Leslie Chown of the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand talks about titanium and its alloys.
“Your bullets ricochet ... I’m bulletproof ... I am ti – ta – ni - um...”. The lyrics of this song pop into my head as I write this article. It seems to be my theme song at the moment, as a lot of my work revolves around this amazing metal.
Titanium and its alloys seem to be a panacea for use in aggressive environments. Properties such as a good strength-to-weight ratio, excellent corrosion resistance, higher strength and fracture toughness than steel, high temperature resistance of up to ~590°C, higher fatigue strength than aluminium or magnesium alloys, low density – half that of steels and superalloys – tick all the right boxes for a wide range of applications.