Titanium

Titanium is one of those elements we all take for granted.

  • Titanium is a chemical element and metal, denoted by the atomic symbol ‘Ti’ and the atomic number 22.
  • Titanium is of a white to silver or grey colour and is shiny and metallic in appearance.
  • Titanium occurs naturally in mineral deposits, sediment, and rocks, especially igneous rocks, and is commonly retrieved from ilmenite, anatase, and rutile, and can be found in stars, meteorites, and living forms, including animals and plants, as well as water.
  • It is notable that titanium is very lightweight in comparison to its durability and strength, however if heated to above 430°C (806°F), it will weaken, and at 1668°C (3034.4°F), it will melt.
  • A variety of other metals can be alloyed with titanium to viably increase strength with little weight increase, making the metal very versatile.
Titanium, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Element, Material, Metal, Resource, Ti, Crystal Bar
Titanium Crystal Bar
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  • Typically, titanium is extracted into a sponge-like form, which is them melted and fabricated into a usable resource.
  • The majority of titanium that is collected is used to produce titanium dioxide, which provides the white colour in many plastics, paper, paints and toothpaste; while the metal is sometimes used to strengthen sporting equipment, and it is also used in some forms of jewellery, automobiles, aircraft, watercraft and spacecraft, electronic devices, propellers for water use and missiles, among others.
  • Titanium has a high resistance against corrosion in both the air and water, though small particles of the metal are highly combustible, and when exposed to air, or the particles form a cloud of dust, they can spontaneously combust; and the metal also reacts easily to chlorine gas, liquid oxygen and heat, sometimes causing the chemical to explode.
  • Titanium was discovered by Englishman William Gregor, an amateur mineralogist, who discovered a strange sand with magnetic properties in 1791, which on analysis, was made of iron oxide and what was later determined as titanium oxide.
  • ‘Titanium’ is named after the twelve giant sons of Gaia and Uranus, the Greek mythology deities of earth and sky respectively, who were called ‘Titans’ and were renown for their strength.
Bibliography:
The Element Titanium, n.d, Jefferson Lab, http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele022.html
Titanium, 2016, Los Alamos National Laboratory, http://periodic.lanl.gov/22.shtml
Titanium, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium

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Lead

Lead is a very versatile material – it’s a pity it is so dangerous.

  • Lead is a metal chemical element of the carbon section in the periodic table, and it is a post transition, or poor, metal.
  • Lead is known under the Pb symbol on the periodic table, and it has the atomic number, or number of protons, of 82 and a standard atomic weight or relative atomic mass of 207.2.
  • When left open to the air, lead changes from a shiny blue-silver colour, to a dull grey, and it is a shiny silver colour when liquefied.
  • Lead is a very heavy but soft and pliable material, commonly used to block radiation, and it is also found in bullets, alloys, certain batteries, as well as traditionally in fishing sinkers, and is used in the building industry.
  • The natural formation of lead is generally caused by the breaking down of elements that are heaver, and it is most commonly found in the mineral galena, from which it is extracted.

Lead, Trivia, Element, Facts, Random Ten, Shiny, Material

  • Lead has been used as a material since 6000 BC, however the Ancient Romans were the first to use the material extensively, especially in pipes for plumbing purposes.
  • Lead is extremely toxic on entering the human body, affecting many organs negatively, and can even cause fatalities.
  • Lead in soil can be neutralised by certain fungi, notably Aspergillus versicolor, and some forms of bacteria may also be effective.
  • Lead melts at 600.61 Kelvin (327.46 ° Celsius or 621.43 ° Fahrenheit) and has a solid density of 11.34 grams/centimetres cubed (6.55 ounces/inches cubed) at room temperature.
  • The Latin term for ‘lead’ is ‘plumbum’, which has been used as the root for the English word ‘plumber’, which originally means ‘a worker of lead’, and the periodic table abbreviation is derived from the Latin word for the metal.
Bibliography:
Lead, 2015, Royal Society of Chemistry, http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/82/lead
Lead, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead
Learn About Lead, 2015, United States Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead

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Aluminium

Aluminium or aluminum

  • Aluminium is a widely used, soft, light, durable metal.  It is silvery, gray or white in colour and has a metallic look.
  • Aluminium makes up 8% of the weight of the earth’s crust.
  • Aluminium is generally found combined, in different minerals – over 270 of them.
  • Aluminium is high in heat and electricity conduction.
  • Aluminium doesn’t corrode very easily.

