Author: Jan Scholten
Titanium was discovered in 1791 and is the 9th most common element on earth. The name is derived from the Greek ‘Titans’, the descendants of Uranos and the first real kings on earth. The Titanic was named after this element, and, as we all know, it went down on its first official journey. In Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummernights Dream’ Queen Titania wanders around lost in the woods and in her dreams.
The largest moon of Saturn is called Titan. Titan has a greenish sheen and it is very strong and elastic. Its structure is hexagonal, becoming cubic when heated above 800 degrees, after which it diffuses with Iron. The metal is very light, corrosion resistant, has a high tensile strength and doesn’t get metal fatigue, which makes it very useful for the construction of aircraft engines. It increases the strength and the magnetic properties of steel at high temperatures. White titan dioxide gets used as a colouring agent. Nitinol is an alloy of titan and nickel; when bent and heated it reshapes (Iron series, Niccolum) into its original (Titanium) form. Barium titanate, Ba TiO4 and leadzirconate titanate Pb2ZrO4TiO4 are piezo-electric, which means they produce an electric current under pressure. It is almost as resistant to corrosion as Platinum.