The Expert Committee Titanium has been in existence for over 30 years and deals with all issues relating to titanium, titanium alloys and titanium aluminides. It covers the entire process chain from alloy development and production, powder production and processing, thermo-mechanical treatment, investment casting and additive manufacturing to the actual manufacture of components for individual industrial sectors. The Expert Committee brings together specialists from industrial companies with scientists from research institutes and universities to exchange ideas on current issues and new developments, and thus generate ideas for future research initiatives. The Expert Committee is also particularly interested in promoting young scientists to inspire young people in particular to join the titanium community and continuously develop it further.
Titanium alloys are still a young material. However, the first alloys developed at the end of the 1940s were already making aviation and aerospace history: They made it possible to enter the jet engine age and thus step into a new era. In the meantime, titanium alloys are increasingly establishing themselves in the chemical industry, the construction industry, medical technology, as well as in the offshore, energy and automotive sectors due to their high specific strength, excellent corrosion resistance, outstanding biocompatibility and other properties. At the same time, global titanium production is increasing every year.
As the energy-intensive extraction of raw materials makes titanium relatively expensive compared with other metals, research has long been trying to reduce costs by developing new manufacturing processes or ways of recycling materials. Other key areas of work include the development of new alloys with special properties, improved oxidation resistance and easier machining. If decisive breakthroughs were achieved in these fields, lightweight construction concepts could be realized by using titanium materials instead of steels or nickel-based alloys.
Almost all members of the Expert Committee present their current developments at the Titanium World Conference, which is held every four years and attracts around 700 participants from more than 50 countries, thus ensuring international networking and visibility. There are also bilateral collaborations with research institutions around the world.
In Germany, titanium sponge is currently imported from Asia and Eastern Europe. The task here is to develop new processes for processing the two most important titanium ores, ilmenite (FeTiO3) and rutile (TiO2). To survive in the long term against competition from East Asia and America, the development of new alloys with a special property profile as a unique selling point is an important challenge. Furthermore, low material utilization is a real problem. Additive manufacturing processes or near-net-shape manufacturing processes such as investment casting could provide a remedy here in the future. Many research projects are therefore currently being carried out in the field of additive manufacturing in particular. These range from the development of new titanium alloys, adapted to 3D printing processes, to the constructive redesign of components for medical technology and aerospace applications.
To reduce costs in the future, a detailed investigation of titanium recycling and the material cycle is also needed for high-value components. The oxidation behavior of conventional titanium alloys also needs to be improved and titanium "made fit" for use at higher temperatures. Further opportunities for innovation exist in mixed compounds with other materials to enable multi-material concepts for lightweight construction outside the aerospace sector. New R&D projects must take hold in all these fields.
Networking of companies, research institutes and universities involved with titanium materials.
Observation of and information on current trends in titanium research and development and initiation of new research projects.
Promotion of young scientists to give young people a career perspective in the titanium community and thus continuously develop it further.
Increasing the visibility of Germany as a titanium location at national and international level.
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