Anodizing most closely resembles standard electroplating. The transparent oxide increases in thickness in relation to the applied voltage. At any given voltage the oxide will grow to a specific thickness (i.e. color).
How are colors produced on titanium?
Titanium reacts with oxygen to form a clear oxide, TiO2. This clear oxides filters out light waves, producing brilliant colors. As the thickness of oxide varies, so will color. Oxides form naturally on titanium leaving the metal a gray color, but applied heat and or electrochemical treatment will increase the oxide thickness to produce a spectrum of color similar to a rainbow. This same filtering effect can be seen in colors on soap bubbles.
When the oxide is of a thickness to generate interference colors, its depth is measured in angstroms (Å=1/100,000,000 centimeter). This layer can vary in thickness from 500 to 1,000Å+ depending on the color. It is not the oxide itself that is perceived by the viewer, but its effect on light waves.
Because colors are optically created you can see subtle differences in the amount and/or shade of color from morning to twilight hours of the day. The angle of viewing, and type of light source will also influence color.
How to care for colored titanium?
TiO2 oxide is surface oxide of titanium, and if not properly cared for the colored surface will be altered by abrasion. In order to maintain this beautiful surface, please take care of the following items:
- Wash with a soft sponge, or cloth using mild detergent.
- Do not use cleansers which contain abrasives, or abrasive sponges. Abrasive cleansers and sponges can wear or thin the oxide layer resulting is a change of color change the color.
- Avoid metal to metal contact that may cause scratching of the surface.
- Dry using a soft cloth.
First Titanium Car 1956 - Firebird II
Perhaps the outstanding feature of the Firebird II design is another GM "first," the material the body is made of - that lightweight metal of tremendous strength, here used for the first time in motorcar construction - the wonder metal, titanium.
Additional Information "Flight of the Firebirds"
Titanium has been used commercially for just over 50 years and in this short time it has achieved a reputation equal to an invincible comic book hero. In its pure form titanium is strong as steel, but 45% lighter, and compared to aluminum it is 60% heavier and twice as strong. Titanium is lightweight, with good strength, and excellent corrosion resistance, but is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength.
Melting Point of titanium is 1668 degrees C and burns in the presence of air or nitrogen. Titanium has the distinction of being the only element that burns in a nitrogen atmosphere
Light waves interacting with the surface oxide of titanium (TiO2) produce beautiful and the vivid colors on the surface of titanium. When pure, titanium dioxide is relatively clear and has an extremely high index of refraction with an optical dispersion higher than diamond.
Titanium (Ti) ore was first discovered in 1791, and named after the Titans, mythological first sons of the earth. Pure metallic titanium was not produced until 1910. Some 40 years later a global titanium industry began to form.
The worlds 4th most abundant structural metal, exceeded only by aluminum, iron, and magnesium.
Titanium is the 9th most abundant element, constituting about 0.63% of the Earths crust. Found in, Australia, United States, Canada, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, Russia, Norway, and Malaysia.
Some 94 percent of World demand for titanium is in the form of Titanium Dioxide (Ti02), and about 6 percent in titanium metal and metal alloys. The principal end uses for Ti02 are pigments. Other uses include catalysts, ceramics, coated fabrics and textiles, floor coverings, printing ink, and roofing granules. Properties and applications
Titanium is immune to corrosion from salt-water, most industrial and organic chemicals. This is due to titanium's very thin, tenacious and highly protective surface oxide Ti02. If worn or scratched, the oxide layer will immediately restore itself in the presence of air or water. Titanium dioxide is one of the most basic materials in of daily life; used widely paints, cosmetics and food stuffs.
Titanium dioxide is a semiconductor and is chemically activated by light energy. Photocatalysis studies of TiO2 have successfully proven to detoxify and sterilize air and liquids. Under the influence of light Ti02 can decompose tobacco tar, crude oil and organisms including bacteria, viruses and molds.
Scientific studies on photocatalysis started about 25 years ago in Japan and the following are viable applications developed.
1 fog proof, and self cleaning glass
2 anti-bacterial, anti-viral, fungicidal
3 self cleaning surfaces
4 deodorizing, air purification
5 water treatment, water purification