EcoTitanium project for aviation grade titanium recycling to install range of Seco/Warwick furnaces

July 8, 2015

Seco/Warwick Europe, Poland, together with Retech Systems, USA, are to supply a comprehensive range of melt shop equipment to the new EcoTitanium facility in Saint-Georges-de-Mons, France. The EcoTitanium project, announced in December 2014, has the aim to build and operate Europe’s first recycling plant for aviation grade titanium.

The full delivery will be comprised of three metallurgical units, one plasma arc melting furnace, two vacuum arc remelting furnaces, plus accompanying equipment.

Plasma Melting Systems have the ability to consistently produce titanium alloy ingots and castings more efficiently than many competing technologies. This is primarily due to the fact that Plasma Melting Systems operate under an inert gas atmosphere which allows the alloy composition of the metal to be maintained easily with minimal evaporative losses, as opposed to other processes which operate in a vacuum.

Two vacuum arc remelting furnaces, each of them equipped with two melt stations, are designed to melt and refine titanium and titanium alloy final ingots. These ingots will be produced from fully-dense electrodes produced by Retech’s Plasma Cold Hearth Melting process. New ingots will be formed in copper crucible by melting of the consumable electrode under the vacuum conditions by the means of the electric arc.

EcoTitanium will provide the European aircraft manufacturing industry with a new supply of titanium that is independent of American and Russian sources. The project has three shareholders, UKAD, a joint venture by Aubert & Duval and UKTMP, the French State under the PIA investment programme run by ADEME, and Crédit Agricole Centre France regional bank.

The qualification cycle will begin in 2017, with industrial production scheduled to start in 2018.   

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