Titanium Architecture

Art Tower Mito Japan

In 1791, British scientists discovered titanium in ore deposits. It has been utilized extensively in numerous fields of the national economy and plays a significant role.
As time progresses, people’s expectations for urban buildings, particularly their aesthetics, become increasingly stringent. Meanwhile, because the construction industry has developed in recent years, architects have pursued the use of building materials that are more advanced than traditional materials. Titanium is favored by architects as well as construction industry. It satisfies a wide range of performance requirements for building materials.

Titanium Buildings

Performance

  1. Lightweight, high strength, and easy to process
    Specific strength is the calculation of material strength per unit volume mass.It is an essential performance indicator for structural materials. The material’s high specific strength translates to its light weight and high strength. Therefore,it is the primary direction for the future development of building materials. Titanium has a mass density of 4.51g/cm3, which is roughly half that of steel and copper.However, its specific strength is significantly greater than that of steel and copper. As a building material, titanium can reduce the building’s weight by 70 to 75 percent.Meanwhile, it is easy to hoist, and the building’s center of gravity can be lowered, thereby enhancing the structure’s seismic resistance.
  2. Excellent corrosion resistance

    Titanium has excellent corrosion resistance in a variety of chemical media, particularly oxidizing and neutral media. The corrosion resistance of titanium in seawater is significantly greater than that of stainless steel and aluminum alloy, as titanium forms a dense oxide film on the surface in seawater.Hence, it is an ideal roofing material for coastal buildings.In addition, titanium can be resistant to urban pollution, industrial radiation, and severe erosion. It does not require regular maintenance, and has a lifespan for up to one hundred years.

  3. Strong ornamental

    At room temperature, titanium is silver-gray and metallic-looking. The surface can be colored by anodizing, and the color will change based on the thickness of the oxide film. The embossed pattern and text can also be obtained through etching. As a result, titanium is a highly inventive exterior wall decoration material.

  4. Excellent environmental performance

    Titanium has excellent corrosion resistance.Therefore, it will not produce corrosion products or harmful substances that pollute the environment. In the meantime, titanium will not degrade during use. It can be 100% recycled. Titanium can satisfy environmental protection requirements, and be referred to as “green environmental protection materials.”

  5.  Durable service life

    Titanium is utilized as a structural and decorative material. It can resist corrosion without maintenance or repair for hundreds of years. From this perspective, it is clearly superior to other metals. This benefit is accentuated in extremely corrosive environments, such as coastal cities and industrial settings. Titanium is an ideal building and decorative material due to its superior long term cost performance over stainless steel.

Application

Japan constructed the first building with a titanium roof structure in 1973. The annual amount of titanium used in construction in Japan increased to 350t by the mid-1990s. After years of development, it has become the nation that uses the most titanium in buildings. The range of applications has rapidly expanded from the initial roof to external walls, harbor buildings and facilities, bridges, tunnels, railings, anti-corrosion cladding materials etc.
In the 1990s, developed nations such as Europe and the United States began using titanium in construction. Although it has been utilized in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Switzerland, Egypt, and other nations, its application is limited to a few instances of special buildings.

Art Tower Mito Japan
Art Tower Mito Japan made of Titanium

In Bilbao, Spain, the $100 million Guggenheim Museum was constructed in 1997. The building material for the museum is 0.3mm thickness titanium plates and a total amount of titanium is 60t. The museum uses a combination of irregular hyperboloid volumes and titanium alloy panels to create a striking effect that defies simple geometry.

When the museum was finished, its beautiful forms, unusual structures, and new materialsgeometry immediately drew the attention of the world. The press has deemed it “the most beautiful museum on earth” due to its artistic appeal, attracting millions of visitors annually.

Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum
The Abu Dhabi Airport in the United Arab Emirates, designed and expanded by the Paris airport group of France, is the first successful example of using titanium as a structural building material.The amount of titanium used for this airport is several hundred tons.
Abu Dhabi Airport
Abu Dhabi Airport

With the continuous improvement of people’s living standards and spiritual requirements,the advantages of titanium, as well as their economic, cultural, and social benefits, will become increasingly apparent. Simultaneously, with the rapid advancement of science and technology, titanium will have vast application potential in the construction industry.

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