Titanium is paramagnetic.
In the article that follows, you’ll learn more about the magnetic properties of this useful substance.
Is Titanium Magnetic? (EXPLAINED)
Chances are, you’ve heard of titanium.
This popular metal is often used to make cell phones, surgical tools, jewelry, prosthetics, and more.
With all these applications, it might surprise you to learn titanium is paramagnetic.
In other words, it has weak magnetic properties.
Filtering the truth from the lies is why it’s important to discuss what titanium is.
The history and science behind it are important too.
What is Titanium?
Titanium is a strong, abundant element found in almost all living things.
These include soil, rocks, and water. Other interesting facts about titanium include:
- Humans ingest at least .07mg of titanium every day
- Its coloring is a mixture of silver, grayish, and white
- William Gregor, a pastor and amateur geologist, was the first person to find it
How Did William Gregor Find Titanium?
Reverend William Gregor discovered titanium in 1791.
One day, while walking by a stream, he came across magnetic black sand.
Upon closer examination, he realized the sand contained two metal oxides.
One was iron oxide, which explained the sand’s magnetism, and another he couldn’t identify.
It didn’t match the characteristics of any known elements.
Perplexed, he reported his findings to the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall.
He also sent word to a German science journal.
How Did Titanium Get its Name?
Four years later, in 1795, Prussian chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth came across titanium.
He didn’t know what it was, but his examination put titanium’s strength prominently on display.
This is why he named it after the Titans, the first Greek Gods.
What Does Paramagnetic Mean?
The term paramagnetic refers to materials with weak attractive qualities.
This is true even when influenced by an object with an external magnetic field.
Titanium is paramagnetic because its magnetic susceptibility is low.
This is because of its electrical structure having four unpaired electrons.
When a magnet passes over most metals, it creates small electrical currents.
These electrical currents have magnetic fields that interact with the moving magnet.
Titanium’s unpaired electrons mean there’s no interaction.
It also exhibits signs of the Lenz effect, but not as much as other metals.
What is the Lenz Effect?
Lenz’s Law is an essential concept of electromagnetism.
When changes in the magnetic flux create a voltage, the induced voltage must have an opposite magnetic field to the one produced.
The effect it creates is the Lenz effect.
Why is Titanium Important?
Titanium is the hardest natural element in the world, with a strength of over 430 mega-pascals.
This means it’s stronger than steel, gold, platinum, and silver.
Titanium also has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, which means it’s lighter than steel.
This makes it ideal when manufacturing parts for various industries.
Other important characteristics of titanium include:
- Covalent radius: 132pm
- Atomic volume: 10.6cc/mol
- Boiling Point: 3560
- Melting Point: 1933 K
- Density: 4.54 g/cc
- Transition metal
- Withstands extreme temperatures
- High corrosion resistance
- High tensile strength
Titanium’s qualities make it valuable in the medical and aviation industries.
For instance, titanium doesn’t interfere with most metal detectors or MRI machines.
Manufacturers also use titanium to create dental implants.
This is because it’s a hypoallergenic and nonreactive magnet.
These properties mean it’s safe for people with sensitive skin and operations where implants come in contact with bone.
How is Titanium Used?
In nature, we often find titanium in rutile and ilmenite.
But, it was the American metallurgist Matthew Hunter who created the first batch of pure titanium in 1910.
This isn’t the titanium we’re familiar with today.
Research shows titanium has great biocompatibility.
In other words, it mixes well with other materials.
This includes metals like aluminum, manganese, iron, chromium, tin, and zirconium.
The alloys produced by these combinations are strong, corrosion-resistant, and easy to mold.
This gives them uses that stainless steel, a high-performance alloy, can’t duplicate.
How Do Manufacturers Use Titanium Alloys?
The strength and corrosion-resistance properties of titanium alloys mean they’re practically indestructible.
Let’s take seawater, an infamous corrosive liquid, for example.
Seawater destroys most metals, but not titanium alloy.
That’s why it’s often used in desalination plants and to make ship propellers.
Manufacturers also use titanium alloys to make plane engines and the piping and reactors of chemical plants.
Titanium’s strength makes it easier to handle the pressures these parts face.
They use another titanium alloy, titanium dioxide, for sustainable energy generation.
It’s also useful for the removal of environmental toxins.
Titanium dioxide has applications in phototonic therapy (PDT) too.
This is because of its high photoactivity and ROS (reactive oxygen species) capability.
In layman’s terms, this means it induces cell death and can treat a variety of ailments, from cancer to psoriasis.
Are Titanium Alloys Magnetic?
The titanium alloys made of iron, cobalt, and nickel have magnetic properties.
But, if the integrated material doesn’t have magnetic properties, the alloy won’t either.
Does Titanium Have Weaknesses?
Titanium isn’t perfect.
Although corrosion and rust-resistant, it’s tarnishable.
It needs frequent cleaning to keep it looking its best.
Titanium has its weaknesses from an engineering and manufacturing perspective as well.
For instance, this metal has highly reactive properties.
Each production stage must have different rules to get the most out of titanium.
Finally, although non-toxic titanium can cause health complications.
Some of these include:
- Reduced lung function
- Pleural disease
- Chest pain
- Chest tightness
- Skin and eye irritation
Titanium isn’t magnetic.
But it is strong, light, durable, and versatile.
These traits far outweigh its disadvantages and make titanium perfect for the medical and aviation manufacturing industries.
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