Titanium Research Developments in the United Kingdom


The paper presents highlights of the titanium alloy research developments since Ti-2019 (Nantes). The review underlines the strong and collaborative fundamental research conducted between UK universities, HVM Catapults and industry. The role of advanced characterisation and modelling techniques in order to better understand the effects of deformation during processing, fatigue loading and environment on titanium alloys continues to be world leading. Researchers in the UK are also continuing to develop a range of new approaches for the recycling and better utilisation of titanium.


The Research progress and Industry Developmrnts of Titanium in China

In this paper, the progress of Titanium alloys research on fundamental and manufacture technologies, and industry developments in China in the last four years since the Ti-2019 conference in Nantes are been introduced and reviewed. During the last four years, the new alloys design, new methods to control the microstructure and new manufacture technologies development as well as low-cost processing are paid much more attentions by Chinese researchers. For the industry of Titanium in China, the capacity of titanium sponge, outputs of Titanium production are keeping a stable increase, and the consumption of titanium products are more than 60,000 tons at the end of 2021.


Recent Research and Development Activities on Titanium in Japan   

The research and development of titanium and its alloys, as well as recent progress in Japanese titanium industries and markets, are discussed. The academic and industrial advances in the past four years following the 14th World Conference on Titanium held in Nantes, France, are also overviewed along with the related activities.

 

Research, Development, and Application of Titanium in France

In our contribution, we will give an overview of the situation of titanium industry in France as well as recent achievements in the French research institutes and universities.
In 2019, titanium suppliers (TIMET Savoie and Ecotitanium/UKAD) for semi-finished products were operating at full capacity in order to meet the demand. During the period of March 2020 to December 2021, there was a reduction in demand of up to 80% that created challenges in the industry and slowed development and technology. The industry is now recovering and a review of the situation in France will be given.
On the technology side, an industrial plasma furnace is in operation at Ecotitanium, and a small scale plasma furnace at Metafensch. A scrap processing plant will be soon in operation in Toulouse area. Cryogenic machining is to be used in some shops, and there is a lot of development in Direct Energy Deposition and Additive Layer Manufacturing with some parts now on industrial applications.
Alloy development programs are in progress, such as Ti575, TiZrO, or Ti18.
On the academic side, research has been very active for understanding machining, deformation mechanisms, recrystallization during thermomechanical processing, and oxidation of titanium alloys. Efforts have also been put on alloys development. On one side, based on a deeper knowledge of the beta phase stability, TRIP/TWIP alloys are becoming more mature, although remaining at low TRL. On the other size, using high-throughput calculations and characterizations, new high temperature alloys are currently explored.
Finally, all aspects of additive manufacturing of titanium alloys are investigated, from basic knowledge of non-equilibrium microstructures to the optimization of processing conditions and mechanical properties.

 

Developments in Titanium Research and Applications in Germany

Since the Ti-2019 World Conference on Titanium held in Nantes, France, research, development and applications of commercially pure titanium, titanium alloys and titanium aluminides have advanced considerably. In this plenary paper, information is provided on important achievements in the German titanium industry, governmental and non-governmental research organisations and universities from the last four years.

Research focused on the development of new alloys and the introduction of sophisticated thermo-mechanical processes including severe plastic deformation mainly for the aerospace industry and medical engineering. To reduce the production costs of conventional titanium alloys and γ-TiAl, advanced processes like investment casting have been improved, and the capacity of titanium investment casting production has been increased significantly in Germany in the last four years. As intermetallic γ-TiAl-based alloys are applied in low pressure turbine blades now, γ-TiAl conversion of reverted parts has been investigated and validated.

Additive manufacturing processes, such as powder-bed fusion, can help to increase titanium usage, since even complicated geometries can be directly produced without much material loss or scrap production. On the other hand, the solidification conditions of the additively manufactured parts results in anisotropic properties and rapid cooling leads to martensitic or lamellar microstructures. In addition, defects like pores are always present in the as printed condition, which have a detrimental impact on mechanical properties. To improve the microstructure and properties of parts being produced by additive manufacturing, alloy development has been carried out in Germany. The defects were reduced by using dedicated building strategies and/or by post-processing.


Trends in the Research, Development, and Application of Titanium in the USA

Progress in the research, development, and application of titanium and titanium alloys that have occurred in the United States since the 14th World Conference on Titanium in Nantes, France are discussed. The US titanium industry went into a great recession in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns but has made a remarkable recovery. Several new titanium alloys are making their way to market. Interest in additive manufacturing of titanium alloys continues to increase and various agencies are publishing guidelines for qualification and certification of AM components. These efforts are being accelerated by the use of integrated computational modeling frameworks and databases which connect feedstock to part-level performance. The Federal Aviation Administration has convened a subcommittee to revise Advisory Circular 33.15-1, which covers the manufacturing process for premium quality titanium alloy rotating engine components, to include discussion of microtexture. At the same time, significant progress has been made with respect to quantitative characterization of microtexture as well as its affordable measurement over large areas using polarized light microscopy and other techniques. There continues to be strong collaboration between industry, academia, government labs, and small businesses to advance both fundamental and applied research.