EXTENSIVE PRODUCTION PROCESSTitanium – is the material for aerospace industry: extremely light, exceptionally resistant, and durable. Wherever high stability and less weight are required this material is the first choice. That is why HIRSCHMANN uses titanium for the inner rings of their newest generation of spherical bearings. It transmits forces and movement, and must be flexible and highly resistant at the same time. This high-quality material is in the same league as ceramic, but at a much more affordable price. With these characteristics titanium is a constant in aerospace technology. But titanium is in high demand, and cold forming is difficult. This is the reason why HIRSCHMANN relies on a material combination and uses aluminum for the outer part of their lightweight spherical bearings.
Inner ring made of titanium with coating
Titanium – a successful storyFound in the earth’s crust, titanium is one of the ten most abundant elements but nearly exclusively occurs chemically bound as element of minerals. In 1791 in England, amateur chemist William Gregor discovered titanium in Ilmenite. Four years later, the German chemist Heinrich Klaproth found it in Rutile and named the element for the Titans of Greek Mythology. Only in 1831 Justus von Liebig was successful in extracting metallic titanium from the ore. Pure metallic titanium (99,9%) was first prepared in 1910 by Matthew A. Hunter by heating TiCl4 with sodium at 700-800°C in a steel bomb. At the end of the 1930s, William Justin Kroll developed a new process for titanium extraction and used it for commercial production. Main mining regions are Australia, Scandinavia, North America, the Ural, and Malaysia - in 2010 new sources occurred in Paraguay.
Pure titanium can hardly be found in soil and must be extracted from titanic iron ore (Ilmenite) or Rutile. The extensive production process is reflected in the price for titanium which is 35 times higher than the price for steel alloys and 200 times higher than the price for crude steel (as of 2013). The largest producers are Australia, South Africa, Canada, China, and Norway.