Timeline of titanium

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This is a timeline of titanium, attempting to describe important events related to the discovery, science and industrial development of the metal.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
18th century Titanium is discovered in the last decade of the century, withe reports of William Gregor and Martin Heinrich Klaproth.
19th century Methods to obtain pure titanium start development in the century. However, industrial production is not yet achieved.
20th century Titanium is first obtained as pure metal at the beginning of the century. The Hunter process becomes the first industrial process to produce pure ductile metallic titanium.
1930–1950 The only methods allowing the processing of titanium into useful shapes are the powder metallurgy techniques applied to fines of titanium sponge.[1] The Kroll process, developed by William Justin Kroll, would allow for the commercial extraction of metallic titanium from ore.[2]
1950s–1960s Titanium has a relatively short production history. The first commercial quantities of titanium are produced at around 1950.[3] In the early 1950s, a number of companies enter the business in the United States, with strong government support.[3] In the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet Union pioneers the use of titanium in military and submarine applications[4] (Alfa class and Mike class)[5] as part of programs related to the Cold War.[6]
1980s A rise in titanium shipments occur in the decade, largely in part due to the United States military buildup and the increase of aerospace and other nonmilitary uses.[3]
1990s Early in the decade, with the ending of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, defense expenditures decline and the military demand for titanium decreases.[3][7]
2000s< China emerges as a global player in titanium sponge production.[8]

Visual data

Production capacity of titanium sponge between 1979 and 1990, in metric tons.
Trends in world titanium sponge production, in metric tons.

