RENO, Nev. A nanotechnology developer and a producer of low cost titanium metals will join forces to further reduce the cost of titanium production using new electrolysis technology.
Altair Technologies Inc., based here, said Wednesday (Aug. 13) it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Titanium Metals Corp. to codevelop low cost titanium metals for the military. Titanium Metals is one of the largest suppliers of titanium and titanium alloys to the aerospace and military sectors.
Titanium Metals was recently selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to head a program to advance titanium electrolysis technology developed at Cambridge University in England. The process uses titanium dioxide (TiO2) as feedstock.
Altair said it would provide TiO2 for customized electrodes being used in the Darpa project. The company said its patented process for controlling TiO2 particle size, shape and crystalline structure can be used to make TiO2 nanoparticles.
The partners said they may eventually enter into a licensing agreement if Altair's process and feedstock prove beneficial to the titanium development program.
According to a Pentagon-funded study, titanium production is only 1/20th of current potential world volume. DoD is betting that the Cambridge process could reduce the cost of titanium production, making the metal more cost competitive with traditional metals used in military and commercial aircraft like high-grade stainless steel.