Cambridge University spin-out Metalysis has revealed a breakthrough ‘sand to metal’ conversion process from its UK technology flagship.
The company has developed a production process that can transform natural rutile sands directly into titanium metal powder in a single step. Rutile is a naturally occurring titanium ore present in beach sands.
The process has the potential to completely transform the metals industry and has the benefits of being an environmentally benign and cost-effective means of titanium production.
Metalysis is exploiting technology from Cambridge University that was spun-out in 2001 and is now headquartered in Yorkshire.
The new Metalysis process, developed at the UK plant, has successfully carried out a series of production runs using rutile feedstock and is now able to produce a range of titanium powders.
The breakthrough in the use of rutile ore as the feedstock is part of a decade-long development of a process to provide highly-efficient, cost effective and transformational specialist metals production.
The new rutile derived titanium powder can be used in a variety of new applications to satisfy the latent demand for a low cost, lightweight, high strength and corrosion resistant metal.
In addition to titanium, tantalum and specialist metals (including rare earths), a wide range of innovative ‘designer’ alloys can be produced on a commercial scale with a significantly reduced environmental impact. The process is also suitable for the recycling of strategic metals.
via Business Weekly
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