Titanium recycling and titanium scrap

I assume is better to begin with some basic, hard, titanium recycling facts. After all, no material can succeed on those harsh current markets if not environmentally friendly and recyclable.

- on average, no more than 30% of the titanium sponge produced (which is titanium at it’s first cycle of manufacturing) ends up in the finished product;

- in some cases, due to the complexity of the product manufactured, up to 90% of the input material is being discarded and is available for titanium recycling;

- titanium dioxide is actually used in other recycling processes to convert unrecoverable plastic and other organic compounds to inert components;

- the most significant byproduct obtained during the production of pure titanium is magnesium chloride which is recycled in a recycling cell immediately after;

- over one-half of the titanium feedstock for ingot production is derived from titanium recycling.

The workhorse of the recycling industry is titanium scrap – generated during the melting, forging, casting, and fabrication of titanium components. It is primarily used as an alternative to titanium sponge in the production of titanium ingot. Common forms of titanium scrap include turnings and bulk weldables (bars, billet, cutoffs, plate trimmings, etc.).

It is informally classified as “new scrap” when it is sourced during the production and fabrication of titanium components, and as “old scrap” when it is recovered from used components such as old aircraft parts, heat exchangers, submarine hulls or other titanium industry applications.

Titanium recycling consists in converting titanium scrap into titanium ingot with or without virgin metal by using either vacuum-arc-reduction or cold-hearth melting practices. Titanium suppliers and ingot producers in France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States lead the recycling of titanium scrap. Numerous other companies are also involved in the generation, segregation, and processing of scrap for recycling.

In addition to that recycled by ingot producers, recycling of titanium involves titanium scrap consumed by the steel and nonferrous alloy industries. Consumption by the steel industry is largely associated with the production of stainless steels and is used for deoxidation, grain-size control, and carbon and nitrogen control and stabilization. In steelmaking, titanium is introduced as a ladle addition normally in the form of ferrotitanium because ferrotitanium has a lower melting point and has a higher density than scrap. Ferrotitanium is produced from titanium and steel scrap by induction melting.

In the nonferrous metals industry, recycling of titanium involves titanium scrap primary consumed to produce aluminum-titanium master alloys for the aluminum industry. When used in aluminum alloys, titanium improves casting and reduces cracking.

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