Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Titanium Corrosion

Last updated: August 3, 2018

What Does Titanium Corrosion Mean?

Titanium is an established metal, when dealing with corrosion applications. Titanium is protected from corrosion by a thin film of oxygen on its surface. It reacts with titanium to form titanium dioxide, which acts as a barrier against corrosion.

This barrier can only be broken if the titanium is placed in an environment that is very rich in chloride. In the chemical processing industry, titanium and its alloys offer good corrosion resistance in many process solutions and owe this corrosion resistance to the strong oxide film.

While titanium is resistant to most normal environmental situations, it is not completely immune and can be susceptible to pitting and crevice attack, especially at elevated temperatures. It is not immune to seawater corrosion if the temperature is greater than about 110°C. Titanium solutions could be found in a variety of industries, such as pulp and paper as well as marine applications. A major use for titanium is in seawater or brackish water applications. It is also used extensively in the production of chlorine.


Corrosionpedia Explains Titanium Corrosion

Titanium is a very reactive metal that shows remarkable corrosion resistance in oxidizing acid environments by virtue of a passive oxide film. In the chemical industry, the grade most used is commercial-purity titanium. Like stainless steels, it is dependent upon an oxide film for its corrosion resistance. The oxide film formed on titanium is more protective than that on stainless steel, and it often performs well in media that cause pitting and crevice corrosion in the latter (such as seawater, wet chlorine, organic chlorides).

Titanium alloys, like other metals, are subject to corrosion in certain environments. The primary forms of corrosion that have been observed on these alloys include general corrosion, crevice corrosion, anodic pitting, hydrogen damage, and stress corrosion cracking. In any contemplated application of titanium, its susceptibility to degradation by any of these forms of corrosion should be considered.

Titanium is one of the most noble materials in the galvanic series of metals and this means that when coupled with other metals it will almost always act as a cathode in the galvanic cell, hence, there will be no galvanic corrosion on titanium. In reducing environments in which the oxide film breaks down, titanium becomes the anode in a galvanic couple. In slightly reducing environments or in environments that form complexions with titanium, tendencies to corrode depend upon the presence of metal ion inhibitors, alloying elements, temperature, and other variables.

Titanium can catch fire when a fresh, non-oxidized surface comes in contact with liquid oxygen. Such surfaces can appear when the oxidized surface is struck with a hard object, or when a mechanical strain causes the emergence of a crack. This poses the possible limitation for its use in liquid oxygen systems, such as those found in the aerospace industry.


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