How was titanium discovered and its uses

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The William Gregor (1761 – 1817)

Titanium was first found in Cornish beach sands by Cornwall clergy with amateur mineralogist William Gregor in 1791.

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Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743 - 1817)

In 1795, German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth rediscovered this oxide when analyzing the red rutile produced in Hungary. He decided to name the new element “Titanium” originated from “Titanic” in Greek mythology.

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Chemist IJ. Berzelius

It was not until in 1825 that chemist IJ. Berzelius found the method of reduceing potassium fluorotitanate (K2TiF6) by potassium metal. Although it means that people first got the real sense of titanium metal in the laboratory, it is poor purity, a small amount, and cannot be used for research.

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Swedish scholar, Nilson & Petso

Swedish scholars Nilson and Petso in 1887 isolated the metallic titanium (TiCl4)with impurity content <5%. Their method of using sodium was later refined into the hunter process.

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Anton Eduard van Arkel & Jan Hendrik de Boer

In 1925, Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Hendrik de Boer used the method of thermal decomposition of Til on hot tungsten wire to produce pure metallic titanium with excellent ductility no matter under the cold or hot state.

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American chemist Matthew A. Hunter

In 1910, American chemist Matthew A. Hunter first reduced TiCI with sodium to produce metallic titanium with a purity of 99.9%.

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Luxembourg scientist W.J. Kroll

In 1940, Luxembourg scientist W.J. Kroll used magnesium to reduce TiCl4 to produce pure titanium.
Since then, the magnesium reduction method (also known as the Kroll process) and the sodium reduction method (also known as the Hunter method) have become industrial methods for producing sponge titanium.

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DuPont (In September 1948)

In September 1948, DuPont of the United States produced sponge titanium by the Kroll method and magnesium reduction TiC14 method, getting its titanium with purity above 99%. In that year, the United States produced a total of 3 tons of sponge titanium.

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Japan Osaka Titanium Co., Ltd (in 1951)

Japan Osaka Titanium Co., Ltd. successfully produced 20 kg of sponge titanium in the laboratory in 1951.

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UK (in 1994)

Due to the shortage of magnesium raw materials in the UK, the production of titanium sponge used to adopt sodium thermal reduction method, with the output of about 2500T /y. After the closure of the only titanium plant in 1994, the UK has withdrawn the world's titanium sponge producers.

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Podorsk chemical plant (in June 1956)

In February 1954, the first batch of titanium was produced in Russia on an industrial scale by the magnesium thermal process at the Podorsk chemical plant. The first batch of sponge titanium was made in June 1956.

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China (In 1958)

In 1958, China's first batch of titanium sponge was produced on a laboratory scale of 10 kg.

Seven interesting properties of titanium

Biophilicity

Titanium has good biocompatibility with human tissues, and cannot cause rejection and allergic reactions and has no toxic and side effects. That's why it is widely used in high-end medical fields, such as heart stents, artificial bones, etc.

Biophilicity

Antibacterial

The surface of titanium metal will continue to oxidize to form a titanium oxide film, which can inhibit the growth of bacteria, thereby making titanium daily necessities good antibacterial properties.
Compared with traditional containers such as stainless steel, glass, casserole, etc., titanium containers have better fresh-keeping performance when holding juice, Chinese medicine, milk, and other beverages.

Antibacterial

High-temperature resistance

Titanium can withstand high temperatures without deformation, so it is also widely used in the aerospace field.
The melting point of titanium is up to 1668°C, and it will not be damaged in long-term use at a high temperature of 600°C. For example, the water cup made of titanium metal can be directly heated without damage.

High temperature resistance

Lightweight and high specific strength

The density of titanium metal is 4.51g/cm with high specific strength and lightweight, which means that bicycles of the same volume and strength will be much lighter for using titanium metals. Due to that properties, people can also use it to make lighter pots and outdoor appliances.

Light weight and high strength

No heavy metal precipitation

Titanium is more beneficial to health for it doesn't have heavy metal impurities. To keep non-rusting, traditional stainless steel needs to add heavy metal elements such as chromium, nickel, and manganese. But long-term use of traditional stainless steel will cause heavy metals to precipitate out and enter the human body in large amounts. On the whole, titanium metal is indeed a very ideal daily necessity product replacing the general steel produce.

