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Where does titanium come from?

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Quick Answer

Titanium comes from several sources, including deposits in Australia, North America, the Middle East and South Africa. Titanium occurs on its own in large reserves located below the surface of the Earth. However, it is also frequently found embedded in other minerals, such as ilmenite and rutile.

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Full Answer

Titanium is an abundant element, and has physical and chemical properties that make it malleable, resistant to erosion and able to tolerate high temperatures. Titanium is classified as a metal, and is strong and lightweight. This quality makes it ideal for constructing frames of airplanes, some racing cars and even bicycles. Titanium occurs most readily in solid form, although it may be combined with oxygen to produce titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide appears as a bright white pigment that is used to create paper, paint and plastic products. This element comes from sources around the world, and is located primarily in reserves or excavated from mines. Titanium frequently coexists with other minerals, particularly ilmenite and rutile. These minerals, like titanium, are found in large deposits. However, they are most abundant in sandy shorelines; in the United States, most titanium-enriched sand is found along the coasts of Florida and Virginia. Most titanium is extracted for commercial use, such as paint products, cell phones, radar and medical devices.

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