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Rutile is a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide, TiO2. Rutile is the most common natural form of TiO2. Rutile is used in three major applications: titanium dioxide pigment, flux core welding wire and titanium metal production.
Rutile, when processed into titanium dioxide pigment, can be used in the same products as ilmenite. Rutile is sometimes the preferred source for titanium dioxide pigment as it provides the most efficient product with the least waste in manufacture.
Flux core welding wire is the preferred welding consumable for pressure vessels, petrochemical piping, and heavy-equipment manufacturing, as flux core wire stabilises the electric arc ensuring a superior joint.
Rutile can also be converted into titanium sponge, which is then processed into titanium metal. Titanium metal’s unique properties include its high strength-to-weight ratio, high melting point and resistance to corrosion. This makes rutile a preferred metal in the aerospace industry for manufacturing aircraft frames and jet engines. It is also commonly used to produce top quality sporting equipment, pacemakers, artificial limbs, surgical equipment, spectacle frames and watches. When Titanium metal is mixed with other metals such as iron, manganese and aluminium, it forms alloys which are both temperature and corrosion resistant meaning they have a wide array of uses in difficult environments.