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Titanium within oxygen-rich environments


I'm a scuba diver and as in all sports Titanium is being incorporated into a lot of things. In scuba diving the Regulator (I will not go into details) is a tool that allows me to breathe underwater by passing me air from a tank on my back. Sometimes scuba divers use enriched air (this is a combination which could be made up of 36% 02 and 63% N and 1% inert gases). It has come to my attention that Titanium is incompatible with oxygen-rich environments which would mean that in a mixture of air where 02 is above the normal 21% level Titanium should not be used.

Can you give me some insight on this.

Donald Ponzini
- NY, NY


Hello Donald!

I wouldn't use titanium and its alloys in liquid oxygen or pure gaseous oxygen service, but that's a long way from the enhanced oxygen mixtures you speak of. Personally, I can't imagine that it would be a problem. I mean, how often does your regulator see, say, 200C temperature, or something approaching that, which would be necessary for anything "interesting" to occur?

If you want to get a more definitive answer, I'd suggest you contact Timet (one of the prime suppliers). From their website, you'd want to call for a customer service metallurgist. They'll give you the straight answer.

Good luck! lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart
metallurgist - E. Aurora, New York

Dear Donald,

Titanium are prone to ignite or even explode while in contact with the oxygen pressured. I am engaged with titanium for 20 years and we combat that problem in some cases by using surface treatments ( of nozzles, for example). The treatment is a simple one - oxidation at high temperature.

Best wishes,

Andrey Igolkin
TE@MG (Primetey-Techno) - St.Petersburg, Russia

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