No heavy metal pollution

Colorful

The titanium also has a famous title: "Chameleon Metal". Through a series of surface treatment techniques, we can change the thickness of the oxide film on the titanium surface so that it can reflect different colors.
More importantly, this color-change is a non-toxic and impurity-free physical phenomenon. Titanium is also widely used in making earrings, wedding rings, knives, eyeglass frames, cups, plates, necklaces, etc.

Anti-corrosion

Acid and alkali resistant titanium metal also shows excellent corrosion resistance. That characteristic provides deep-sea detector best material which can stay in the deep sea for a long time without being corroded.

Anti-corrosion

The titanium industry chain

Titanium Industry Chain

Make beneficiation of ilmenite, rutile, and other original minerals to obtain higher-grade titanium concentrate.

Titanium Industry Chain

By reprocessing and purifying the concentrate, high-purity titanium dioxide is prepared for use in the titanium dioxide industry.

Titanium dioxide and its application

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a very stable oxide with excellent optical and pigment properties and is mainly used as white inorganic pigments.
Its properties of non-toxic, opacity, best whiteness and brightness are considered to be the best white pigment in the world. People always apply it in coatings, plastics, paper, printing inks, chemical fiber, rubber, cosmetics, and so on.

Titanium Industry Chain

Titanium tetrachloride is produced through the process of oxidation and reduction of titanium dioxide to prepare intermediate product sponge titanium.

Titanium Industry Chain

Make the titanium ingot with dense crystal structure casting process of sponge titanium to produce titanium materials and various titanium alloys

Sponge titanium

Sponge titanium refers to the reduction of titanium tetrachloride with magnesium or sodium to obtain sponge-like metallic titanium with a purity of 98.5% - 99.7%.
Sponge titanium is a primary product that needs further melting and casting to obtain industrial pure titanium for making titanium alloy.

Applications of titanium alloy

Aviation and aerospace

Jet engine parts, rockets, satellites, missiles and other parts
Compressors, fan blades, discs, casings, guide vanes, shafts, landing gear, flaps, spoilers, engine compartments, bulkheads, spars, fuel tanks, boosters

Aerospace

Chemistry and Petrochemical Industry

Mainly used in petrochemical, metallurgy, salt making and other industries where it can make electrolyzers, reactors, distillation towers, concentrators, separators, heat exchangers, pipes, electrodes, etc.

Chemistry and Petrochemical Industry

Warship

Submarine pressure shell, propeller, water jet propulsion, seawater heat exchange system, ship pump.

Ship

Ocean engineering

Pipes for seawater desalination, pumps, valves, pipe fittings for offshore oil drilling

Ocean engineering

Biomedical

Artificial joints, artificial implants and orthodontics, cardiac pacemakers, cardiovascular stents, surgical instruments, etc.

Biomedical

Sports equipment

Golf heads, tennis rackets, badminton rackets, billiard cue, mountain sticks, ski poles, ice skates, etc.

Sports equipment

Daily necessities

Eyeglass frames, watches, crutches, fishing rods, kitchenware, digital product housings, crafts, decorations, etc.

Daily necessities

Construction sector

Building roofs, outer walls, signs, railings, pipes, etc.

Building

Why is titanium important to human lives?

  1. Enhance human immunity;
  2. Regulate physiological functions such as blood pressure, blood lipids, blood sugar;
  3. Ability to treat cancer;
  4. Prevent and cure various diseases and keep fitness;
  5. Anti-aging effects;
  6. Effect of whitening and beauty.

Orthopedics department

Because of its high strength and good biocompatibility, titanium has become a common substitute for human bones in medical treatment including hip joints, elbow joints, bone screws, knee joints, and bone plates, etc.

Dental department

Dental implants, denture brackets, crown bridges, and orthodontic wires.
Some children's teeth are not straight and need to be corrected, so stomatology hospital will use a memory alloy wire made of titanium and silver alloy for correction.

Surgery department

Titanium metal can be surgical instruments, heart rhythm regulator boxes, and now even has developed to make artificial limbs

Cardiology

Titanium vascular stent is also applied for some people who have narrow blood vessels in a certain part, and even now titanium can replace all parts from head to toe.

True story about titanium saving people's life

A 68-year-old Peter Houghton in the United States who has serious heart disease. In order to save his life, the doctor installed a titanium metal device in his heart to help his heart pump blood. He relied on this device to live for seven and a half years and became the person who has lived the longest with an artificial heart.

Analysis of global titanium ore resources

As an important industrial strategic resource, titanium metal has won the titles "modern metal", "space metal" and "strategic metal", and been indispensable for modern industry and cutting-edge technology.

