South Africa has the world’s second-largest reserves of titanium ore, and engineers have developed and patented technology to convert titanium ore to titanium powder. On 7 June, CSIR launched a titanium pilot plant to further advance titanium powder technology. 

“This research is important to the aviation industry because it will enable us to use titanium powder for manufacturing in ways that reduce energy consumption and waste,” said Dr William Lyons, Boeing research & technology director of global technology.

Dr Willie du Preez, director of the South African Titanium Centre of Competence, hosted by CSIR, said the collaboration with Boeing will bring value to South Africa. “Boeing’s competencies and experience regarding the applications of titanium in aerospace will hugely benefit CSIR’s drive towards yjr commercialisation of titanium technologies,” he said.

J Miguel Santos, Boeing International vice president for Africa, added: “Our research and development agreement with CSIR adds a new dimension to Boeing engagement in South Africa. We are collaborating to advance South Africa’s development in the aviation industry, which will increase the competitiveness of Boeing products.”

Boeing's advanced research and development organisation Boeing Research & Technology, or BR&T, will oversee the company’s research activity in South Africa. 

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