Ready to escape to nature? Outdoors are a favorite outlet for many of us to squeeze out of everyday life. A popular outdoor activity is to land on trial during a great hike and night out. Of course, if we're out fishing, we're cooking. There is nothing like fresh air with a healthy dose of nature to build a good appetite! In this article, I will highlight a brief history of titanium, which is an important element now found in some lightweight tent equipment.
First, let's begin by understanding that titanium is a chemical element that you might have learned during the chemistry period, with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It is the ninth largest element in the earth's crust and the seventh largest metal. It is a brilliant translucent metal with a lovely silver color, low density and the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all metal parts. In an unfit state, titanium is as strong as some steel but less dense. Gorgeous! It is very resistant to corrosion in the sea, aqua regia and chlorine. So, what does this have to do with a tent? We love titanium because it is lightweight in our packs, extremely strong and good investment, as it holds up well over time.
Speaking of time, did you know that titanium was first found in Cornwall, United Kingdom by William Gregor, pastor of the Creed Parish Commission and amateur in 1791? Gregor acknowledged the existence of a new element in ilmenite when he found black sand by a creek in the nearby Manaccan parish. It seemed that the sand was attracted to the sail, so Gregor analyzed the sand and determined the presence of two oxides of metal: iron oxide and whitish metal oxide which he could not detect. When Gregor realized that unknown oxides contained metal that did not correspond to any known elements, Gregor reported his findings to the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall and in the German scientific journal Crell's Annalen. Interestingly, a few years later, the oxides were found independently in 1795 by Prussian chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth, in what we now call Slovakia. Klaproth named the new episode for the strong Titans in Greek mythology.
The USSR swiftly advanced in the 1960s and 1960s, pioneering the use of titanium in military and submarine applications as part of their Cold War plans. Since the early 1960s, titanium was often used in military operations, especially in high-performance jets, such as the F-100 Super Saber, Lockheed A-12 and SR-71.
The US Department of Defense recognized the strategic value of titanium and supported early trade throughout the Cold War. So much so that a large titanium stock was maintained by the Defense Department until it finally emptied in 2000. As of 2015, titanium sponge metal was produced in six countries: China, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, the United States, Ukraine and India (sequentially after production). So, there you have it – who knew that titanium can be found and rated worldwide? Today, we know that it is a wonderful cooking companion on many of our travels around the great outdoors.