IperionX Limited, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, has received an order from Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, for the delivery of titanium plate components. The components will be made from IperionX’s US-manufactured angular titanium powder using its patented Hydrogen Sintering and Phase Transformation (HSPT) Powder Metallurgy process.
HSPT enhances the microstructure of titanium parts, delivering strength and fatigue properties comparable to wrought titanium alloys, resulting in higher performance and durability for the components.
Titanium is a critical material for many defence systems, including military fighter aircraft and engines, munition and weapon components, naval platforms and military ground vehicles. Lockheed Martin is reported to utilise titanium alloys for critical structures and other key components across the breadth of its products for air, land, sea, and space.
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“Reducing the cost of titanium components will mean broader use of this material to increase the performance of our products,” stated Brian Rosenberger, Lockheed Martin senior fellow for Additive Manufacturing Processes and Materials. “With this order, Lockheed Martin will perform an initial evaluation of the material quality and mechanical performance of IperionX’s titanium plate material.”
Anastasios (Taso) Arima, IperionX CEO, added, “This collaboration with Lockheed Martin is another important milestone towards the rapid commercialisation of IperionX’s breakthrough low-carbon titanium technologies. These patented technologies can either use titanium minerals or titanium scrap metal as feedstock to manufacture high quality titanium products at significantly lower cost and carbon footprint than existing production processes.”
The United States has limited domestic primary titanium metal (titanium sponge) capacity, with over 95% of the US defence sector’s required titanium sponge imported. IperionX plans to re-shore titanium metal production to the US, reduce the acute reliance on titanium imports from foreign nations and strengthen the domestic titanium supply chain for critical defence systems.
Titanium has been mass-produced using the same method since the 1940s, when the existing Kroll Process was developed. However, the Kroll Process is expensive, energy-intensive, and results in high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, IperionX’s titanium production technologies use less energy to produce high-strength titanium at a lower cost, while generating zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions.