Stainles steel and titanium choker, c 1976.
3 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 22cm

Stainles steel and titanium choker, c 1976.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Detail of a choker made by Lexi Dick, and first exhibited at the Goldsmith's Company, London. The blue effect is obtained by heating the titanium which develops a translucent surface film. Although first discovered by W Gregor (1761-1817) in 1791, titanium was not commercially manufactured until 1948. It is extremely useful in alloys, as the metal is as strong as steel, but 45 % lighter. This combination of lightnes and strength, together with high resistance to corrosion, makes titanium alloys very important to the aerospace industry. Titanium makes up 0.6 % of the Earth's crust.

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