Titanium Powder Metallurgy
Titanium research focuses on both new energy efficient methods for the production of Ti primary metals and the development of processes and alloys with superior mechanical properties. The first project is on a new chemical pathway for extraction of Ti from ore, or, specifically, a novel approach for production of Ti metal powder from TiO2. The new hydrogen assisted magnesiothermic (HAMR) process can produce Ti metal at 40% less processing energy, and 50% less cost than that of CP-Ti powder available commercially in the market today.
The project also developed a new process (GSD) for making spherical Ti alloy powders for 3D printing, injection molding, and other near-net-shape manufacturing processes of Ti. The raw material for using the GSD process can be from either virgin or recycled Ti alloys. The cost of spherical Ti alloy powder produced by the GSD process is 50% less than that based on conventional melt/atomization techniques.
The low cost and energy efficient process for Ti production project is funded by the Advanced Research Project Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) of US Department of Energy (DOE) through a $6.8M cooperative agreement.
The second Ti project and technology involves a novel method of sintering that can
reduce the cost of making Ti components by more than 80 percent. The new sintering
process is called hydrogen sintering and phase transformation (HSPT) process. Ti alloys
produced by the HSPT process has wrought-like microstructure and fatigue mechanical
properties without the wrought processing. This project was funded by the Advanced
Manufacturing Office of the Division of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
of DOE under a $1.8M contract.