How was titanium discovered? | History of Titanium

Titanium historySAM®Titanium is a metal element that is known as “space metal” because of its light weight, high strength and good corrosion resistance. The most common compound of titanium is titanium dioxide, and other compounds include titanium tetrachloride and titanium trichloride. At present, titanium is widely used in aerospace, automotive, medical, marine and other fields. Its abundant reserves provide a resource base for the wide application of titanium – titanium is one of the most widely distributed and abundant elements in the earth’s crust, accounting for 0.16% of the crustal mass, ranking ninth. However, do you know how this magical element was discovered? Let SAM Sputter Targets give you a history lesson.

Reverend William Gregor (Titanium)
Reverend William Gregor

The discovery of titanium is inseparable from Reverend William Gregor, an amateur mineralogist in England who first discovered titanium-containing minerals in Cornwall, England, in 1791. At the time, he was a pastor in the Creed parish of Cornwall. He found some special black sands in the creek near the parish, which were attracted by magnets. After analysis, the black sand contains two kinds of metal compounds, one is iron oxide (the reason why black sand is attracted by magnets), and the other is white metal oxide (titanium dioxide) which he cannot distinguish.

Martin Heinrich Klaproth (titanium)
Martin Heinrich Klaproth

Reverend William Gregor discovered titanium, while Martin Heinrich Klaproth named titanium. Apart from Reverend William Gregor, others also discovered this oxide, but they were unable to recognize it. In 1795, after discovering this oxide, Martin Heinrich Klaproth advocated the use of the Greek word “Titanic” to name this unknown element, so “Titanium” was born.

Matthew A. Hunter (titanium)
Matthew A. Hunter

The two people mentioned above discovered titanium oxides, but pure titanium wasfirst discovered by another person named Matthew A. Hunter. Since titanium oxide is extremely stable, and titanium metal can be directly and intensely combined with oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, etc., pure titanium is difficult to prepare. It was not until 1910 that the American chemist Hunter first used titanium to reduce TiCl to produce metal titanium with a purity of 99.9%. In 1940, Luxembourg scientist W.J. Kroll used titanium to reduce TiCl4 to produce pure titanium. Since then, the magnesium reduction method (also known as the Claude method) and the sodium reduction method (also known as the Hunter method) have become an industrial method for producing titanium sponge. In the United States, 2 tons of titanium sponge was produced in 1948 by magnesium reduction, and industrial production of titanium began.


From the history of the discovery of titanium elements, we can learn: when encountering with unknown things, we must be curious and dare to guess and dare to study. Today’s history class is here, see you next time.

Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) Corporation is a global evaporation material and sputtering target manufacturing company. We provide tantalum sputtering target and tantalum evaporation material of high quality and at a competitive price. And we regularly update industrial knowledge and news on our website. If you are interested, please visit for more information.

Related: Does titanium never corrode?

Application of Titanium and Titanium Alloy in Human Implants

Author: SAM Sputter Targets

Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) Corporation is a global supplier of various sputtering targets such as metals, alloys, oxides, ceramic materials.

15 thoughts on “How was titanium discovered? | History of Titanium”

  1. Pingback: Google
  2. Pingback: Google
  3. I precisely had to say thanks yet again. I’m not certain the things I would have used in the absence of these aspects shared by you regarding such a question. It truly was the intimidating setting in my opinion, but coming across the professional form you managed the issue made me to jump for gladness. Extremely grateful for your guidance and in addition hope you really know what an amazing job you are accomplishing training men and women through your webblog. I am certain you have never encountered any of us.

  4. I really wanted to send a quick comment so as to thank you for these great ways you are sharing on this site. My time intensive internet research has finally been paid with pleasant strategies to share with my pals. I ‘d declare that many of us visitors actually are extremely endowed to be in a great community with many brilliant individuals with beneficial solutions. I feel rather blessed to have come across your webpage and look forward to many more entertaining moments reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.

  5. Thanks so much for providing individuals with an exceptionally nice opportunity to read in detail from this web site. It is always so brilliant plus packed with a good time for me and my office mates to search your web site really 3 times weekly to read the fresh issues you have. And indeed, we are certainly fascinated considering the incredible points you give. Certain 4 points in this article are basically the simplest I’ve had.

  6. I want to express my love for your kind-heartedness in support of folks that should have help with in this study. Your real commitment to passing the message across turned out to be extraordinarily productive and has regularly empowered regular people like me to reach their objectives. Your amazing interesting suggestions denotes this much to me and even more to my peers. Warm regards; from all of us.

  7. I simply wanted to say thanks once more. I do not know the things that I would’ve carried out in the absence of the strategies revealed by you regarding such a field. This has been the frightful crisis in my opinion, however , noticing your specialised style you solved the issue forced me to jump for happiness. Extremely happy for this guidance and even pray you find out what an amazing job you happen to be doing instructing people via a blog. Probably you have never got to know any of us.

  8. Thanks for all of the work on this site. My mom take interest in getting into investigation and it is simple to grasp why. Almost all know all relating to the dynamic ways you present informative strategies on this web site and even increase contribution from other ones on this area of interest while our favorite daughter is certainly discovering a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You have been performing a first class job.

  9. Wonderful work! This is the kind of info that are meant to be shared across the internet.
    Shame on the seek engines for now not positioning this post higher!
    Thank you =)

  10. I’ll immediately snatch your rss feed as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me recognize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  11. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *