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.