Full timeline

Year Event type Details Country/region
1790 Discovery British Reverend William Gregor in England discovers the element titanium.[3][9][10][11] United Kingdom
1791 Scientific development William Gregor presents a description and chemical composition of some black magnetic sands found on the southern Cornish coast. Gregor's analysis of the black sand correspond roughly to that of mineral ilmenite (FeTiO3).[3] United Kingdom
1795 Scientific development German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth identifies the oxide of an unknown element, the same as the one reported by Gregor. Klaproth names the element titanium after the Titans, the powerful sons of the earth in Greek mythology.[12][13][14][15] Germany
1887 Scientific development L.F. Nilson and O. Peterson obtain a product of 97.4% purity by reducing titanium tetrachloride with sodium in an airtight steel cylinder.[3]
1906 Scientific development New Zelander metallurgist Matthew Hunter General Electric in the United States produces the first pure titanium metal.[3] United States
1910 Scientific development Matthew Hunter achieves the production of pure metallic titanium (99.9%). The later called Hunter process is the first industrial process to produce pure ductile metallic titanium.[16][8]
1925 Scientific development Titanium of very high purity is made in small quantities when Dutch chemists Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Hendrik de Boer discover the iodide (or crystal bar) process, by reacting with iodine and decomposing the formed vapours over a hot filament to pure metal.[17][3][8] Netherlands
1932 Scientific development Luxembourgish metallurgist William Justin Kroll proves that titanium can be produced by reducing titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) with calcium.[1] The process, known today as Kroll process, would replace the Hunter process for almost all commercial production.[18]
1937 Scientific development William Justin Kroll invents the magnesium reduction process (reducing titanium tetrachloride with magnesium) by utilizing an inert argon atmosphere to protect the titanium metal from reoxidizing. Kroll is credited with developing the technology that would lead eventually to the large-scale commercialization of titanium metallurgy.[16][8]
1938 Scientific development William Justin Kroll, at the Bureau of Mines in Albany, Oregon, produces the first display of cold ductile titanium in the United States. The work of W.J. Kroll is considered the start of the present large-scale titanium industry.[3] United States
1946 Scientific development A United States Bureau of Mines publication describes a Kroll unit capable of making 7kg batches of good-quality titanium powder by magnesium reduction, followed by acid leaching to remove the excess magnesium and MgCl2.[3] United States
1947 Production P.R. Mallory Company begins work on the powder metallurgy of titanium under the United States Navy sponsorship.[3] United States
1948 Production Titanium sponge production begins at Imperial Chemical Industries in the United Kingdom.[3] United Kingdom
1948 Production The first commercial titanium is produced. The total production that year is just over 1800 kg.[3]
1949 Production The United States Bureau of Mines reports the successful operation of a magnesium-reduction unit for making 40kg batches of titanium.[3] United States
1949 Application The first titanium for actual flight is ordered from Remingtom Arms by the Douglas Company.[3] United States
1949 Facility A semicommercial titanium-melting facility is started by Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation in the United States.[3] United States
1950 Organization American steel producer Republic Steel organizes a titanium division to produce mill products.[3] United States
1950 Organization The Titanium Metals Corporation of America (TMCA) is organized by Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation and the National Steel Company. TMCA would become the first fully integrated company for producing titanium from ore to finished products.[3] United States
1950 Production Titanium starts being produced in the Soviet Union.[3]
1951 Organization The Mallory-Sharon Titanium Corporation is organized by P.R. Mallory Company and Sharon Steel Corporation.[3] United States
1951 Facility The United States National Lead operates the Bureau of Mines titanium sponge plant, and at around the same time, constructs pilot plants for sponge.[3] United States
1951 Application Clinical and laboratory experience demonstrates the suitability of titanium for implant use, specifically, because of its excellent strenght, corrosopm resistance, and biocompatibility.[19]
1952 Scientific development The United States Bureau of Mines reports the removal of magnesium and magnesium chloride from titanium sponge by vacuum distillation.[3] United States
1951 Application Titanium alloys are introduced as bone replancements, offering low weight and a modulus of elasticity closer to bone.[20]
1952 Facility A pilot unit created in 1947 at DuPont expands production to 800,000 kg of titanium sponge per year.[3] United States
1954 Organization American corporation Dow Chemical Company starts titanium sponge production.[3] United States
1954 Production Titanium sponge production begins in Japan, with two companies, Osaka Titanium and Toho Titanium, reaching relatively large capacities by 1954.[12] Japan
1955 Production Imperial Chemical Industries becomes the principal European manufacturer of titanium and titanium alloy mill products, with a production oj 1.5 million kg in the year.[3] United Kingdom
1955 Production The production of titanium grows to 9000kg, up from 1800kg in 1948.[3] The United States is the world's leading producer of titanium metal at the time.[16]
1956 Organization Union Carbide Corporation begins production of titanium sponge.[3] United States
1958 Organization National Distillers and Chemical Corporation begins production of titanium sponge.[3] United States
1966 Organization Oregon Metallurgical Corporation begins production of titanium sponge.[3] United States
1967 Technology The first patent to use hydrogenated titanium in a sintering process is filed.[21]
1970 Technology The process of "decomposition powder metallurgy" is first reported as a means to produce titanium alloys and metal matrix composites via hot pressing.[21]
1972 Application Titanium alloy 318 (Ti-318)(Ti-6A1-4V) is introduced for surgical implants.[19]
1979 Production The Soviet Union becomes the world's largest titanium sponge producer.[12]
1980 Organization Teledine Wah Chang Albany begins production of titanium sponge.[3] United States
1981 Organization D-H Titanium Company begins production of titanium sponge.[3] United States
1982 Organization The Western Zirconium Company begins production of titanium sponge.[3] United States
1986 Production The worldwide titanium ingot capacity excluding the Communist bloc increases to approximately 90,000kg. In the same year, it is estimated that USSR produced an additional 36,000 kg.[3]
1993 Application The Fukuoka Dome is built in Japan. It is covered with titanium roofing.[12] Japan
1999 Application Gibraltar releases the world's first titanium coin for the millennium celebration.[22] Gibraltar
2005 – 2008 Production Titanium sponge production increased from 104,000 to 176,000 tons in the period. The growth is partly driven by a surge in demand from the aerospace sector, but also by growing demand for titanium in chemical plant in China. Chinese output of titanium sponge increased fivefold between 2005 and 2008.[23]
2006 Production According to data, the world's largest producer, Russian-based VSMPO-AVISMA, is estimated to account for about 29% of the world market share.[24] Russia
2008 Demand A sharp decline in titanium demand is caused by the global economic slowdown and delays in the production of high-titanium content aircraft such as the A380 and B787.[23]
2009 Production As of date, production of titanium sponge is confined to six countries, in order of output, China, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, United States and Ukraine.[23] China, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, United States and Ukraine
2009 Demand The global market for titanium mill products is about 100,000 tons compared with 130,000 in 2008.[23]
2010 Production China stands as the main engine for growth, and production of titanium grows strongly with several new large-scale sponge plants under construction.[23] China
2010 Infrastructure As of date, There are 18 companies producing titanium sponge, of which nine are in China, compared with just two plants a decade ago. In 2010, titanium ingot melting capacity is nominally 340,000 tons, 85% of which is located in Russia, the United States, Japan and China.[23]
2015 Production India opens titanium sponge plant at Chavara in Kerala, and becomes the seventh country in the world producing titanium sponge commercially.[25] India
2017 Financial The global titanium powder market is valued at US$3230 million in the year.[26] Also, the global Titanium Aluminide Alloy market is valued at US$ 140 million.[27]
2028 Financial Analysts predict the global market size of titanium powder will reach US$3450 million by the end of that year.[26]

