SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1957

The Corrosion and Ignition of Titanium in Fuming Nitric Acid


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.

Author Information

Rittenhouse, J, B
Chemistry Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
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Developed by Committee: B02
Pages: 145–160
DOI: 10.1520/STP44152S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-6204-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6205-1