Titanium was discovered in Cornwall, Great Britain, in 1791 and was named after the Titans of Greek mythology. The element occurs within a number of mineral deposits, principally rutile and ilmenite, which are widely distributed in the Earth’s crust and lithosphere. The two most useful properties of the metal are corrosion resistance and strength-to-density ratio, the highest of any metallic element.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet Union pioneered the use of titanium in military and submarine applications (Alfa class and Mike class) as part of programs related to the Cold War. Starting in the early 1950s, titanium came into use extensively in military aviation, particularly in high-performance jets, starting with aircraft such as the F-100 Super Sabre and Lockheed A-12 and SR-71.
As a metal, titanium is recognized for its high strength-to-weight ratio. It's a strong metal with low density that is quite ductile (especially in an oxygen-free environment), lustrous, and metallic-white in color. The relatively high melting point (more than 1650 ºC or 3,000 ºF) makes it useful as a refractory metal. It is paramagnetic and has fairly low electrical and thermal conductivity.
Titanium is the best selling of all of the materials we work with. It's not quite as light as aluminium, but significantly lighter than stainless steel, brass, and copper. Titanium is tough, lightweight, and extremely corrosion resistant. If there is one material we suggest over all others, it's titanium.