Titanium - metal of the future
The second half of the twentieth century saw the development of titanium production in the world. This material has a number of advantages — widely available and unique consumer properties. Titan predicted a bright future. This material is as light and resistant to corrosion as aluminio-magnesium alloy, but much stronger, more heat resistant, he is unknown to metal fatigue. Titanium parts unlike steel, approx 2−3 times easier.
Titanium is virtually no alternative material for the aerospace industry, but it is quite difficult to process, has a complicated chemical and physical properties. In 1940, William Kroll offered to produce titanium metal in the form of sponges, by restoring tetrachloride TiCl4 with magnesium, but this method proved to be very expensive and complex. In the development of this metal has invested billions of dollars number of investments, but an alternative to this method is not found so far. The metal remains today, very expensive, the main area of application — the military industrial complex. If you take the USSR, during the «arms races», in the late 70-ies of the XX century almost the entire year’s supply of titanium was spent on one project. Now you can find information about this project, it appeared to be a nuclear submarine, where the main structural material was titanium. This submarine has set a world record (still not closed) at speed under water, it has a high deep water, namagnichennosti, small mass.
When it became clear the fact that the use of titanium for military needs is so costly, the number of plants for the production of titanium decreased dramatically. To date, the production of titanium sponge has been 4 producers, and large consumers of about 10. Consumers, in turn, produce titanium parts from titanium mill products. Among the countries-producers and Russia. The titanium industry was founded here in the years of the Soviet Union. Was created the largest industrial complex producing titanium, its capacity was 80,000 tons per year. For this indicator, the country was the first in the world. The industry included a number of the largest enterprises in Zaporizhzhya (ZTMK), at the Mouth-Kamenogorsk (UKTMP), Verkhnesaldinsky (VSMPO) in Sverdlovsk region (now VSMPO AVISMA). The largest part of the complex belongs to Russia. The share of AVISMA now accounts for a third of the total output of titanium sponge and a quarter of rolled titanium. Russia has a great potential for the development of this industry, as well as for the development of palladium and Nickel. The preservation and development of titanium production a difficult task. In 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, there was a sharp decrease in orders, the titanium industry has experienced a crisis. At this time, there was a reduction of orders tenfold. But the industry for the production of titanium revived. We will not tell you about the history of its revival, but just consider what the position of the modern titanium industry.
Over the years, the merger of VSMPO/AVISMA has improved the quality and range of products, it has been certified according to the international standard ISO 9001:2000. As a result, the titanium began to be used in new industries: for example, offshore oil production and in world market. In our time, the VSMPO titanium is used in 39 countries and 240 companies. In the aviation sector of the world market of products from Russia compete with alternative suppliers. Only «VSMPO-AVISMA» allocated 65% of all orders titanium aircraft manufacturer «Airbus» and 35% American «Boeing». American policy has taken several measures to protect their production (Timet, RTI, ATI, and Howmet), limiting their country from the supply of titanium from Russia.
The level of expansion of VSMPO/AVISMA abroad is very high. And it happened due to the fact that in times of crisis 2001 titanium market declined and there was a sharp decline in the aircraft industry. According to estimates by the Japanese company Toho Titanium capacity utilization declined in 2002 to 69%. The advantages of our country in the production of titanium strengthened the commissioning of new capacities in the countries of Africa, USA and Australia
A clear result of the revived Russian titanium industry was the consolidation VSPMO/AVISMA. Recent years are characterized by high profitability of production. The Association was included in the rating of major Russian companies. Only in 2003 VSMPO managed to gain 8.37 billion RUB At the end of 2003 the Corporation for the first time paid dividends. However, in view of the increased costs for magnesium production, is the direction almost became unprofitable, which gave rise to the decline in Berezniki AVISMA (VSMPO-controlled). The main reason is the rising price of elektronositeli, at a low price of finished products, profitability of production decreased by 10%.
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