What are the main types of titanium deposits?

The global titanium deposits can be divided into 4 major categories including magmatic deposits, sedimentary deposits, weathered deposits, metamorphic deposits, which can be further divided into 11 subcategories according to the surrounding rocks, primary rocks, and mineralization mechanisms.

Global titanium resource distribution

At present, resources with titanium are ilmenite and rutile, mainly ilmenite. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), ilmenite accounts for about 89% of the world's titanium ore consumption. As of the end of 2017, the global ilmenite resources have exceeded 2 billion tons with total reserves 934 million tons.

Except for Antarctica, the remaining six continents are rich in titanium resources, involving 29 countries.

Australia's titanium reserves rank first in the world, followed by China, India, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, Madagascar, Norway, Canada, Mozambique, Ukraine, the United States, Vietnam, and Sierra Leone. The titanium reserves of those 14 countries account for about 97% of the world's total reserves.

There are 143 titanium deposits in the world documented

Oceania

Titanium deposit × 13

≈9%

Asia

Titanium deposit × 41

≈29%

Africa

Titanium deposit × 37

≈26%

North America

Titanium deposit × 21

≈15%

Europe

Titanium deposit × 19

≈13%

South America

Titanium deposit × 12

≈8%

Important countries with large reserves of titanium ore

Australia

Australia

Australia is the world's largest titanium producer and exporter. Titanium deposits are mainly composed of exogenous sedimentary seashore sand, distributing on the east and west coast of Australia. The total reserves of heavy minerals in the sand belts of the West Coast are above 59 million tons, including many large ilmenite areas of sand, and rutile reserves are about 6.1 million tons.

India

India

Indian titanium ore is rich in reserves and high in grade, mainly distributed in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The main metallogenic type is also exogenous sedimentary beach sand. A survey shows that the ilmenite resources are roughly between 461,000 and 5.2 million tons in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. India has become the fifth largest in the world titanium manufacturer.

South Africa

South Africa

South Africa has various types of large-scale titanium ore resources, including 2% to 25% of heavy minerals, with an average content of 9%.The estimated ilmenite resources are 770 million tons.

Brazil

Brazil

Brazil has a large amount of titanium ore resources. The main metallogenic types are exogenous sedimentary beach sand and weathered alkaline rock.
Weathered alkaline rock deposits are mainly located in the Tapira, Salltre, and Catalaol deposits in south-central Brazil. The titanium deposits of the three deposits all belong to anatase and can reach 300 million tons, and the ore contains TiO2 up to 20%.

Madagascar

Madagascar

The largest and most abundant deposit is the Ranobe deposit in Madagascar. It is estimated that the titanium mineral resources are about 959 million tons, and reserves are 161 million tons. It is currently the world's largest sand deposit.

Norway

Norway

Norway has about 300 titanium ore deposits where Tellnes ilmenite deposite is the most important one with annual output accounting for 6% to 7% of the total globally. Titanium reserves of Tellnes reach 5.7 million tons with content Ti02, accounting for about 12% of the world's total reserves.

Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique's titanium resources are mainly concentrated in the Moma deposit in the south-central part. Among proven reserves: approximately 26 million tons of ilmenite, 1.8 million tons of zircon, and 55 thousand tons of rutile.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is rich in high-grade natural rutile mines, and its mineral resources exceed 8.4 million tons.

The world's largest producer of titanium ore

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) data, the world's output of titanium in 2017 was 7.087 million tons. The countries with relatively large output mainly include South Africa, Australia, China, Mozambique, Canada, and Kenya. Top titanium producers together accounted for 70.58% of global production. The following are the famous titanium producing corporations:

RioTinto

RioTinto

Iluka

Iluka

Exxaro

Exxaro

Kronos

Kronos

Titanium resources on the moon

The reserves of titanium on the moon are 10 times to those on earth. The rich resources may be a necessary motivation for starting a mining colony project in the future.

Titanium on the moon mainly exists in ilmenite minerals containing iron, titanium, and oxygen.

Also, Apollo data shows that titanium-rich minerals are more effective at retaining solar wind particles such as helium and hydrogen. The researchers say that these gases may be crucial for the construction of lunar colonies and lunar exploration.

moon

Titanium ore crushing and separating

Titanium mining Titanium mining

At present, the ilmenite resources developed and utilized globally are mainly ilmenite and rutile and obtained from rock mines and sand mines. But Only rock and sand mines meet the following contents can we say they have industrial mining value:
The ilmenite TiO2 content of the rock mine is between 10% and 40%, or the rutile TiO2 content is more than 3%;
The placerite contains ilmenite should above 15kg/m3 or rutile above 2kg/m3;
Some symbiotic ores with multiple valuable components, even if the TiO2 grade is lower, can be considered for mining.

