Category: titanium

Titanium: The Metal of the Future

This post is by Govind Bhutada from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by IperionX
titanium metal

Titanium: The Metal of the Future

Titanium is a popular metal, but are we harnessing its true potential or merely scratching the surface?

Despite having superior properties when compared to stainless steel and aluminum, titanium is produced and used on a relatively small scale. Its current applications are highly specialized, ranging from aircraft turbine engines to medical implants and military vehicles.

This infographic sponsored by IperionX explores titanium’s growth markets and potential for mainstream application in the future.

Titanium Production vs. Stainless Steel and Aluminum

Titanium’s high cost limits its applications and scale of production.

In fact, global titanium metal production is less than 1% of aluminum and steel production.

Metal2021 production (million tonnes)Price range per tonne
Stainless steel56.3Mt$4-5K
Titanium metal0.3Mt$13-16K

Titanium is expensive because it is still processed and refined using the 80-year-old Kroll process. Invented by metallurgist William Kroll in 1940, the Kroll process is complex, energy-intensive, and carbon-intensive.

While titanium produced using the Kroll process is uneconomical for large-scale uses, cost-competitive and sustainably-produced titanium could kickstart a new Titanium Age.

The Growth Markets for Titanium

Titanium has untapped growth potential in many markets, but four industries stand out: 

  1. Aerospace:
    Titanium’s high strength-to-weight ratio and high melting point make it a critical material for aerospace and space exploration. (Read more...)

Titanium: What You Should Know and Why You Should Care

This post is by Govind Bhutada from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by IperionX
titanium: what you should know

Titanium: What You Should Know and Why You Should Care

Titanium is a special metal that often flies under the radar. 

Stronger than aluminum and lighter than steel, titanium has unique properties that have enabled its uses in a range of different industries like defense and medicine. 

This infographic from our sponsor IperionX highlights what you need to know about titanium, from its unique properties to the metal’s uses in the modern economy. This is part one of three infographics in the Titanium 101 Series

The Properties of Titanium

What makes titanium so special? Here are some of the properties that make titanium naturally superior to more common substitutes like stainless steel and aluminum: 

  • High strength-to-weight ratio:
    Titanium is two times stronger than aluminum and 45% lighter than steel with comparable strength.
  • Resistance to corrosion:
    Titanium’s natural resistance to corrosion allows for applications in harsh environments, including under seawater.  
  • Abundance:
    Titanium is the 9th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, found in nearly all rocks and sediments. 
  • Biocompatibility:
    Titanium’s inertness inside the human body makes it biocompatible and suitable for medical and dental implants in humans.
  • Temperature resistance:
    Titanium has a melting point of 1,670 °C and can withstand temperatures higher and lower than stainless steel and aluminum.

Several industries harness titanium’s unique properties in different ways. (Read more...)

All the Metals We Mined in 2021: Visualized

This post is by Govind Bhutada from Visual Capitalist

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infographic showing all the metals mined in 2021

All the Metals We Mined in 2021

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on natural resource megatrends in your email every week.

“If you can’t grow it, you have to mine it” is a famous saying that encapsulates the importance of minerals and metals in the modern world.

From every building we enter to every device we use, virtually everything around us contains some amount of metal.

The above infographic visualizes all 2.8 billion tonnes of metals mined in 2021 and highlights each metal’s largest end-use using data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Why Do We Mine So Much Iron Ore?

Iron ore accounted for 93% of the metals mined in 2021, with 2.6 billion tonnes extracted from the ground. It’s important to note that this is ore production, which is typically higher than metal production since metals are extracted and refined from ores. For example, the iron metal content of this ore is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes.

Metal/Ore2021 Mine Production (tonnes)% of Total
Iron ore2,600,000,00093.4%
Industrial metals181,579,8926.5%
Technology and precious metals1,474,8890.05%

With 98% of it converted into pig iron to make steel, iron ore is ubiquitous in our lives. Steel made from iron ore is used in construction, transportation, and household appliances, and it’s likely that (Read more...)