Reading Alloys presents at Titanium Europe

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Global demand for vanadium looks set to be volatile in 2019 and beyond, according to AMETEK Specialty Metal Products (SMP). This was one of the key messages in a talk given at this year’s Titanium Europe expo in Vienna by Mike Marucci, Vice President Sales and Marketing - Powders, of AMETEK SMP and Graham Walker, ITA Board Member.

Vanadium master alloys make up approximately 80% of all master alloys produced worldwide by weight and are widely used in the production of Ti-6Al-4V. However, price and demand for vanadium are both currently being driven by the worldwide steel industry and more than 70% of vanadium pentoxide supply is not suitable for the production of titanium master alloys. These dynamics are putting pressure on the titanium supply chain.

In the talk, which was entitled ‘Master Alloys Today for Tomorrow’s Applications’, Mike and Graham outlined the complex processes behind the production of master alloys and their use in the creation of titanium alloys, such as vanadium. They described how each of the six AMETEK SMP business units ensure a quality finish for their range of metal products and master alloys through the use of high-quality raw materials, a robust supply chain and exacting quality control methods.

Master alloys are produced by combining two or more metals in a metallurgically alloyed form. They are typically available in powdered or aggregate form and are subject to rigorous process control to ensure precise chemistry consistency and precise control of non-metal inclusions. This safeguards the purity and strengthens the integrity of the finished product.

So, why is vanadium so popular? It is an extremely useful and versatile alloy, used for many performance-critical applications in the aerospace, medical, automotive, industrial and consumer sectors. In particular, vanadium the principle alloying element in for high performance titanium alloys used in jet engines and for high-speed aircraft parts, imparting durability and superior strength to weight characteristics.

Chinese demand for Vanadium containing rebar and global deployment of Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) technology will create additional demand for vanadium globally, but it is predicted this will cause some turbulence in the market. Master alloy users and suppliers must therefore continue to strengthen partnerships and work together to ensure a robust future for this valuable master alloy.

Reading Alloys and Fine Tubes two of the businesses that make up AMETEK Specialty Metal Products (SMP) exhibited at Titanium Europe in May, promoting their products and services over the three-day event.

Reading Alloys is a global producer of master alloys and advanced engineering materials. Titanium powders produced by Reading Alloys, which include vanadium, molybdenum and niobium master alloy enabling lightweight, strong and resistant to corrosion properties of titanium and other advanced alloys. Powders are supplied in varying particle sizes to meet precise customer specifications and are regularly used in critical medical applications, as well as high-temperature jet engine components.

Meanwhile, Fine Tubes manufactures titanium, stainless steel and nickel alloy metal tubing products used for critical applications across several sectors. Fine Tubes is one of a selected number of suppliers qualified to produce the high-pressure titanium tubes used in the hydraulic systems of the Airbus A350 and A380, which operate at up to 5,000psi. The company also manufactures precision stainless steel and titanium alloy tubes for the medical sector, which are relied upon by surgeons, dentists and nurses for their crucial, life-preserving work.

AMETEK SMP is a member of the International Titanium Association and a division of AMETEK, Inc. Fine Tubes and Reading Alloys are just two out of the six AMETEK SMP business units. The other four are AMETEK SMP Eighty Four, Superior Tube, Hamilton Precision Metals and AMETEK SMP Wallingford. Together, the AMETEK SMP businesses are a global force in the design, manufacture and engineering of high-precision metallurgical products for critical applications across a range of industries.

The AMETEK SMP website is at www.ametekmetals.com. Here, you can also find out more about the six business units, as well as the manufacturing processes behind the production of their high-performance metal alloys, powders, tubing and more.