The US Department of Energy (DOE) has approved a technical collaboration between IperionX and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to advance the application of low-cost alloys utilizing spherical titanium powders produced through IperionX’s technologies.
The User Agreement has been executed to advance work between the two companies at the DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. The Manufacturing Demonstration Facility is a 110,000 sq. ft. facility and is the nation’s only large-scale, open-access user facility for rapidly demonstrating R&D manufacturing technologies and optimizing critical processes.
Key objectives of the User Agreement include the evaluation and characterization of spherical titanium powders produced through IperionX’s technologies for use in additive manufacturing, including opportunities to use titanium powders to manufacture parts that currently rely on other metals, including stainless steel and aluminum, and demonstrating that pressed and sintered parts produced using IperionX’s titanium powders have equivalent, or better, characteristics compared to parts produced using industry-standard titanium powders.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is at the forefront of research and development relating to low-cost titanium powder technologies including applications in the automotive, defense, and aerospace industries.
As a focus of the collaboration, initially, pressed and sintered parts will be produced and tested at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility to validate that the components fabricated with commercially pure titanium, or Ti-6Al-4V alloy, produced by IperionX meet the characteristics for light-weighting for the transportation sector, including heavy trucks, aircraft components and other transportation applications where titanium has an advantage over currently used metals such as steel and aluminum.
The User Agreement will complement IperionX’s ongoing project to qualify and demonstrate the performance of its US-produced titanium powder for additively manufactured aerospace parts – supporting a project with the US Navy to test titanium flight-critical metal replacement components for the US Department of Defense.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with ORNL. The laboratory is an ideal partner for IperionX, with expertise in additive manufacturing, along with a strong interest in identifying new powder feedstocks that lower costs and increase energy efficiency, particularly in transportation. ORNL brings a knowledge base from numerous collaborations with advanced manufacturing companies, such as partnering in Volkswagen’s first US innovation hub in Tennessee to develop lighter vehicle components from composite materials and electrify vehicles, its recent work with NASA which resulted in a 3D printed thermal protection shield traveling to the International Space Station, or its 3D printing work with Boeing’s 777x. Both organizations share Tennessee roots, and we look forward to progressing the User Agreement and establishing a strong relationship between IperionX and ORNL.”