France – Polish manufacturer Seco/Warwick Group will supply a comprehensive range of melt shop equipment to EcoTitanium, Europe’s first recycling plant for aviation grade titanium.
The site at Saint-Georges-de-Mons in France will comprise three metallurgical units – a plasma arc melting furnace and two vacuum arc remelting furnaces – plus accompanying equipment. The new venture’s qualification cycle will begin in 2017, with industrial production scheduled to commence in 2018.
‘Plasma melting systems have the ability to consistently produce titanium alloy ingots and castings more efficiently than many competing technologies,’ says Seco/Warwick. This is primarily because such systems operate under an inert gas atmosphere instead of a vacuum, thus allowing the alloy composition of the metal to be maintained easily with ‘minimal evaporative losses’.
EcoTitanium aims to provide the European aircraft manufacturing industry with a new supply of titanium that is ‘independent’ of American and Russian sources. The project has three shareholders: UKAD, a joint venture between Aubert & Duval and UKTMP; the French state under the PIA investment programme run by ADEME; and CrÃ©dit Agricole Centre France regional bank.