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The use of titanium in missile and aircraft components to extend their range and speed depends upon the high strength-to-weight ratio and the high yield-to-ultimate-strength ratio of the material. Table I shows some of these properties obtained from the titanium suppliers' literature and from the American Society for Metals Metals Handbook (1948). For a light metal, titanium has a high melting point (3020 F, 1660 C), which would lead one to expect good high-temperature properties with the consequent possibility of replacing strategic chromium- and nickel-bearing alloys with titanium. However, the yield and ultimate strengths of titanium decrease rapidly above 800 F (430 C). Furthermore, the irreversible absorption of oxygen and nitrogen from the air at temperatures above 1200 F (650 C) causes embrittlement. These factors limit the high-temperature application of the material.
Rittenhouse, J B
Research Group Supervisor, Chemistry Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.