Titanium Rods Find Uses in Multiple Industries, But Are Most Popular in Medicine

Titanium rods can be composed of pure titanium or a mixture of pure titanium and other alloys. Rods are commonly used in medicine as bone replacements, especially in orthopedic surgeries. There are many great natural properties titanium has that make it perfect for medicinal uses.

Titanium rods are one of the many implants that are used in medicine. Other titanium implant products include pins, bone plates, screws, bars, wires, posts, expandable rib cages, spinal fusion cages, finger and toe replacements, and maxio-facial prosthetics. Rods can be used in some of these cases. Sockets, joints, or severely broken bones can be replaced with titanium implants.

Depending on what a patient surgically needs, the ends of titanium rods can be threaded or hooked. The injuries will help dictate what kind of titanium rod is needed. The differences in rods include stability and flexibility.

Replacing a bone in the leg, for example, requires titanium alloys. Titanium alloys allow the rod to be supportive and stiff. This is meant to mimic a natural bone. Pure titanium is flexible. This kind of rod has to be formed into a certain shape that mimics the bone it is replacing before it is implanted.

The majority of patients need titanium alloy rods that are stiff. These kinds of rods have a high friction rate, so rubbing against other titanium rods need to be avoided. Children who require orthopedic surgery use an expanding titanium rod.

Since an expanding rod has the ability to grow with the child, they are used most often in the case of orthopedic surgeries. Expanding titanium rods should only be used to replace large bones in the body, but are used as much as possible as a bone replacement or supporter.

Expanding rods made of titanium have ability to naturally osseointegrate. Like all titanium, osseointegration is a naturally occurring process where bone and tissue bond to the implant without persuasion. This allows the implant to be locked into place permanently.

For children, an expanding rod is attached to the joints to allow osseointegration to occur. It becomes a permanent fixture in the body and allows the rod to grow with the bone as the child grows. This reduces the chance that future surgeries need to occur since the rod has the ability to grow with the child into adulthood.

Non-expanding rods are also used in surgeries and can also undergo osseointegration. When it comes to people who are still growing, like children, the non-expanding rods will need to be continually replaced through multiple surgeries. A non-expanding rod will prevent the body from naturally growing. A child’s growth can be stunted if the rod is not replaced continuously.

Titanium is non-ferromagnetic, meaning radiation does not affect the metal. Patients with titanium in their bodies can safely have MRIs and NMRIs performed on them. Not being magnetic means that processes that involve magnets, like an MRI, does not affect the titanium. This means that medical instruments should be made out of titanium since it resists radiation.

The strength to weight ratio in titanium makes it perfect for rods and other titanium implants. It is durable because it is harder than steel, but patients will not feel like they are dragging their leg around. This is because titanium is extremely lightweight, making an implant feel like a bone.

Titanium is resistant to bacteria, infection, and body fluids. This resistance means that titanium will never corrode. A body will not reject a titanium implant, unless a person has a rare titanium allergy.

All of these qualities also means that titanium can last for decades in the body without any maintenance or repairs. The only time that titanium rods have to be surgically maintained is if a non-expanding rod is needed in children, as mentioned before.

Titanium and Watches

Titanium is a metallic element found in the earth’s crust. It occurs as a bright, lustrous metal or a silver-gray or dark gray powder. Its compounds are found in practically all igneous rocks and their sand deposits. Titanium has a number of characteristics that make it valuable for industrial and commercial use such as its strength – Titanium is 30% stronger than steel. It’s also light, nearly 50% lighter than steel. It resists corrosion better as well. When exposed to the atmosphere, titanium forms a tight, tenacious oxide film that resists a variety of materials that corrode other metals. It is especially resistant to salt water corrosion.

History

The first mention of titanium in scientific writing dates to 1791, when an amateur British scientist, William Gregor, analyzed some sand from Comwall and found “a reddish brown calx” he couldn’t identify. He wondered if it was a new metal. Four years later an Austrian chemist, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, confirmed that Gregor had indeed discovered a new element. Klaproth named the element “titanium” after the Titans, the first sons of the earth in Greek mythology. Their mother was Gaea (Earth). They were a race of giant deities who ultimately were overthrown by the Olympian gods. They are associated with great size and strength–hence the word “titanic.” The name is appropriate for an extremely strong element taken from the earth.

The development of titanium alloys for industrial use, however, is relatively new. Wilhelm Kroll of Luxembourg is recognized as the father of the modem titanium industry. In the 1930s, he developed a process to manufacture metallic titanium and refined the process in the 1940s. The Kroll method of manufacturing titanium metal is still in use today.

The titanium metal industry emerged in the 1950s in response to demand from the emerging aerospace industry which used titanium to build jet planes.

