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IperionX to Make Titanium Plate for Testing by Lockheed Martin

Jun 15, 2023

The titanium plate components for Lockheed Martin will be manufactured with powder metallurgy production methods and IperionX’s titanium angular powder. Image courtesy of IperionX.

IperionX Limited has agreed to an order with Lockheed Martin for the delivery of titanium plate components produced using IperionX’s U.S. manufactured titanium.

IperionX’s advanced titanium production technologies have the potential to provide more sustainable U.S. domestic supply chain for titanium raw material, the company reports.

“Reducing the cost of titanium components will mean broader use of this material to increase the performance of our products,” says 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.”

The titanium plate components for Lockheed Martin will be manufactured with powder metallurgy production methods and IperionX’s titanium angular powder. To deliver performance and durability, IperionX says it will also employ its patented Hydrogen Sintering and Phase Transformation (HSPT) technologies, a technique to enhance microstructure of titanium parts to deliver strength and fatigue properties comparable to wrought titanium alloys.

Titanium is known for its high strength-to-weight ratio, resistance to high temperatures and corrosion. Titanium is a material for many U.S. defense systems, including military fighter aircraft and engines, munition and weapon components, naval platforms and military ground vehicles. Lockheed Martin makes heavy use of titanium alloys for critical structures and key components in its products for air, land, sea, and space.

The United States has limited domestic primary titanium metal (titanium sponge) capacity, resulting in the U.S. importing over 95% of the titanium sponge required for the U.S. defense sector, according to the companies. IperionX plans to reshore titanium metal production to the U.S., reduce reliance on titanium imports from foreign nations, and strengthen the domestic titanium supply chain for critical defense systems, the company says.

Titanium has been mass produced in the same way since the 1940s when the existing ‘Kroll Process’ was developed. The Kroll Process is energy intensive. In contrast, IperionX’s titanium production technologies use less energy to produce high-strength titanium, at lower costs, with zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions, according to the company.

“This collaboration with Lockheed Martin is another important milestone towards the rapid commercialization of IperionX’s breakthrough low-carbon titanium technologies,” says Anastasios (Taso) Arima, IperionX CEO. “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.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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