Corrosion Characteristics of Titanium

in Aircraft Materials Processes and Hardware

The corrosion resistance of titanium deserves special mention. The resistance of the metal to corrosion is caused by the formation of a protective surface film of stable oxide or chemi-absorbed oxygen. Film is often produced by the presence of oxygen and oxidizing agents.

Corrosion of titanium is uniform. There is little evidence of pitting or other serious forms of localized attack. Normally, it is not subject to stress corrosion, corrosion fatigue, intergranular corrosion, or galvanic corrosion. Its corrosion resistance is equal or superior to 18-8 stainless steel.

Laboratory tests with acid and saline solutions show titanium polarizes readily. The net effect, in general, is to decrease current flow in galvanic and corrosion cells. Corrosion currents on the surface of titanium and metallic couples are naturally restricted. This partly accounts for good resistance to many chemicals; also, the material may be used with some dissimilar metals with no harmful galvanic effect on either.