Reactive Metals and Alloys

Cti has developed extensive expertise in melting, casting and processing reactive metals like Titanium and Zirconium and their alloys, which are prized for their high strength to weight ratio, heat and corrosion resistance.

The high heat and oxidation resistance and strength to weight ratio of alloys like titanium aluminides make them ideal for use in aero engines and, in automotive applications like turbocharger rotors.

Meanwhile, the high corrosion resistance of Zirconium makes it ideal for applications in the chemicals industry, including the manufacturing of terephthalic acid, a precursor to the polyester PET, used to make clothing and plastic bottles.

However, the metals and their alloys are so reactive that they cannot be melted and cast in air and have to be produced under vacuum.

Developing the skills and techniques to produce castings from reactive metals takes many years and there are relatively few players in the market, who are very protective of their capabilities.

As the only product ready Titanium caster in the UK, we are in an ideal position to advise companies that want to set up their own reactive metals casting capability or to expand existing facilities.

We can provide expert advice on casting design, shell systems, melting, feeding and gating, casting methodologies and processing castings.

We operate two Induction Skull Melting (ISM) furnaces, which can produce castings weighing up to 30kg and 90kg respectively and recently invested in a Vacuum Arc Remelting (VAR) furnace, capable of producing castings weighing from 150kg to 1000kg.

In the past, only the United States is believed to have had the capability to cast near net shape aerospace components weighing up to 1,000kg.

Our new facility is designed to create a skills base that will enable UK companies to reap the rewards of manufacturing large scale Titanium castings.

Induction Skull Melting furnaces use water cooled segmented copper crucibles to melt pre-analysed Titanium in a vacuum, avoiding the extreme reaction that would occur if the metal was melted in a conventional refractory lined furnace or in the air.

Our new Vacuum Arc Remelting furnace, will strike an arc between a cooled copper crucible and an electrode of Titanium with a certified purity, which will gradually melt.

While the ISM method uses cheaper raw material and achieves higher super heat – the temperature to which the metal is raised above its melting point– the VAR method is more suitable for larger volumes, uses less power per kilo melted, has a faster turnaround and has lower maintenance costs because it uses a single piece crucible.