Titanium is used in a large variety of sports equipment, medical devices, military aircraft, paints, inks, papers, plastics, food products and artistic and architectural structures. Titanium was used as part of the 2008 restoration of the structural repair and stabilization of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
The SR-71 Blackbird was the first aircraft to use titanium extensively in its structure and skin. The intense speeds of which the plane is capable create so much aerodynamic friction that any other metal would melt out of the sky. Titanium is biocompatible, meaning the human body can handle it in large doses with no impact. The density is similar to bone, and bone adheres to it. It is used for ball-and-socket joint replacements, heart stents and dental implants. Titanium forms a hard protective oxide film upon contact with oxygen. This film gives the metal its shimmer and shine, making it an attractive choice for art and architecture. Titanium has a high strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it ideal for sports equipment. The world's lightest bicycle weighs only 6 pounds and is made primarily of titanium. Despite its many uses, only 5 percent of all mined and synthesized titanium is used to produce titanium metal.