I have tried to research whether titanium piercings will tarnish if one submerges in sulfur hot springs. Will titanium piercings react to the sulfur water?

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    $\begingroup$ No.$\ce{~~~~~}$ $\endgroup$ Feb 4 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ I understand OP is new to the site so I would like to point to the elephant in the room. Your question received downvotes because of one of the reasons mentioned on this page: chemistry.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask $\endgroup$
    – user79161
    Feb 4 at 6:10

Neither Hydrogen sulfide nor sulfur dioxide will corrode titanium at ambient temperatures.

  • $\begingroup$ We are not actually addressing the properties of pure titanium, but an alloy thereof. $\endgroup$
    – AJKOER
    Feb 5 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ Grades 1 to 4 are considered to be unalloyed.. they have increasing levels of oxygen , nitrogen and similar interstitials that have little affect on corrosion resistance; They are increasingly stronger with less ductility. Jewelry would logically be made of them. Grade 2 is most common , difficult to imagine a jewelry producer going to the expense of other grades . And of course Grade 5 would need to be heat-treated - way beyond a jewelers skill. $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia is good but they do have some poor listings. The one for Inconel is very misleading. $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, per my edited answer, a source marketing such rings, clearly recommends rinsing off the ring after normal seawater exposure, which suggests an electrochemical promoted corrosion issue here, especially in a highly salty mineral bath (also with a sulfur presence). $\endgroup$
    – AJKOER
    Feb 9 at 15:57

The question actually relates to Titanium piercings. Per Wikipedia on the topic of Body Piercing Materials, to quote:

Titanium body jewelry is often manufactured in either commercially pure grades 1 to 4, grade 5 TI6AL4V alloy or grade 23 Ti6AL4V ELI alloy.

where the keyword is "alloy".

So, rephrasing the question, could a Titanium-based alloy be subject to electrochemical corrosion in the presence of hydrogen sulfide?

My answer is a possible yes, and I suspect the person asking the question has already confirmed this via direct observation.

This article: Corrosion characterization of titanium alloys by electrochemical techniques appears to confirm potential corrosion issues in even a lab constructed physiological solution.

I suspect, aqueous $\ce{H2S}$, would be even more problematic, and likely could result in visible electrochemical based corrosion.

[EDIT] Did find an interesting suggestion on how to care for your Titanium jewelry, particularly rings here, to quote:

You should also rinse the salt off of your ring after swimming in the ocean.

So, on the question as to "whether titanium piercings will tarnish if one submerges in sulfur hot spring", a source marketing such rings, recommends rinsing off your ring after exposure to a salt-rich solution. Note, salt is well known to generally promote electrochemical based corrosion and, not even further considering a sulfur presence, there appears to be a potential issue here (else it would not be recommended!).


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