Advanced Materials & Processes

NOV-DEC 2013

Covers developments in engineering materials selection, processing, fabrication, testing/characterization, materials engineering trends, and emerging technologies, industrial and consumer applications, as well as business and management trends

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Page 13 of 92

PROCESS TECHNOLOGY industry news Method aims to remove magnesium from seawater Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, Wash., is leading a $2.7 million, three-year project to develop a new method to remove magnesium from seawater. The project was announced by the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects AgencyEnergy (ARPA-E). Although magnesium is used in alloys to decrease weight and increase strength, it is roughly seven times more expensive to proPNNL is developing a new magnesium production method duce than steel. The U.S. is that would be 50% more energy efficient than the current home to just one bulk magneproduction process used in the U.S. Courtesy of Paul's Lab. sium plant in Utah, where brine from the Great Salt Lake region is put through electrolysis to extract the metal from a molten salt. About a third of the nation's magnesium is imported, with China the world's largest producer. China uses the Pidgeon process, which requires significantly more energy and creates substantially more carbon emissions than the U.S. method. PNNL is developing a titanium-based catalyst that regenerates an important chemical used in the magnesium extraction process. The catalyst enables a more efficient process and uses less energy, according to researchers. PNNL's process requires temperatures of no more than 300°C, rather than 900°C used in the current U.S. process. Development of a prototype system that uses the new method is planned. Using this method, the team says that commercial-scale magnesium production is expected to halve current U.S. production costs: It should cost less than $1.50 and require only 25 kWh of energy per kg. Dynamet Technology wins award for titanium PM development Dynamet Technology Inc., Burlington, Mass., won the International Titanium Association's (ITA) 2013 Titanium Applications Development Award. Founder and CEO Stanley Abkowitz accepted the award at the TITANIUM 2013 conference, held in October in Las Vegas. Dynamet pioneered the development and application of titanium powder metal (PM Ti) technology for four decades. Acceptance of PM Ti as a substitute for conventional Ti-6Al-4V mill products or forgings for use in aerospace components has been a longsought objective that marks a breakthrough for the PM titanium industry. The company received approval by Boeing Co. after extensive evaluation of Ti-6Al-4V alloy product and development of a Boeing Materials Specification for powder metal titanium alloy manufactured by its PM titanium processing approach. The company is now the sole qualified supplier for Ti-6Al-4V powder metal products, which can be used as an alternative to conventionally processed titanium for commercial aircraft components. Meeting the Boeing specification opens the door for the production of PM Ti-6Al-4V aircraft parts, from fuselage to landing-gear components. The Dynamet Technology EBS (elemental blend sintering) process involves cold pressing, vacuum sintering, plus an optional hot-isostatic pressing (HIP) step, all of which yields low-cost, high-density, preformed titanium alloy shapes. High-quality titanium products in a near-net shape from raw material powders are consistently produced. Abkowitz says the award funding will be used to support the ASM Materials Camp Program for high school and college-bound students, the ITA Academic Scholarship Fund, and an updated company website., briefs A single-strand continuous stainless-steel slab caster reportedly capable of casting the worldÕs thickest stainless steel slabs is now online at Pohang Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. (Posco) in Pohang, Korea. Siemens Metals Technologies, Austria, built the machine in PoscoÕs stainless steel plant SSCP 4. It is designed to produce 700,000 t of austenitic and ferritic steel slabs with thicknesses to 300 mm per year. Casting speed can reach 1.1 m/min. Continuous stainless-steel slab caster from Siemens at Posco in Pohang, Korea. Alcoa Inc., Pittsburgh, will combine its group charged with recycling aluminum in the packaging market, Evermore Recycling, with its aluminum scrap purchasing group, which recycles aluminum used in other markets such as aerospace, automotive, and industrial. The new entity, Alcoa Recycling, aims to further increase the amount of aluminum that is converted back into new products. Across its used beverage container (UBC) and aluminum scrap groups, Alcoa recycled approximately 1.4 billion lb of external aluminum in 2012. The American Galvanizers Association, Centennial, Colo., launched a new version of its website in September. The new site, an authoritative resource on hot-dip galvanized steel, is now responsive, which means the display changes so it is optimized to the userÕs device. The website also includes an improved search function, a Dr. Galv section (technical FAQs), interactive knowledge base, and enhanced technical content. ADVANCED MATERIALS & PROCESSES • NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2013 11

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