Titanium is 30% stronger than steel, but is nearly 50% lighter. Titanium is 60% heavier than aluminum, but twice as strong. Titanium has excellent strength retention to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.Titanium’s high corrosion resistance is also a valuable characteristic; as when exposed to the atmosphere, titanium forms a tight, tenacious oxide film that resists many corrosive materials, particularly salt water.
In the 1950s, the titanium metal industry was established primarily in response to the emerging aerospace industry, which used it in the manufacture of airframe structural components and skin, aircraft hydraulic systems, air engine components, rockets, missiles, and spacecraft, where these properties are invaluable. The military also uses titanium in its guided missiles and in artillery. Other practical applications have evolved over time such as shipbuilding: in submarines, ship’s propellers, shafts, rigging, and other highly corrosive parts. Titanium is also being increasingly utilized for medical applications.