Alloy Development

Low-cost titanium alloys

Titanium, despite its relative abundance, is expensive. This is due to the many steps involved in titanium extraction, alloying, and thermomechanical processing. Therefore, we research the use of alternative extraction and processing technologies which have the potential to reduce the cost of titanium alloy components.

The FFC-Cambridge process is a molten salt electrolysis method capable of extracting most metals from their respective oxides. Previous research in collaboration with Metalysis Ltd. has investigated the production of titanium alloys by utilising this process. Through the simultaneous reduction of mixed metal oxides, titanium alloys can be directly produced in powder form. Further cost reduction can be achieved through the direct reduction of synthetic rutile feedstock, which already contains traces of alpha and beta stabilisers. The powder can then be used in powder metallurgy techniques, such as Field Assisted Sintering Technology (FAST) for further processing.

Our researchers have also investigated the use of blended elemental powder metallurgy to create new alloys. For example, high iron content titanium alloys are difficult to produce using conventional production due to segregation during melting. Solid-state processing can prevent these issues though, enabling new alloy development and allowing for use of low-cost elements like iron.

Publications of Interest

Direct electrochemical production of pseudo-binary Ti–Fe alloys from mixtures of synthetic rutile and iron(III) oxide.pdf
Direct reduction of synthetic rutile using the FFC process to produce low-cost novel titanium alloys.pdf
On a Testing Methodology for the Mechanical Property Assessment of a New Low-Cost Titanium Alloy Derived from Synthetic Rutile.pdf