Kobe Steel has entered into an agreement for Titanium Metals Corporation (Timet) to manufacture and market Kobe Steel’s Ti-9 alpha-beta titanium alloy under licence. Under the agreement, Timet will manufacture the alloy in the United States and the UK, as well as marketing it in the US, Mexico, Canada and certain European countries.
The Ti-9 alloy rivals the popular Ti6Al4V titanium alloy for its high strength, but is easier to process and hence is 30% cheaper to manufacture. It has the added advantage that it can be rolled into coils, which Ti6Al4V cannot, which means that it can be produced twice as fast. Ti-9 contains 4.5% aluminium, 2% molybdenum, 1.6% vanadium, 0.5% iron, 0.3% silicon and 0.3% carbon, with the balance being titanium.
Ti-9 is suited to aerospace applications, making it a rival to Ti6Al4V. The aerospace industry consumes some 40% of the 51000 tons of titanium mill products produced in 2001. The new agreement provides Timet with a competitively priced, high performance material for this market.
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