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See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cardarelli, François. Materials Handbook: A Concise Desktop Reference. 
  2. Kroll, W.J. (1955). "How commercial titanium and zirconium were born". Journal of the Franklin Institute. 260 (3): 169. doi:10.1016/0016-0032(55)90727-4. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 Froes, F.H. Titanium: Physical Metallurgy, Processing, and Applications. 
  4. Roza 2008, p. 9
  5. Yanko, Eugene; Omsk VTTV Arms Exhibition and Military Parade JSC (2006). "Submarines: general information". Retrieved 24 July 2018. 
  6. Stainless Steel World (July–August 2001). "VSMPO Stronger Than Ever" (PDF). KCI Publishing B.V. pp. 16–19. Retrieved 24 July 2018. 
  7. Lütjering, Gerd; Williams, James C. Titanium. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Aerospace Materials and Material Technologies: Volume 1: Aerospace Materials (N. Eswara Prasad, R. J. H. Wanhill ed.). 
  9. Review of Extraction, Processing, Properties, and Applications of Reactive Metals: 1999 TMS Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, February 28 - March 15, 1999 (Brajendra Mishra ed.). 
  10. Froes, F.H. Titanium: Physical Metallurgy, Processing, and Applications. 
  11. DK. 1000 Inventions and Discoveries. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Lütjering, Gerd; Williams, James Case. Titanium. 
  13. Oshida, Yoshiki. Bioscience and Bioengineering of Titanium Materials. 
  14. Roza, Greg. Titanium. 
  15. Encyclopedia of Interfacial Chemistry: Surface Science and Electrochemistry. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Direct Reduction Processes for the Production of Titanium Metal: Report of the Ad Hoc Panel on Direct Reduction Processes for the Production of Titanium Metal of the Committee on Technical Aspects of Critical and Strategic Materials. National Research Council (U.S.). Materials Advisory Board. Division of Engineering. 
  17. van Arkel, A. E.; de Boer, J. H. (1925). "Preparation of pure titanium, zirconium, hafnium, and thorium metal". Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie. 148: 345–50. doi:10.1002/zaac.19251480133. 
  18. Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. "Inorganic Chemistry" Academic Press: San Diego, 2001. Template:ISBN.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Luckey, Hugh A. Titanium Alloys in Surgical Implants. 
  20. "Prosthetic Alloys". cobaltinstitute.org. Retrieved 25 July 2018. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Titanium Powder Metallurgy: Science, Technology and Applications (Ma Qian, Francis H. Froes ed.). 
  22. "World Firsts | British Pobjoy Mint". www.pobjoy.com. Retrieved 24 July 2018. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 "Roskill Information Services: Global Supply of Titanium is Forecast to Increase". prnewswire.com. Retrieved 24 July 2018. 
  24. Bush, Jason (15 February 2006). "Boeing's Plan to Land Aeroflot". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2006. 
  25. "ISRO's titanium sponge plant in Kerala fully commissioned". economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 24 July 2018. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Future of Titanium Powder Market in Global Industry 2018 -2028". theaerospacenews.com. Retrieved 24 July 2018. 
  27. "Global Titanium Aluminide Alloy market is reach 640$ M by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 21.0%". kxxv.com. Retrieved 25 July 2018.