Mechanical Technology Archive

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.

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