IperionX teams up with Carver Pump to produce titanium pumps for the US Navy
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IperionX has teamed up with American centrifugal pump manufacturer Carver Pump to additively manufacture titanium pump components for the US Navy.
Titanium is prized by the US Navy for its exceptional corrosion resistance and is used extensively across all major pump applications.
However, many titanium casting operations in the US have closed, and castings for pumps are currently sourced through an insecure supply chain constrained by higher costs, long lead times, and foreign control.
Carver – whose pumps have been used in every major US Navy shipbuilding program for the past 60 years – will design the titanium pump components, guide IperionX on prototyping, and lead the qualification of these titanium pump components.
“Our partnership with Carver is another important milestone for the rapid commercialization of IperionX’s breakthrough titanium technologies,” IperionX CEO Anastasios Arima said.
“These patented technologies can efficiently recycle domestic titanium scrap metal at lower cost than existing processes, and this high-quality titanium metal can be used for a range of manufacturing technologies, including additive manufacturing.
“We look forward to working closely with Carver to rapidly prototype and deploy titanium components for a wide range of centrifugal pump applications in US Navy platforms.”
Carver CEO Andrew Carver said that, when coupled with benefits of additive manufacturing, the partnership provides a “significant potential to benefit to Navy operations through the rapid production of complex, operation critical titanium parts, providing a potential reduction in lead times and increasing equipment availability.”
“We see this partnership as the first step in a larger relationship focused on both Navy surface ships as well as new parts for other marine applications,” he said.
The company’s lower cost, lower carbon, US titanium powders can be used to additively manufacture specialized titanium pump components, providing the US Navy with the capability to significantly reduce lead times for critical parts, increase equipment availability, and sustainably re-shore a critical US titanium metal supply chain.
The US Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has developed additive manufacturing processes for over 500 approved parts used in US ships and submarines.
The Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin and the US Navy are accelerating efforts to scale additive manufacturing, having recently opened the ‘Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence’ in Danville, VA, located just 25 miles from the site of IperionX’s new Titanium Demonstration Facility in South Boston, VA.
And the Governor has expressed support for IperionX to sustainably re- shore the US titanium supply chain which can reduce lead times, lower costs, and reduce carbon emissions.
“In just four months, we’ve seen dynamic progress from IperionX,” Youngkin said.
“As they continue to develop synergies with Carver Pump and the US Navy using 100% recycled titanium scrap as feedstock which will soon be produced in Halifax County, we look forward to seeing IperionX’s continued growth and success.
“This puts Virginia on the map for providing a critical material that is essential for our advanced industries including those exhibited just down the road at the US Navy’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence.”
The global titanium supply chain is highly concentrated and dominated by China and Russia who now control over 70% of global metal production capacity.
Given the lack of domestic titanium production capacity, and that the US no longer maintains titanium sponge in the National Defense Stockpile, downstream titanium producers, including producers of goods such as ingot, billet, sheet, coil, and tube, are almost entirely dependent on foreign sources of titanium.
IperionX’s technologies can upcycle low-grade, high oxygen, out-of-specification titanium scrap metal to produce titanium metal that meets or exceeds industry standards for the defence, aerospace, automotive, and consumer electronics industries.
The company is currently producing high quality titanium metal powders from 100% recycled titanium feedstocks for customer qualification at its titanium production pilot facility in Utah – which has achieved processing yields approaching 100% from low-grade scrap without the need for blending with high-grade primary titanium metal.
The US Navy’s NAVSEA has publicly stated targets to develop technical standards for additive manufactured components to increase operational readiness.
These aim to manufacture obsolete and long-lead time components, and also enhance defence capabilities by manufacturing unique component designs not otherwise possible.
Importantly, the current lead time for large, specialized titanium castings is approximately 1-2 years, compared to just 1-3 months when manufactured with titanium powders via additive manufacturing.
IperionX’s patented technologies can recycle end-of-life titanium components into high quality titanium metal that can then be manufactured into new mission critical titanium parts on short timeframes.
This article was developed in collaboration with IperionX Limited (ASX:IPX), a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.