Several companies are exploring how leading-edge, powdered metal techniques might be used as a lower-cost alternative to produce titanium. If such pilot programmes are demonstrated to be commercially viable, they have the potential to open up a wider spectrum of commercial and industrial applications for titanium.

TITANIUM 2012, the annual conference and exhibition sponsored by ITA, will feature general session speaker panels on titanium powder production and manufacturing parts from titanium powder. It takes place from October 7-10, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Representatives of the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization, Ohio State University and Oak Ridge National Labs will present on “Titanium Powdered Metal  – What’s After the Kroll Process?”, a review of how researchers recently have embraced solid-state production of titanium. They will explain how they envision market benefits from solid-state technologies, such as how the cost to build commercial capacity, solid-state production facilities are calculated to be much lower than existing Kroll and ingot metallurgy facilities.

Other presentations in this panel will include “Performance of Composite Pour Tubes for Titanium Close Coupled Atomization” by representatives of Iowa State University, Ames, IA, and Ames Laboratory (USDOE).

Bill Peter, leader of the materials processing and manufacturing group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will present “Forging of Powder Metallurgy Processed Ti-6Al-4V.” Peter will describe how, in a collaborative project between Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a 300-pound aircraft component forging of Ti-6Al-4V was produced from a billet of material that was prepared using powder metallurgy processing. The titanium alloy powder that was made by the plasma rotating electrode process was consolidated via hot-isostatic pressing to produce a 400-pound block, then machined to billet dimensions that were specified for standard production components. The billet successfully was forged along with standard cast and wrought Ti-6Al-4V extra-low interstitial (ELI) billets. Testing results showed the properties of the powder-metal Ti-6Al-4V compared favorably to the cast and wrought ELI Ti-6Al-4V.

This panel also will feature presentations by K. Kondoh, a professor at Osaka University, Japan (“Next-Generation Development of a Superior Grade Titanium Ti-6Al-4V Alloy via Oxygen Solid Solution Strengthening for Aerospace and Defense Applications”); Nigel A. Stone, team leader, titanium, ceramics and particulates, of the CSIRO Process Science and Engineering group (“The Influence of Titanium Powder Source and Processing Conditions on the Microstructure/Mechanical Property Relationship of Direct Powder-Rolled Titanium Sheet”); Ryan R. Dehoff of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (“Advances in Additive Manufacturing of Titanium”); and “The Metalysis Process: From Patents to Production,” by Dr. Kartik Rao, product manager, titanium, of Metalysis Ltd, South Yorkshire, UK.

In another presentation, Matthias Scharvogel, representing Element 22 GmbH, Kiel, Germany, will discuss the company’s progress in developing surgical implants and commercial aerospace components using metal injection molding (MIM) of titanium powder.