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Ti powder

By Chemical Engineering |

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Arlington, Va.) has awarded $5.7 million to a two-company consortium to develop an inexpensive and energy-efficient process for making titanium metal powder. Such powders can be used to make strong, lightweight objects, such as armor plating and components for aerospace, transportation and the chemical process industries. In the two-year project, Du Pont (Wilmington, Del.; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6517-544) will supply titanium dioxide as raw material and selectively participate in the design and development of a production system. The other partner, Materials and Electrochemical Research Corp. (MER; Tuscon, Ariz.; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6517-545), will provide the core technology for converting TiO2 into titanium metal. The process is expected to consume less than half the energy required to convert titanium ore to titanium metal, says Du Pont. In addition, the new process makes titanium metal as a powder that can be directly formed into desired shapes, which enables manufacturers to make parts with less machining and scrap.  
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