ASTM-F 136 Titanium & Niobium
What Does "ASTM" Mean?
In an effort to promote public health and safety, The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is a non-profit, panel of organizations and scientists that work together to develop internationally recognized standardized testing of over 12,000 products and materials. The designation of "F-136" refers to the specific type of titanium that meets ASTM standards for biocompatibility and overall chemical composition.
What is the Benefit of Using F-136 Titanium for Body Jewelry?
This particular alloy of titanium is specifically refined and annealed for surgical implant applications, as designated by the ASTM. Titanium is naturally biocompatible and free of nickel, an element that many people are sensitive to, making it an ideal base metal to make body jewelry from. Titanium also forms a naturally stable layer of oxidation on its' surface. This layer of oxidation can have an electric current passed through it to alter the color of the jewelry, referred to as anodizing.
For both initial and healed piercings, it is vital to use jewelry made of biocompatible materials. Anything containing nickel, cadmium, or lead will lead to complications and irritation over time. Any additional metallic alloys in F-136 Titanium will include vanadium and/or aluminum, which are non-toxic and they are added to improve the overall strength while maintaining malleability and purity.
What the Heck is Niobium?
Niobium, like titanium, is an element in it's purest form. Jewelry made of niobium is harder to find since it is a lesser known material, and typically more expensive to produce. It is an ideal candidate for use in large gauge jewelry since it is slightly softer than titanium, and since it is more malleable, it is easier to open and close large gauge rings made of niobium. Just like titanium, you can alter the color of the jewelry by anodizing it.