IperionX expands titanium production in the US

Aiming to serve as the US government’s go-to place for advanced materials, IperionX announced that it will deliver its furnace used to produce low-cost titanium to a manufacturing facility in Virginia in the coming months.

In the 45% of the weight of low carbon steel, titanium is a light but not extremely strong element. It is usually mixed with other metals to make it stronger.

Installation and commissioning of the company’s ‘HAMR titanium furnace’ is expected in the second quarter of 2024, ahead of production of the first titanium metal in mid-2024.

Its large-scale, industrial titanium furnace leverages the company’s proprietary technologies – such as HAMR1 and HSPT2 – to produce sustainable, high-quality, high-strength titanium metal products on a commercial scale.

This advanced production facility will use angular and spherical titanium
powders to manufacture a wide range of low-cost, high-performance titanium products using powder metallurgy, HSPT forging and additive manufacturing/3D printing.

This capacity expansion came about due to investment from the US Department of Defense (DoD), which committed $12.7 million in capital to the company in October 2023. So far, IperionX has received $2.4 million as part of a Department of Development DPA Title III grant to fund the Phase I expansion of its Virginia titanium production facility.

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It is hoped that these funds will allow the supplier to increase its titanium powder production to 125 metric tons

Is titanium making a comeback in the defense industry?

Thomas Whitehead, defense analyst at leading intelligence consultancy; GlobalDatapointed out that titanium is an advanced material that is often incorporated into a number of military systems.

As early as 1966, the US Air Force introduced the fastest manned breathing aircraft ever: SR-71 Blackbird. Developed by Lockheed Martinit was the first aircraft composed primarily of titanium, which enabled the target’s cruising altitude, range and speed.

Since then, titanium alloys have offered a unique combination of strength, lightness and heat resistance unmatched by materials such as steel or aluminum.

Although titanium alloys have not been used as extensively as in the SR-71, development has focused on optimizing alloy compositions for specific applications.

Titanium has also increased popular in the marine sector, with interest initially due to its popularity on merchant ships. This is mainly because salt water has almost no effect on the material.

The property is a significant advantage compared to the majority of other metals as it avoids corrosion, reducing the need for regular maintenance due to the negative effects of salt water.

The lack of seawater corrosion means that titanium has become increasingly popular on the exterior of many submarines and other naval vessels, with the material used in exhaust liners, submarine ball valves, fire pumps and heat exchangers, as well as the majority of a submarine’s piping and cooling systems.

Similarly, titanium alloys are high strength and low density, making them an ideal material for ballistic protection.

The Affordable defense gear from titanium to useful The program (ATiTUDE) is a £3.5 million ($4.39 million) Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)-funded project, led by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL).



Read the original at Defence247.gr

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