Velta LLC, headquartered in Dnipro, Ukraine, has announced that it has developed titanium aluminide (TiAl) using a proprietary closed-cycle manufacturing process. This development will reportedly allow for new and more robust applications of intermetallic compounds across commercial and defence sectors at a fraction of the carbon footprint of traditional methods.
The conventional production of titanium metal and its alloys, such as titanium aluminide, is both energy-and time-intensive. The new Velta Ti Process, which creates titanium alloy powders from ilmenite concentrate, reportedly results in a superior product with a carbon footprint between five and ten times smaller than those made through the traditional Kroll process.
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“The titanium metallurgy sector is uncommonly ripe for disruption: they’ve relied on the same outdated process, generating the same carbon footprint, for decades. That’s why we opened a research and development centre in 2017 to begin exploring new production processes,” shared Andriy Brodsky, Velta chief executive. “After years of R&D, we’re excited to bring our innovations – from pure titanium to high-performance alloys – to the market.”
Intermetallic materials have become increasingly prized in the aerospace and automotive sectors and civil infrastructure. Titanium aluminides reportedly have the potential to compete with superalloys when manufactured through the Velta Ti Process. The heat resistance available through superalloys, such as those based on nickel, iron-chromium-nickel, cobalt, or mixed bases, come at the cost of weight. Titanium aluminide offers both extreme heat resistance and low weight, making it ideal for aerospace engines for the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX, Boeing 777, and Boeing 787. Other applications include orthopaedic and dental implants and gas turbine blades for power generation.
More information on the Velta Ti process is available via the company’s website.