Titanium is the 9th most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. It is always bonded to other minerals, and is most abundant in igneous rocks and sediments. It is a process of isolating the titanium ore from such stones and melting and processing to create pure titanium. This is then mixed in with other metals such as aluminum and iron to create stronger alloys.
The vast majority of titanium is used to make titanium dioxide pigments rather than metal alloys – TiO2 in the US is worth $2.7 billion vs. $310 million for titanium metal. The TiO2 pigment goes into things from paper, plastic, and paint to whitewall tires, playing cards, and sunblock.
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