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Low Cost Alternatives to Titanium Plate Production

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Army
Award ID:
62919
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
A022-0275
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Materials & Electrochemical Research (MER) Corp.
7960 S. Kolb Rd. Tucson, AZ 85756-9237
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Low Cost Alternatives to Titanium Plate Production
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W911QX-04-C-0009
Award Amount: $729,997.00
 

Abstract:

The current technology for the production of titanium is by the Kroll process producing titanium sponge. The Kroll technology is mature, yet expensive, limiting titanium?s usages. The Kroll titanium sponge is vacuum remelted and alloyed, and cast into billets, or the sponge in ground to powder and powder metallurgy processing used to produce components where alloying can occur in-situ during sintering. Electrolysis/electrowinning processes to produce titanium particulate/sponge have significant potential but have not been perfected to produce acceptable purity and low cost product. This is due in part to titanium?s +4 valence state and lack of solubility of the oxide or covalent chloride in fused salts, the multivalency of titanium and re-oxidation of reduced titanium ions at the anode. Initial results of Phase I suggest a breakthrough in electrowinning titanium that overcomes these problems have been demonstrated. The process consists of a combined thermal/electrolytic treatment utilizing a composite titanium oxide-carbon anode that dissolves Ti3+ directly into solution for electrolytic reduction to titanium particulate that can be directly utilized in powder metallurgy. Both anode and cathode efficiencies are near 100% resulting in low cost titanium. Pulse electrolysis benefits demonstrate reducing cell voltage, controlling Ti particle morphology, and allowing the electrolysis to be performed at very low temperatures. The concept of producing titanium at both composite anodes and cathodes was demonstrated utilizing pulse electrolysis. Pulse electrolysis will be optimized to the most economical process to produce titanium and titanium alloy powder for armor and other defense applications. A basis will be established for translating the pulse electrolysis composite anode process into 200 Kg/month capacity.

Principal Investigator:

James Withers
Principal Investigator
5205741980
jcwithers@mercorp.com

Business Contact:

Raouf Loutfy
President
5205741980
rloutfy@mercorp.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

MATERIALS & ELECTROCHEMICAL RESEARCH (ME
7960 S. Kolb Rd. Tucson, AZ 85706

EIN/Tax ID: 860530946
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No