The titanium is the 9th most abundant element on Earth and ranks 4th in the list of metals after iron, aluminium and magnesium. It is mainly used in the pigment industry in the form of oxide (TiO2) and more particularly in light and resistant alloys. Titanium is known for its corrosion resistance , sa biocompatibility and its mechanical properties such as ductility and fatigue. These characteristics allow it to be at the origin of the shaping of thin and light parts such as sports articles or orthopaedic prostheses. Titanium thus remains an expensive and underutilized material despite its intrinsic properties mentioned above.
Titanium is also exploited in its metallic form (Ti). To obtain it, the extraction process discovered in 1932 by Guillaume Kroll remains predominant today even though it requires very heavy industrial installations and is highly energy consuming. The use of titanium is mainly dedicated to the aeronautical and aerospace industry, the chemical and military industry, the biomedical sector, the energy and automotive industry.
The global titanium market is relatively stable of the order of more than 100,000 tonnes per year. However, the price of titanium is strongly linked to the change in demand for pigments This also influences the price of the raw material. Another important factor is that the new aircraft offered by Boeing and Airbus are made of composite materials. These materials incorporate titanium in significant proportions in the order of several tens of tonnes per device. China is also a major consumer of titanium and the growth of the chemical sector in China is exponential and can be an important customer market for titanium-producing countries.
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