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France to create the first European plant for the recycling of titanium for the aviation

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EcoTitanium will be operational starting from 2017. It will offer the aerospatial industry an alternative to imports from Russia and the USA.

The Polish producer Seco/ Warwick Group will be supplying a complete array of fusion equipment for EcoTitanium, the first European plant for the recycling of titanium for the aviation. The plant is located in Saint-Georges-de-Mons, central France, about 30 km away from Clermont-Ferrand.

The plant will be made up of three metallurgical units, a plasma arc melting furnace and a vacuum arc remelting furnace, plus complementing equipment. The first cycle is scheduled to start in 2017. Industrial production will be ready to take off by 2018.

“Plasma welding systems guarantee a constant production of titanium alloy ingots in a far more efficient way than most competing technologies”, Seco/Warwick explained. This is due to the fact that the production systems operate in an inert gas atmosphere, instead of vacuum, allowing the metal alloy to form and maintain “with minimum evaporation loss”.

EcoTitanium aims at providing the European aircraft industry with a new supply of titanium, completely independent from American and Russian sources. Three partners support this project: UKAD, a joint venture between Albert & Duval and UKTMP (43,5%); the Republic of France through its PIA investment project managed by ADEME (41,3%); the regional bank Crédit Agricole Centre France (15,2%).

EcoTitanium represents an important step for the group: a new adventure that will allow the development of new markets and the acquisition of competences about the recycling of titanium and other noble metals through the most advanced technologies.

The implementation of this project will lead to a completely integrated cycle, from the extraction of the titanium ore to the creation of pre-machining parts, through the recycling of spare portions generated during the fabrication process.

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