Jun 03, 2017

Titanium is the ninth most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust,but despite its many advantages,its high cost has limited its applications.These presentations from Tricor metals,Cambridge university, The Boeing company,and RTI international Metals show that costs can be reduced by finding more cost-effective ways to estract the ore as well as improved manufacturing methods.

However, Charles S. Young of Tricor metals made the case in “Titanium is not too expensive”, that titanium is

Really less expensive than many corrosion resistant alloys. he showed that rather than price per pound, the cost should be based on a more realistic measures that considers the cost of protecting a given surface area a cost he designates the”” normalized cost”.

In other words, it is the cost of the amount of material required for a part that is important,not the cost per Pound. Because each metal or alloy has different density.a squre foot of a metal with lower density would Weigh less than at a given thickness than one with higher density.In addition to density,yield strength needs to be considered when attempting to compare the true cost of different alloys.Therefore,the normalized cost takes into account both density and yield strength.Normalized cost can be calculated by the equation:

Normalized cost=price/lb x density x YS of alloy/YS of titanium.

This equation shows that the normalized cost of titanium GR.2 is significantly lower than that of nickel alloy 625 and C276.This is a very significant difference,and the titanium industry should educate the industrial End-users about the difference.

This approach can provide a quick comparision of metals and alloys,but ASME deisgn allowable(section VIII div 1) should also be taken into account.This can easily be done by substituting design allowable strength At operating temperature for the yield strength in the normalized cost equation.

The equation works to compare any metals at any operating temperature.In fact,this same type of analysis Is suitable for heat transfer equipment,and it shows that currently titanium is more cost-effective than Copper-nickel alloys.

A process for titanium extraction that would reduce costs further was explained by DR Daniel Jewel of Cambridge university.He discussed “the Chinuka process”: titanium metal production via oxycarbide Electrorefining”.This technology replaces the expensive multi-step kroll process with one in which Refining and electro-deposition take place simultaneously,with ores and concentrates as feedback. It allows impure metal oxides to be reduced and refined to high-purity metals.

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