium metal underneath it from further corrosion. This gives the titanium the appearance of not rusting. It is this oxide barrier that makes titanium extremely rust resistant. As the name oxide implies, oxygen is needed to produce this barrier. In vacuum-like environments, where oxygen in limited, titanium will corrode and rust quickly.
Titanium oxide is produced when titanium is exposed to extreme temperatures and certain chemicals. Titanium shavings, like shavings from other metals are highly reactive and flammable even in relatedly low temperatures. This makes titanium a poor choice for some mechanical operations. Titanium oxide comes in the form of a white powder. This protective barrier does eventually break down, but it takes many years to do so. With its slow corrosion process, titanium is a good choice for piping. Unlike pipes made from other metals, titanium piping typically doesn’t require additional protective coating.
Common Uses For Titanium
As mentioned earlier, titanium has many uses, largely because of its strength, durability and corrosion resistance. You’ll find titanium piping in power plants, desalination plants, off-shore drilling platforms and in everyday private and commercial structures and factories. The military and aerospace engineering firms use titanium parts in aircraft, weapons and vehicles. Air rifles and air pistols also feature titanium parts.
Besides its sturdy, light-weight solid form, its corrosion residue, titanium oxide, is also used in a variety of ways. Its bright white pigmentation is commonly used as the base for white paint, white colored pencils and white crayons.
The white titanium oxide is also used in make-up such as foundation, blush, lip gloss and body glitter. It lightens the color of toner and its slight sparkle enhances the shine of body powders and lip gloss.
If you want a strong, corrosion resistant material for your next project, order your titanium from Titanium Processing Center. We sell a variety of titanium products of various grades that will meet your construction needs. We also provide additional services such as fabrication and different types of sawing. For more information or to place your titanium order, contact us today.