The "anodize" in anodized titanium refers to the process of anodization. In technical terms, anodizing titanium is an electrolytic finishing process that manipulates the oxide layer on the surface of the titanium via electric current and some sort of liquid. The manipulation of the titanium creates the anode, also known as the positive electrode, of an electrolytic cell, hence the name of the process.
We know that's a lot of science talk to take in, but don't worry. You don't have to get the ins and outs of the scientific process to understand the benefits of anodized titanium.
There are two common types of anodized titanium: Type 2 and Type 3. There is a Type 1, but it is far less common and only used in specialized treatments at high temperatures.
Type 2 adonized titanium is often used by the aerospace industry because it is corrosion resistant against elements like salt, water, and heat.
It is also used in the medical device industry to make orthopedic implants. This is because when untreated, titanium can produce dust when rubbed up against a hard surface. The Type 2 anodization process helps prevent the titanium from seizing or causing friction between sliding surfaces. When applied to implanted metal joints, for example, it makes for improved mobility.
You don't have to be an astronaut or have a metal implant to enjoy the benefits of anodized titanium. Type 3 anodized titanium, also known as colored titanium, is often used in jewelry. The Type 3 anodization process can create a wide range of colors like blue, purple, magenta, and green. No dyes are necessary for creating color titanium through anodization. This among other things is what makes Type 3 anodized titanium biomedically safe.