Materials

Low-cost titanium alloys for additive manufacturing targetted by IperionX and Oak Ridge National Laboratory collaboration

IperionX, a North Carolina-based advanced materials enterprise, has announced a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The work concerns improving the utilization of low-cost alloys using IperionX-developed spherical powder based on its titanium processing technology.

With a mission to become “a leading developer of US-based sustainable critical mineral and critical material supply chains, ” IperionX hopes the collaboration accelerates a “new age of American industry.”

Anastasios (Taso) Arima, IperionX’s CEO and Managing Director, said, “We are extremely pleased to be working with ORNL. The laboratory is an ideal partner for IperionX, with expertise in additive manufacturing, along with a strong interest in identifying new powder feedstocks that lower costs and increase energy efficiency, particularly in transportation.”


The user agreement was signed to facilitate the work of ORNL and IperionX within the DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) located at ORNL. The MDF is a 110,000 sq ft. facility and the USA’s sole large-scale, open-access site designed to demonstrate R&D manufacturing technology and optimize crucial procedures rapidly. The main goals in the User Agreement include evaluation and characterisation, as well as a demonstration of the superior performance of the materials.

Evaluation and characterization of spherical titanium powders made by IperionX’s techniques for industrial 3D printing and other applications, such as the possibility of using titanium powders to produce parts that currently rely on other metals like aluminum and stainless steel. Additionally, the project intends to demonstrate that sintered and pressed parts manufactured using IperionX’s powders have comparable or better properties than parts made using traditional titanium powders.

IperionX’s innovative titanium technologies have the potential to produce titanium products that are environmentally friendly and fully recyclable. IperionX also has a 100 percent stake in the Titan Project. The Titan Project, located in Tennessee, is a huge titanium resource in North America that is also abundant in rare earth minerals. Estimates state that 7.1 million tonnes of titanium are in the land.

“ORNL brings a knowledge base from numerous collaborations with advanced manufacturing companies, such as partnering in Volkswagen’s first U.S. innovation hub in Tennessee to develop lighter vehicle components from composite materials and electrify vehicles, its recent work with NASA which resulted in a 3D printed thermal protection shield traveling to the International Space Station, or its additive manufacturing work with Boeing’s 777x,” said IperionX’s CEO and Managing Director.

ORNL has been at the leading edge of titanium powder technology research and development, focusing on low-cost production with applications in the defense, automotive, and aerospace industries.

During the collaboration, parts, such as sintered and pressed components, will be manufactured and tested at the MDF to confirm the Ti-6Al-4V alloy developed by IperionX are suitable for lightweighting in the transportation industry. This User Agreement will complement IperionX’s ongoing efforts to validate and demonstrate the efficiency that it provides with its U.S. titanium powder used for additively produced aerospace components and will be used to support an initiative that is being conducted in conjunction with The U.S. Navy to evaluate titanium replacement metals for flight critical elements for U.S. Department of Defense.

“Both organizations share Tennessee roots, and we look forward to progressing the User Agreement and establishing a strong relationship between IperionX and ORNL,” the IperionX CEO concluded. 

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