Titanium ore crushing process

The production line Customizable

01.Jaw crusher

Conventional two stage open circuit crushing reduces the ore to about 3/4 which provides good feed to the rod mill. Sometimes a closed-circuit reduction becomes necessary to ensure all minus 3/4 or finer feed to the grinding circuit. Ore's nature and moisture content are factors considered in choosing circuit to be used. The main equipment used for crushing titanium ore is the jaw crusher.

02.Rod mill

Then, grinding and coarse concentration3/4"crushed ore passes through a peripheral discharge rod mill at high dilution(35 to 40%solids)to minimize over-grinding and sliming of the feed particles of titanium. And the material discharged by the rod mill is elevated to a duplex mineral jig to make a rougher heavy mineral concentrate for further processing.

Beneficiation process for titanium ores

01.Mineral and rock beneficiation

Rock mines are mainly titanium-bearing composite iron ore, which have a fine structure and are difficult to mine. The general beneficiation process can be divided into the following stages.

The production line

Ⅰ. Pre-selection

The excavated rock ore is selected to discard part of the tailings to improve the ore dressing ability and reduce the cost. Pre-select the commonly used magnetic pulley magnetic separation, heavy medium cyclone and coarse particle jump method.

Ⅱ. Iron separation

After the separation of titanium-containing composite iron ore by magnetic separation, you can get iron concentrate and vanadium iron, and separate iron ore from titanium.

Ⅲ. Titanium extraction

Give tailings after iron separation a multiple-stage of crushing and sieving, and adopt responding methods such as gravity separation, magnetic separation, electrical separation, and flotation according to the composition of various ore sources. All methods are to improve the TiO2 grade of titanium ore.

The production line

02.Placer mining and beneficiation

Ilmenite also appears in seaside sand deposits, river channel sand deposits, alluvial sand deposits, etc.

It is firstly subjected to slag removal, sieving, grading, desilting and concentration, and then coarsely separation.

The production line

Coarse separation is by separating the low-density gangue tailings to obtain about 90% of the heavy metal ore with large density. The conical heavy-medium separator and spiral chute are commonly used for this beneficiation process.

Featured titanium ore production needs wet separation ways first including wet gravity separation, wet magnetic separation and flotation, and then going through dry magnetic separation, electric separation and gravity separation.

Gravity separation line

Gravity separation line the relative density of titanium-bearing ore deposits is greater than 4, and gravity separation method can be used to remove most of the gangue deposits such as feldspar and quartz with relative density less than 3.

Gravity separation is also a rough selection, which is used for the screening of rough selection. Because the relative density of ilmenite and other impurity deposits is different, in a moving medium, the difference in sedimentation speed makes the ore particles and impurities separate.

The density of ilmenite is greater than that of less soil, and ilmenite is washed by running water. The sand with relatively low density will flow away with the water, and finally the ilmenite sand with higher density will be selected.

For large-scale gravity separation, chute, screening machine, spiral concentrator and shaker can be selected. If washing, sieving and desilting are selected and then gravity is selected, a screw machine can be used.

Flotation line

In the floatation of ilmenite sand, the commonly used flotation agents are sulfated soap, old oil, sodium dodecanoate, sodium sodium silicate and sodium alkylsulfonate. Flotation equipment has a complete set of standard equipment, this method has good separation effect and high efficiency.

Magnetic beneficiation line

Magnetic separation is attributed to featured ore production which uses different magnetic permeability of various minerals. Passing through a magnetic field, due to the different responses to the magnetic field, minerals with the high magnetic permeability is sucked up by the magnetic disk and then falls into the collecting funnel. Minerals with the low magnetic permeability cannot be sucked up but left to the original place or as tailings away with the rotating-belt to reach the separation.

The order in which the magnetic properties of titanium-bearing minerals change from strong to weak is: magnetite> ilmenite> hematite> garnet> biotite> monazite.

Electric beneficiation

Electric separation also belongs to the ore concentration process.

Electric separation is based on the difference in the electrical properties of the minerals in the high-voltage electric field to implement separation process. Common machines are electrostatic mine feeder and corona beneficiation machine.

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