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Titanium Powder Metallurgy and Non-Aerospace Applications

Update:2022-07-07
Abstract:Learn about the safety of titanium powder metallurgy. This process produces net shape parts without ...
Learn about the safety of titanium powder metallurgy. This process produces net shape parts without material waste or machining costs. It is also compatible with non-aerospace applications. Here are a few applications that benefit from titanium powder metallurgy.

Flammability
When heated, Titanium-powder particles can burn. Their small mass and low ignition temperature make them highly flammable. When a pile of powder reaches its ignition point, it will explode. This burning is rapid and can spread rapidly from one particle to another. Therefore, titanium-powder storage and handling must be done with extreme caution.

When handling titanium powder, it is important to understand that the material's surface area increases at a rate of six per cent of its diameter. For example, if 45 kg of titanium powder is a 20-um size, it would cover an area of three thousand square meters. Thus, titanium powders with a 20-um particle size are considered flammable and should not be handled carelessly. However, fine powders can remain aloft in the air for long periods of time.

Non-aerospace applications
There are many non-aerospace applications for titanium, including medical devices, aircraft, and specialty chemicals. For example, titanium is widely used in the coating of implantable medical devices. Its high melting point is beneficial for heat transfer. Finally, titanium is non-magnetic and has good corrosion resistance, making it an excellent choice for applications where weight reduction is critical. But is titanium right for non-aerospace applications?

While there are many applications for titanium, it's most common in aerospace. Titanium can be used to make tubing and other parts, and is often more suitable than competing materials. It is also used to make avionics components. Some aerospace companies use titanium for flight-critical parts, such as the wing and fuselage. It is also an excellent choice for medical devices and dental implant materials.

Health effects
Exposure to titanium powder can be hazardous for both humans and the environment. It is highly water-reactive and releases flammable hydrogen gas when exposed to high temperatures. Furthermore, when exposed to flame or sparks, it forms dust that is flammable. The decomposition of titanium powder can produce a hazardous byproduct, titanium oxide, which is toxic and highly irritating to the skin and eyes.

Safety precautions
Safety precautions for handling titanium powder include the use of personal protective equipment such as a wrist strap or grounding plate. It is also important to use conductive shoes at workstations and wear clothing that does not have cuffs and is made of tightly woven fabrics, which do not accumulate static electrical charges. Respirators should also be used, since inhalation of titanium powder is a common occurrence if proper dust regulation equipment is not installed.