DefenseMetal Additive ManufacturingMetals

IperionX to produce titanium plate components for Lockheed Martin

Using the company's powder metallurgy production methods and advanced titanium angular powder

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IperionX has agreed to an order with Lockheed Martin for the delivery of titanium plate components produced using IperionX’s US-manufactured titanium. IperionX’s advanced titanium production technologies have the potential to provide a lower cost and more sustainable US domestic supply chain for titanium raw material.

“Reducing the cost of titanium components will mean broader use of this material to increase the performance of our products,” said Brian Rosenberger, senior fellow for Additive Manufacturing Processes and Materials at Lockheed Martin. “With this order, Lockheed Martin will perform an initial evaluation of the material quality and mechanical performance of IperionX’s titanium plate material.”

The titanium plate components for Lockheed Martin will be manufactured with powder metallurgy production methods and IperionX’s advanced titanium angular powder. To deliver higher performance and durability, IperionX will also employ its patented Hydrogen Sintering and Phase Transformation (HSPT) technologies, a cutting-edge technique to enhance the microstructure of titanium parts to deliver strength and fatigue properties that are comparable to wrought titanium alloys.

IperionX to produce titanium plate components for Lockheed Martin using the company's powder metallurgy production methods.
3D printed titanium parts from IperionX.

Titanium is prized for its high strength-to-weight ratio, and resistance to high temperatures and corrosion. Titanium is a critical material for many US defense systems, including military fighter aircraft and engines, munition and weapon components, naval platforms, and military ground vehicles. Lockheed Martin makes heavy use of titanium alloys for critical structures and other key components across the breadth of its products for air, land, sea, and space.

The United States has very limited domestic primary titanium metal (titanium sponge) capacity – resulting in the US importing over 95% of the titanium sponge required for the US defense sector. IperionX plans to re-shore titanium metal production to the US, reduce the acute reliance on titanium imports from foreign nations, and strengthen the domestic titanium supply chain for critical defense systems.

Titanium has been mass-produced in the same way since the 1940s when the existing ‘Kroll Process’ was developed. The Kroll Process is energy-intensive, high-cost, and produces high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, IperionX’s titanium production technologies use less energy to produce high-strength titanium, at lower costs, with zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

“This collaboration with Lockheed Martin is another important milestone towards the rapid commercialization of IperionX’s breakthrough low-carbon titanium technologies. These patented technologies can either use titanium minerals or titanium scrap metal as feedstock to manufacture high-quality titanium products at significantly lower cost and carbon footprint than existing production processes,” said Anastasios Arima, CEO of IperionX.

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746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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