Within the backstory of my world, I’m trying to justify the preeminence of a smaller nation as a result of its abilities with metalworking. We’re working under the assumption that this nation happens to, by luck, have significant reserves of Titanium, Aluminum, Vanadium, and Iron, which they may have not discovered the elemental properties of, but still understand to be different types of metals.
I’m wondering how realistic it would be for such a civilization to stumble upon something like Grade 38 Titanium (an alloy of smaller amounts of Aluminum, Vanadium, and Iron, mixed with pure Titanium), and to consistently be able to produce this alloy.
There are a few issues that I was wondering if there are workarounds for: namely if the existence of Titanium in ore makes it unlikely for a medieval civilization to be able to refine (same idea for the other metals) or differentiate from other metals like Iron or Silver. If it was stumbled upon by accident we can presume there’s a sort of alchemist guild dedicated to production of Grade 38 Titanium or something similar.
If this is impossible, is there any other type of metal alloy, stronger than steel, that could theoretically be stumbled upon by a medieval society? Titanium itself is not particularly strong for armor due to its brittleness.