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Titanium was first discovered in 1791 by the British chemist Reverend William Gregor, who originally named the metal gregorite, after his name. By 1793 a German chemist named M.H.Klaproth independently discovered the metal and named it titanium after the Tians of Greek mythology. In 1797 Klaproth realised that the metal he discovered was the same metal found by Gregor. However it wasn’t until 1910 that the element was successfully isolated.
Titanium is a shiny transition metal with a silver colour; it is of low density and very high strength. It is also very resistant to corrosion when placed in sea water, aqua regia and chlorine. Titanium is normally found amongst a number of mineral deposits, mainly in rutile and ilmenite which is distributed in the Earth’s crust; it is also found amongst living things such as rocks, water, bodies and soils. Titanium is the fourth richest structural metal on Earth. The practical minerals are dispersed worldwide and include sites such as Australia, the United States, Canada, South Africa, Russia, Norway and many more. Titanium can be alloyed with other metals like iron, aluminium and vanadium, to produce strong, lightweight alloys for such things as aerospace (missiles and spacecraft), military, mobile phones, dental implants, sporting goods, jewellery etc. Titanium a nontoxic and biologically compatible with human tissue and bone hence the reason why it is a suitable metal to be used for medical implant products.
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