Until the mid-1970s, more than 85% of titanium produced was used in the aerospace industry. Titanium’s unique properties–density half that of steel, excellent strength retention to 1,000 degrees F and atmospheric corrosion immunity superior to that of other metals–made it ideal for the construction of the engines and frames of jet planes, rockets and space craft. The military uses the metal in weapons like guided missiles and recoil mechanisms in artillery.
Since the 1970s, the price of titanium mill products has decreased significantly and the metal has been used in a wide range of industries. The most popular compound is titanium dioxide, common in the production of paint pigment, paper, plastics, glass and ceramics. Jewelers might be interested to know that the “stars” in star rubies and sapphires are due to the presence of titanium dioxide. Shipbuilders appreciate titanium’s superior resistance to salt water and use it to make ship propellers, shafts and other parts. The Navy uses it on submarines.

Availability

Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the earth’s crust. There is at least a 10,000 year supply of titanium ore. Titanium has also been found in meteorites and moon rocks and is present in the sun and other stars. The extraction of titanium from its ores is a relatively slow and costly process, which makes the metal expensive. For years the high cost of titanium limited its use to military and aerospace purposes.

Titanium Watches

Titanium’s unusual features present some distinct advantages to watch owners. Invicta Watch Co., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of titanium watches, uses it especially in sports and dive watches.

– Titanium watches are quite comfortable because they are surprisingly light on the wrist. You can feel the difference compared to a steel watch.

– Titanium is hypoallergenic. It’s nickel-free. Titanium watches can be worn comfortably even when the skin perspires.

– Because the metal is stronger than steel, titanium watches are more durable.

– The corrosion-resistance feature makes titanium particularly well suited for divers’ watches. Titanium is environmentally friendly as it comes from the earth and is recyclable.

The Many Uses of Titanium

What do jewelry, watches, golf clubs, bicycles, surgical instruments, cookware, cars and jets all have in common? Believe it or not, many of these things are made of titanium – a useful metal alloy that has numerous applications.

By nature, titanium is 45 percent lighter than steel yet just as strong. It is likewise twice as strong as aluminum but 40 percent lighter. Because of these properties, it is commonly mixed with other chemical elements.

Although pure titanium is often used in making orthopedic and dental implants, it is usually added to steel, aluminum and iron to make the finished product stronger and lighter. These titanium alloys can withstand high temperatures and are extremely resistant to corrosion.

In commercial use, titanium alloys are used anywhere strength and weight are an issue. Bicycle frames, automobile and plane parts, and structural pieces are some common examples. In medical use titanium pins are used because of their non-reactive nature when contacting bone and flesh. Many surgical instruments, as well as body piercings are made of titanium for this reason as well, according to Brendan McGuigan of WiseGeek.Com.

Because of its resistance to sea water, titanium can be found in the moving parts of ships such as propellers and rigging. Want to know why Porsche and Ferrari cars move so fast? Look under the hood and you’ll find titanium alloys in engine components.

Ever wondered what causes rubies and sapphires to sparkle? The answer lies in titanium. Jewelry made from titanium can be colored easily and is less likely to cause allergic reactions. And if you’re happy with the way your newly painted room looks, thank titanium too. It’s also found in your favorite sunscreen that you bring to the beach.

In fact, the most common derivative of titanium is titanium dioxide which is primarily used in the production of white paint. This accounts for about 50 percent of titanium applications. We see about 40 percent of titanium production used in the manufacture of paper and plastic products. Its qualities allow paper to take on an opaqueness quality. Titanium dioxide is also commonly used in fabrics and textiles, ink, flooring materials and ceramics.

By far, the greatest application of titanium is in the manufacture of aircraft and spacecraft which accounts for 65 percent of all titanium sold in the market. The military relies heavily on titanium to make helicopters, missiles, submarines and airplanes. These are just some of the extraordinary uses of titanium.

Titanium Rings – The Pros and Cons

Titanium provides several unique factors that make it a great metal for jewelry. Titanium is very affordable, making titanium wedding bands a popular option. Titanium rings also come in many variations and can be engraved so each titanium ring can be unique.

It’s strength and durability make titanium a great choice for a ring. Titanium is the hardest natural metal in the world making it a very durable option. It is very strong and is three times the strength of steel and much stronger than gold, silver, or platinum. Titanium is also very light weight. It’s more resistant to dents and scratching than other metals as well.

Pure titanium is safe for anyone to wear as it is 100% hypoallergenic so it will not react to skin as some other metals do. Titanium does not react to sunlight or salt water as some other metals do. This is especially important for titanium wedding rings which will be worn every day for many years.

Titanium does not require any special maintenance to keep it looking its best. Unlike white gold rings, which often have a coating to help them stay more white, titanium rings do not require a coating. The natural color of titanium will not fade. To clean a titanium ring, a soft cloth and warm soapy water can be used.

One of the drawbacks to titanium rings is that they are not able to be resized. Since titanium is so strong and durable, once the ring is made, it cannot be made larger or smaller. This should be considered when buying a wedding band that you plan to wear for the rest of your life.

Another concern some people have about titanium is whether or not it can be cut off in case of an emergency. Titanium can be cut off but it may take longer than a gold or platinum ring. Most hospitals and jewelers carry necessary tools to remove a titanium ring if an emergency occurs.

As with any jewelry item, it is important to make an informed decision about titanium rings. They do offer affordability and are hypoallergenic. However, not being able to be re-sized can be a drawback for some people.