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Diamond vs. Titanium

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Diamond and titanium are two very valuable materials with hardness that makes them useful in various industrial applications. Both diamonds and titanium are also used for jewelry, but they do not have many chemical similarities. Diamonds are gemstones made from carbon, while titanium is a metal, so the two substances come from two completely different groups on the periodic table of elements.

Sources

Diamonds form deep within the Earth’s mantle of carbon subjected to temperatures of 900 to 1300 degrees Celsius and pressures between 45 and 60 kilobars. These diamonds arrive at the surface during volcanic eruptions through "kimberlite" -- a sort of conveyor belt for diamond.

Titanium is an elemental metal found scattered throughout the Earth; it makes up a significant portion of the Earth’s crust.

Conditions

When the diamond travels to the surface too slowly, it turns into graphite; it must travel to the surface very quickly to remain in diamond form; the kimberlite travels between 10 and 30 kilometers per hour. Diamonds are the hardest gemstones and graphite is the softest, although they are formed from the same material.

Titanium does not need to form under such extreme conditions; it is extracted from mineral ores mined from the Earth.

Color and Value

The amount of yellow in the diamond affects how valuable the diamond is; more yellow makes the diamond less valuable. However, diamonds are strongly colored with yellow, green, brown or shades of pink appeal to some people, giving them market value; large pink diamonds, for example, are rare and expensive.

Pure titanium is white. Titanium's value depends on the purity of the metal and is also subject to market prices.

Strength

Titanium and diamonds are both strong, have very high melting points and resist corrosion. However, both substances are also very expensive; their high cost is prohibitive in using them in widespread industrial applications that might otherwise benefit from their structural properties.

Mining

Both titanium and diamonds are found in the ground and extracted by mining. While diamonds are rare, titanium is relatively abundant -- it's the ninth-most abundant element on Earth. Despite being very common, it is not easily accessible, as it has to be chemically extracted from titanium ore; although there is more titanium than tin, mercury, manganese, lead, zinc, nickel and chromium combined, these other metals are often found in large, concentrated deposits that are easily mined and already relatively pure.

References

About the Author

Chuck Robert specializes in nutrition, marketing, nonprofit organizations and travel. He has been writing since 2007, serving as a ghostwriter and contributing to online publications. Robert holds a Master of Arts with a dual specialization in literature and composition from Purdue University.

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