Aluminium Roll, Aluminum, Ten Random Facts

  • Aluminium is hard to extract from ore, like bauxite.
  • Aluminium can be fully recycled without losing any of its qualities.
  • Australia is the one of the major produces of the major aluminium ore, bauxite.
  • In 2005, the global production of aluminium was 3.19 billion kilograms (31.9 million tonnes).
  • Ancient Greek and Romans used aluminium salt to stop bleeding of cuts.
Bibliography:
Aluminium 1 December 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium>

Silver

Silver is pretty, white and shiny.

  • Silver is harder than gold but softer than copper, and is approximately 2.5 on the hardness Mohs Scale.
  • Silver conducts electricity and heat better than any other metal.
  • Silver is one of the only materials that absorbs oxygen, which enables it to rid substances of germs and bacteria.
  • Silver can be beaten into sheets, drawn into threads and modelled.
  • The alloy, mixture of chemical elements, of silver is called electrum.

Silver necklace, Blue Flowers, Ten Random Facts

  • The main producers of silver are currently Peru, Bolivia and Mexico.
  • Silver in its natural state can be found mixed with gold or other ores like copper, zinc or lead, and is rarely found without contaminants.
  • Sterling silver is the mix of 7.5% copper with silver.
  • Silver was popularly used in many ancient coins, and is now used in medical equipment, some medicines, jewellery, silverware, medals and in the photography industry.
  • Silver is currently worth $32.13 Australian dollars per ounce.
Bibliography:
Blackwood, A 1979, Gold and Silver, Wayland Publishers Limited, England
Silver 20 November 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver>

Wool

Fluffy or thin, heavy or light, all wool is different as well as all these facts.

  • Wool is the coat of a sheep which is shorn off usually once a year.
  • There are over 1 081.8 million wool bearing sheep in the world and all the sheep put together produce approximately 1.27 million tonnes (1.3 million tons) per year.
  • Wool is transported in approximately 200 kg (440 lbs) bags, or bales.
  • Pure wool can be cream, grey, brown or black in colour.
  • The merino is the best sheep for wool breeding since it produces heavy, good quality, fine wool.Brown Cream Grey Wool in a basket, Ten Random Facts 
  • Australia is the biggest producer of wool in the world, followed by New Zealand, and China.
  • Wool is excellent at keeping heat in and cold out, is flame resistant and can be woven into cloth and yarn.
  • Wool can absorb liquids up to 1/3 of its own weight.
  • To make wool ready for retail sale, it is scoured, combed, dyed, spun, woven and finished.
  • As well as clothes and rugs, wool can be used in pianos and stereo speakers.
Bibliography:
Watson, T & Watson, J 1980, Wool, Wayland Publishers, England

Diamond

Ooooooooh – pretty! Well, pretty if polished and cut. Polished and cut facts coming right up!

  • Diamond is one of the rarest and prettiest stones in the world.
  • Diamonds are made from carbon.
  • Diamond is the hardest natural material ever discovered.  The hardness results from the strong carbon atom arrangement.
  • Originally, the main diamond producers were India, Africa and Brazil but currently, Australia and Russia have the greatest supplies and mine more diamonds than any other country in the world.
  • Diamond is normally found in rivers or in a type of rock called kimberlite.Blue cut polished diamond, Ten Random Facts, Free Digital Photos
Polished, Cut Diamond
Image courtesy of Anusorn P Nachol/ Free Digital Photos
  • Diamonds are bought and sold using a measurement called carats, which is equal to 0.2 grams.
  • Before kimberlite was discovered, diamond was often dug out from the sand.
  • Now people use x-rays to separate diamond from kimberlite rock.
  • 75%-80% of people’s engagement rings contain a diamond.
  • Nearly 80% of the diamonds that are mined are used for tools or other equipment since they are not suitable to be used as gemstones.
Bibliography:
Diamond 12 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond>
Herbert, S 1980, Diamonds, Wayland Publishers Limited, England

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