Titanium Only – the e-zine about titanium metal and titanium applications

“Silicon increases titanium dioxide's effectiveness in killing viruses and bacteria by more than three times”

Rice University researchers


1. What’s happening to titanium dioxide prices?

2. New titanium applications

3. Titanium joke of the day

4. Latest developments of titaniumexposed.com

1. What’s happening to titanium dioxide prices?

In the unlikely event that you’re not sure how titanium dioxide is related to titanium metal, let me just say that titanium dioxide is the largest commercial use of titanium. It is also the form titanium is found in naturallu, being the primary source material for titanium industry. You can find here the detailed story of titanium dioxide.

Titanium dioxide evolution in the present special economic conditions has been characterized by short to medium term shortage, which inevitably have led to continued price increases. Is this going to stop? For how long can the market take this behavior?

The preferred and optimal condition for any market, not just titanium dioxide, is stability. With an evolution of the price that can be followed on a day to day basis and a constant trend up, the tendency of the buyers is to get the best price they can, and buy as much as possible, especially since the producers can not give any guarantee, not only to future price, but also the future volume.

What are the reasons behind this unfortunate state of events?

The main reason is related to Chinese market, which has taken the lead of titanium dioxide production for some years. There are several Chinese titanium dioxide pigment producers that are not stable and the output decreased dramatically because of shortage of electricity, natural gas and titanium mineral. And another key issue is the environmental protection issue with the Chinese government forcing the titanium dioxide pigment producers to decrease the emissions, an approach that negatively impacted both the costs, and titanium dioxide output.

All of these factors have a compounded effect that amplifies the feeling of panic. The price increases of Chinese titanium dioxide also impacts the also international titanium dioxide suppliers, making the market as worse as possible. The estimates are for the shortage to continue as long as 2013. The cost to manufacture the product is also going up rapidly over the next two years, which will subsequently be reflected in further TiO2 pigment price increases.

Unfortunately, for anybody with some experiences with trading limited supply resources in uncertain economic conditions, it is clear that the “buy now” stance will only lead to supply issues. It is in the human nature to buy things in advance if a shortage is reasonably foreseeable. However, that feeding frenzy only skews the reality and making sense out of what is happening only gets more difficult.

The more reasonable approach for purchasers is seeking longer term agreements for selected volumes and identifying multiple possible outlets for supply. Single sourcing or even dual sourcing should be avoided. Purchasers also need to be more open to structured products as partial replacements. It is going to be a rough ride so having a bit of "calm" in this turmoil is going to be crucial.

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2. New titanium applications

The Dow Chemical’s worldwide business unit, Dow Coating Materials (DCM), has introduced an innovative polymer technology called EVOQUE Pre-Composite Polymer Technology.

The groundbreaking technology paves the way to formulators to develop coatings and paints with less titanium dioxide (TiO2) content.

The EVOQUE enhances the light scattering and particle distribution effectiveness of TiO2, providing enhancements in hiding effectiveness and enabling formulators to use 20% less TiO2. It also improves barrier attributes, including corrosion and stain resistance. The pre-composite polymer technology expands the options available to formulators to enhance the performance of paints.

DCM’s EVOQUE technology can be used with its ROPAQUE Opaque Polymers to further decrease TiO2 content and enhance the hiding effectiveness. Reduced TiO2 usage will reduce the amount of energy utilized in mining, manufacturing and transporting it to the formulation facilities, resulting in minimum carbon emissions. DCM is carrying out a complete life cycle assessment, which will be certified by a third party, to determine the complete sustainability benefits of the pre-composite polymer technology.

Dow Chemical plans to provide its EVOQUE Pre-Composite Polymer Technology for external water-based paints by 2012. The company anticipates complete commercialization of the technology in the Q3 of 2011 with rapid expansion of the product line in 2012.

Source: http://www.dow.com

3. Titanium joke of the day

A husband and wife love to golf together, but neither of them is playing like they want to, so they decide to improve their game by buying a brand new set of titanium golf clubs and taking some private lessons.

The husband has his lesson first. After the pro sees his swing, he says, "No, no, no, you're gripping the club way too hard!" "Well, what should I do?" asks the man. "Hold the club gently," the pro replied, "just like you'd hold your wife's breast."

The man takes the advice, takes a swing, and POW! He hits the ball 250 yds. straight up the fairway. The man goes back to his wife with the good news, and the wife can't wait for her lesson.

The next day the wife goes for her lesson. The pro watches her swing and says, "No, no, no, you're gripping the club way too hard." "What can I do?" asks the wife. "Hold the club gently, just like you'd hold your husband's penis."

The wife listens carefully to the pro's advice, takes a swing, and THUMP. The ball goes straight down the fairway. . . about 15 ft.

"That was great," the pro says with a straight face. "Now, take the club out of your mouth and swing it like you're supposed to!"

4. Latest developments of titaniumexposed.com

An interesting question was raised by Eric, from US, and it has been answered in the on-line free database about titanium, Titanium Info.

Eric was interested by the specificities of the heat treatment of titanium.

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