A Low Cost Electrolytic Process to Produce Titanium Alloy From Ti02-MxOy

Period of Performance: 03/05/2003 - 11/10/2003

$120K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials & Electrochemical Research
7960 South Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85756
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The production of titanium is by the Kroll process, which is mature, yet expensive, limiting titanium?s usages. Titanium alloys are produced by mixing the alloying elements with Kroll pure titanium and performing several vacuum remelts to reduce interstitial contaminants. Electrolysis to produce titanium has significant potential but has not been perfected to produce acceptable purity and low cost from any titanium precursor compound. A unique electrolytic process of utilizing a composite Ti02 electrode has been demonstrated to produce high purity titanium, as well as co-reduce other oxide compounds to their elemental form, thus electrolytically producing titanium alloys directly. The electrolytically produced titanium alloy powder can be melt-free consolidated to billets for forming into titanium products at only a few dollars per pound. This program will demonstrate producing titanium alloy powder by unique electrolysis from Ti02-Mx0y composite electrodes. The titanium alloy powder will be melt-free transformed to Grade 5 Ti-6A1-4V for well under $9.00/lb. finished part. Electrolytically producing high purity titanium alloy powder directly from Ti02/rutile at only a few dollars per pound constitutes a breakthrough, which has the potential to expand the market for titanium by several orders of magnitude. Expanded markets include armor, automotive, aerospace, chemical process/corrosion resistance, etc.