A Brief History of Titanium
Titanium was first discovered in 1791 by an English pastor named William Gregor. The substance was discovered accidentally when Gregor noticed that the sand was attracted to a black substance by a stream like a magnet. This led to the discovery that this metal is its own unique element, which is one of the strongest and toughest metals in the world today; and is used in many variations such as titanium wire.
Titanium in its purest form could not be mined until 1910, because the mining process is difficult and required tools unavailable until the early 1900s. Once the metal was isolated on its own, the metal was used for industrial purposes. However, it was not until the 1950s that titanium was used as a widespread material for aerospace and submarine military use. TheSoviet Unionwas the first country to commission the use of the metal for the aerospace industry, which in part, sparked some of the controversy that lead to the space race.
From the 1950s to today, this metal has a variety of uses in many industries, from airplanes, to jets, to industrial machinery, to jewelry, and spaceship construction. The process of mining and using titanium-based metals has changed over the years, but since about 1932, when the Kroll process of mining and refining the metal was created, the process has remained pretty much the same. A second process of harvesting the metal was invented around 2006 where the metal powder is melted under high temperatures to form the metal into the desired shape, such as armor, titanium wire, airplane sheeting, and other uses.
Titanium has a long a varied history, and still remains one of the most popular metals due to its high strength, flexibility, and surprisingly lightweight shape for its strength. Recently, the metal has even been used for decorative purposes, such as for household decorations and jewelry.