Titanium Body Jewelry
The hard metal for your body
Ti in the periodic table, has an atomic number of 22, and is quite known for its lightness, strength and corrosive-resistant properties. We're referring to Titanium, the metal that is white-silvery in color.
For industrial and other purposes titanium can be easily combined with other elements like iron and aluminum to create strong lightweight alloys which are used for jet engines, missiles, chemical plants, automotive industry, agriculture, medical science, sports and more. It was William Gregor of England who discovered the metal in 1791, however, it was Martin Heinrich Klaproth who coined the name titanium after the Titans of Greek mythology.
Aside from the industrial uses of titanium, nowadays the metal is used for body jewelry. Jewelers are preferring titanium over other metals because of its properties. The metal doesn't react much to stimuli making them ideal for people who are sensitive to other materials. Plus, it is very durable, light weight and will not rust, or corrode under normal use.
In fact, titanium's ability to resist corrosion is one of its most notable properties. The metal comes very close to platinum in terms of anti-corrosive properties. The metal can endure most acids like sulfuric and hydrochloric acids. It can withstand exposures from moist chlorine gas and chloride solutions, as well as salt solutions.
The metal can be made more corrosion-resistance by exposing it to elevated temperatures. But even if you store or use the metal in room temperatures, it will still resist tarnishing. Other properties of titanium include paramagnetic or being weakly attracted to magnets and low electrical and thermal conductivity.
Why do people become allergic to metal body jewelry in the first place? The amount of nickel usually determines how safe and how allergen risk it is. The problem with nickel is that it is usually not bio-compatible. This causes problems when the jewelry metals is used or pierced through the skin. When buying body jewelry, you should therefore check the metal and nickel contents of the body ornaments.
Sterling silver, for example, is only .925% silver. The other percent is made up of other metals which can cause irritation, tarnishing when it comes in contact with air and body fluids. Gold, especially the higher grades like 24karat gold, contains less nickel than sterling silver.
However, the problem with gold and sterling silver is that they are soft. Both metals are susceptible to nicks and dents which can be breeding grounds for bacteria which in turn causes infections and allergic reactions.
Surgical stainless steel (SSS) is perhaps the most popular metal used for body jewelry. The metal is strong and has virtually flawless finish. Plus, allergic reactions are much less for SSS compared to silver and gold. However, SSS still does contain nickel and irritations from the use of the metal as body jewelry is possible especially if the person has a terribly low tolerance of nickel
The next best thing after SSS is Niobium. This metal is a little heavier than SSS but is also a little stronger. What is good about Niobium is that it is non-reactive. Most people are able to wear them as body jewelry with little or no problem at all.
The only problem that would arise is the higher costs of buying the metal. Still, Niobium is cheaper than Titanium and most people will choose Niobium as the middle ground between SSS and Titanium.
Titanium is the hardest and highest grade of metal available which has almost no presence of nickel at all. The metal has less than .05% of Nickel. Scratches and dents will not occur on the surface of the metal because of its strength.