Is Titanium a Magnetic Material?

One of my friends just had to get an MRI scan, and he asked me if having an MRI with hip and knee replacement is safe. Titanium is commonly employed for such replacements, and we were both sceptical of its magnetic characteristics.

So, while doing some research on this silvery-white coloured transition metal, which is sweeping the industrial and medical fields with its widespread application, I came across some pretty intriguing and informative facts. Let’s have a look at them and learn more about the “Titanium World”!

Is Titanium magnetic, then? Because titanium is a paramagnetic substance, it is only faintly attracted to magnets. Its electrical arrangement with four unpaired electrons is the primary cause for its paramagnetic property, as paramagnetism is dependent on unpaired electrons. The magnetic moment, which is 1.73 BM, is the second cause. In its oxidation states of -1, +2, and +3, titanium is paramagnetic. However, when compared to ferromagnetic materials, titanium’s magnetic susceptibility is very modest and positive, making its magnetic property quite weak.

At the year 1791, the Reverend William Gregor, an English minister, discovered this metal in the 22nd place of the periodic table with an atomic mass of 47.867.

The word “Titanium” comes from the Greek word “Titans,” which meaning “first sons of the earth” in mythology. Matthew A. Hunter, an American metallurgist, was the first to manufacture pure titanium in 1910.

Titanium is one of the top ten elements found in the Earth’s crust. It is always found to be linked with other elements in its natural condition.

The most prevalent Titanium-containing minerals are ilmenite (an iron-titanium oxide) and rutile (a titanium oxide).

Titanium is separated from other components and both are removed from salt.

Some qualities, such as high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and temperature tolerance, have increased the importance of this metal in several industries, including aircraft, spacecraft, and medical fields.

This metal is ideal for aviation and spacecraft because it is 45 percent lighter than stainless steel and can tolerate repetitive strain, stress, and temperature.

What causes Titanium to be paramagnetic?

If an element has unpaired electrons, it is said to be paramagnetic. Titanium has the electronic structure Ti= [Ar] 3d2 4s2, with four unpaired electrons.

Titanium’s paramagnetic property is explained by this. Even with the use of the Crystal Field Effect, we can see that Titanium has a magnetic moment of 1.73 BM, which indicates its magnetic strength.

Titanium’s magnetic property, as well as other unusual physical features, are due to its electronic configuration (2 electrons in the 3rd shell and 2 electrons in the 4th shell).

When a paramagnetic substance is exposed to an external magnetic field, the molecules attempt to orient themselves in the direction of the field.

The molecules, however, tend to orient themselves randomly due to the existence of heat energy.

Both effects are mutually opposed, and individual magnetic dipoles in a paramagnetic substance orient randomly, as seen below.

Unlike paramagnetic materials, ferromagnetic materials have all of their magnetic dipoles aligned upward, making it a significantly stronger magnet.

Is titanium attracted to a magnet?

For paramagnetic substances, magnetic susceptibility, or the degree to which a material can be magnetised in an external magnetic field, is very low and positive.

As a result, magnets are marginally attracted to titanium or, to put it another way, to any magnetic field.

The graph above shows how magnetic susceptibility (X) changes over time (T) for ferromagnetic and paramagnetic materials.

When the temperature of a paramagnetic material rises, the unpredictability of magnetic dipoles rises, lowering the magnetic susceptibility.

There is a sharp increase in susceptibility for ferromagnetic due to the alignment of dipoles towards the direction of the field. However, in this situation, things alter after the Curie temperature.

Thermal agitation is enough high above Curie temperature to break the alignments of dipoles, reducing magnetic susceptibility.

In addition, when compared to other metals, titanium exhibits the Lenz effect to a lesser level.

Small electrical eddy currents with their own magnetic fields are created when a strong magnet is passed across Titanium, silver, copper, aluminium, or brass, for example.

The moving magnet interacts with these magnetic fields, causing the metal to move without touching. Titanium is seen to have no interaction, but the other metals react as expected.

Even if a powerful magnet is dropped on Titanium, it will fall slowly due to its almost non-existent magnetic characteristic.

Is it true that titanium compounds are magnetic?

The oxidation numbers of titanium compounds range from -1 to +4. The states -1, +2, and +3 are all paramagnetic.

In the magnetic moment of metal complexes, Orbital Contribution is also crucial. In the presence of orbital contribution, the magnetic moment increases.

Although there is an influence of J-T distortion on orbital contribution for some complexes, such as [Ti(H20)6]+3, a d1 (oh) complex. The degeneracy among t2g/t2 orbitals is largely abolished, resulting in orbital contribution quenching.

J-T distortion is the distortion that a nonlinear molecule in a degenerate electronic state undergoes in order to reduce degeneracy and lower energy.

There will be increased contact between the ligands and Z containing orbitals in compression, or Z-IN J-T distortion.

As a result, dxy with less interaction will have a lower energy level, whereas dxz and dyz will have a greater energy level.

Similarly, dz2 will be at a higher energy level, whereas dx2-dxy2 will be at a lower one.

The graphic below gives us a better understanding of what we’re talking about.

As titanium undergoes Z-IN J-T distortion, the ground term will be dxy, as seen in the diagram. Because Dxy is a singularly degenerate orbital, it has no orbital contribution (does not fulfil the rules).

As a result, the orbital contribution will be limited to above-excited orbitals rather than direct orbitals, resulting in quenching.

As a result, the magnetic moment does not grow as expected when orbital contribution is present.

Is titanium a magnetic alloy?

When it comes to titanium alloys, we can observe that they can be magnetic or non-magnetic depending on the materials that are incorporated into them.

When titanium is mixed with other metals, such as nickel, cobalt, or iron, the alloy develops magnetic characteristics.

The alloy will not be magnetic in nature if the material integrated does not have any magnetic properties.

China contains a lot of ilmenite, and Australia has the greatest proportion of rutile in the world (about 40 percent according to Geoscience Australia).

Looking at the top Ti producers, we can see that Australia is leading the pack with almost 1.5 million tonnes produced in 2014.

Following Australia, South Africa and China are the next two largest producers, with 1.16 million tonnes and 1 million tonnes respectively.

Titanium’s Characteristics

Titanium is a solid-state metal having a silvery grey white look.

Titanium has a melting point of roughly 1941K (1668 °C).

It has a density of 4.506 g/cm3 in the solid state and 4.11 g/cm3 in the liquid state.

Its oxidation state is still somewhere between -2 and 3.

This element has a hexagonal close-packed crystal structure.


Titanium is a substance that is paramagnetic. Its magnetic properties are determined by its electrical configuration. It is paramagnetic, but its strength is so low that it is easily misunderstood, making it ideal for a variety of biological implants. Titanium is also immune to the magnetic fields of MRI, which is a huge plus for patients who have titanium implants.

Read more: Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, Polarity, and the MO Diagram for the compound C2H6

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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