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What Is Titanium And Where Do I Use It?


  • Titanium (element symbol Ti – number 22 on the periodic table) is a strong, grey metal and is highly resistant to corrosion. The metal also has a high melting point.

  • Titanium is as strong as steel but 45% lighter. The metal is also twice as strong as aluminum, but also 60% heavier.

  • Titanium metal grows naturally and abundantly, but not in pure form. It is the fourth rarest element on our planet. The material can be find in the earth's crust, water, in rocks and stones, and in minerals.

  • Titanium ores are often refined into Titanium dioxide (TiO2), which has a high light-scattering ability. It imparts whiteness, opacity and brightness of many products and is therefore often used in white paint, paper, rubber or plastic.

  • Titanium started to be used in paint as a substitute for lead.

  • The metal is often used in medical implants.


Where is Titanium Produced?


  • The global producers of titanium are China 25%, South Africa 13%, Australia 12%, Mozambique 10%, Canada 8%, Ukraine 6%, Kenia 4% and Senegal 4%. 


  • Titanium is typically produced form orthomagmatic iron-titanium-oxide (Fe-Ti-oxide) deposit, where it is mostly concentrated in ilmenite. Another important source of titanium is heavy-mineral sand deposits, where it occurs in ilmenite and rutile (Woodruf et al. 2013). A potentially significant hard-rock titanium source is in eclogites, where Ti is hosted by rutile. 


  • According to British Geological Survey (Iodine et al. 2022), the annual global production of ilmenite and rutile concentrates in 2020 were 12.2 Mt and 0.6 Mt, respectively. The calculated total amount of TiO2 based on these production numbers is 7.02 Mt (4.22 Mt Ti).


Global Market


  • The global market of titanium can be classified based on the following major applications: aerospace andmarine sector, industrial, medical, energy, pigments, additives and coatings, papers and plastics and others (European Commission, 2020).


  • The consumption of titanium dioxide in 2020 was estimated to sit at 6.45 million tonnes. With 56 % of this volume, 3.6 million tonnes, the paint and coatings industry are the main consumer of the white pigment, a market worth more than EUR 17.82 billion (Gagro, D., 2022).


  • The world’s consumption of Titanium metal goes to civil aerospace se!ctor (45%), followed by industrialequipment (40%), defence (9%) and consumer goods (6%) (Georgitzikis, K., D`elia, E. and Eynard, U., 2022). In 2020, the global output of titanium sponge is estimated to be 245 kt with China accounting for more than half (56%) followed by Japan (20%) (Entirely produced from imported titanium minerals), Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine (each with 13%, 6% and 2% of share, respectively) (Georgitzikis, K., D`elia, E. and Eynard, U., 2022).


Specific Issues for Titanium


  • Titanium is lightweight, corrosion resistant, erosion resistant, stress resistant and pitting resistant


  • Metallic titanium can be found in water streams, and it can bioaccumulate in various animal species. Impacts on the trophic chain are still under study, but the presence of this material in the environment is suspected of causing serious threats to human and non-human animals, vegetation, and bacteria(Markowska-Szczupak et al., 2020). 


  • The International Titanium Association (ITA) prepared a set of compliance Guidelines to support companies to comply with relevant antitrust laws. In addition, members of ITA also adopted a special resolution according to which ITA meetings and facilities shall not be used to exchange information on the price of titanium (ITA 2022). 


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