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topic 11362

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


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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