Tag: IperionX

Visualizing Asia’s Dominance in the Titanium Supply Chain

This post is by Govind Bhutada from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by IperionX
titanium supply chain infographic

Asia’s Dominance in the Titanium Supply Chain

Titanium is a unique metal with important applications in defense, aerospace, automotives, and medicine. 

But before making it into all its end uses, titanium goes through a complex supply chain that involves both geopolitical and environmental challenges. 

This infographic sponsored by IperionX explores the titanium supply chain and highlights the countries that dominate it.

The Stages of Titanium Production

Titanium’s end-to-end production process typically involves five steps: 

  1. Mineral extraction
    The minerals ilmenite and rutile are the primary feedstocks for titanium production. These minerals are partly composed of titanium dioxide, which is later refined into titanium metal.
  1. Sponge metal production
    Ilmenite and rutile are refined into titanium sponge using the Kroll refining process.
  2. Ingots and melted products
    Titanium sponge is melted into ingots and other melted products.
  3. Mill products
    Finished products like bars, sheets, and tubes are manufactured from ingots. This process typically generates large amounts of machining scrap.
  4. Scrap
    Scrap or waste accounts for large material losses in the supply chain. The current scrap recirculation rate is less than 70%.

The Kroll process of refining titanium minerals to produce sponge metal is an 80-year-old method that involves high energy use and carbon emissions. It’s also heavily dependent on a few countries, primarily in Asia.

The Titanium Supply Chain

The mineral ilmenite accounts for 90% of all titanium (Read more...)

Titanium: The Metal of the Future

This post is by Govind Bhutada from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by IperionX
titanium metal

Titanium: The Metal of the Future

Titanium is a popular metal, but are we harnessing its true potential or merely scratching the surface?

Despite having superior properties when compared to stainless steel and aluminum, titanium is produced and used on a relatively small scale. Its current applications are highly specialized, ranging from aircraft turbine engines to medical implants and military vehicles.

This infographic sponsored by IperionX explores titanium’s growth markets and potential for mainstream application in the future.

Titanium Production vs. Stainless Steel and Aluminum

Titanium’s high cost limits its applications and scale of production.

In fact, global titanium metal production is less than 1% of aluminum and steel production.

Metal2021 production (million tonnes)Price range per tonne
Stainless steel56.3Mt$4-5K
Titanium metal0.3Mt$13-16K

Titanium is expensive because it is still processed and refined using the 80-year-old Kroll process. Invented by metallurgist William Kroll in 1940, the Kroll process is complex, energy-intensive, and carbon-intensive.

While titanium produced using the Kroll process is uneconomical for large-scale uses, cost-competitive and sustainably-produced titanium could kickstart a new Titanium Age.

The Growth Markets for Titanium

Titanium has untapped growth potential in many markets, but four industries stand out: 

  1. Aerospace:
    Titanium’s high strength-to-weight ratio and high melting point make it a critical material for aerospace and space exploration. (Read more...)

Titanium: What You Should Know and Why You Should Care

This post is by Govind Bhutada from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by IperionX
titanium: what you should know

Titanium: What You Should Know and Why You Should Care

Titanium is a special metal that often flies under the radar. 

Stronger than aluminum and lighter than steel, titanium has unique properties that have enabled its uses in a range of different industries like defense and medicine. 

This infographic from our sponsor IperionX highlights what you need to know about titanium, from its unique properties to the metal’s uses in the modern economy. This is part one of three infographics in the Titanium 101 Series

The Properties of Titanium

What makes titanium so special? Here are some of the properties that make titanium naturally superior to more common substitutes like stainless steel and aluminum: 

  • High strength-to-weight ratio:
    Titanium is two times stronger than aluminum and 45% lighter than steel with comparable strength.
  • Resistance to corrosion:
    Titanium’s natural resistance to corrosion allows for applications in harsh environments, including under seawater.  
  • Abundance:
    Titanium is the 9th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, found in nearly all rocks and sediments. 
  • Biocompatibility:
    Titanium’s inertness inside the human body makes it biocompatible and suitable for medical and dental implants in humans.
  • Temperature resistance:
    Titanium has a melting point of 1,670 °C and can withstand temperatures higher and lower than stainless steel and aluminum.

Several industries harness titanium’s unique properties in different ways. (Read more...)