IperionX and Heroux-Devtek team up for aerospace titanium recycling drive

IperionX Limited (IperionX) and Heroux-Devtek have signed an agreement to underpin a 100% recycled titanium supply chain using scrap titanium metal from the aerospace industry.

Heroux-Devtek specializes in design, development, manufacture, and repair of landing gear, actuation systems and components for the aerospace market. It serves the commercial and defense aerospace sectors and is the third largest landing gear company in the world.

What are the specifics of the partnership?

Under this strategic partnership, Heroux-Devtek will supply IperionX with Ti-6Al-4V alloy scrap metal generated from landing gear manufacturing. In turn, IperionX will employ its patented titanium processing technologies to convert this titanium scrap into low-carbon titanium for future applications. The processing of the Heroux-Devtek titanium scrap will be expertly managed by Aperam / ELG Utica Alloys, under their existing partnership with IperionX.

The aerospace industry depends on titanium, given its superior strength, light weight, and exceptional corrosion resistance. Titanium is integral to a myriad of aerospace applications, including airframe structural components, engine components and landing gears.

The proportion of titanium used in large commercial aircraft has increased over the last two decades and is now ~15% of the weight of modern unladed aircraft. Titanium has been mass produced in the same way since the 1940’s when the existing ‘Kroll Process’ was developed.

The Kroll process is energy intensive, high cost and produces high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Also, the manufacturing process for titanium products generates large volumes of titanium waste that is typically downcycled to the ferro-titanium market or shipped to landfill.

IperionX’s patented titanium production technologies use less energy than tradition methods to produce titanium, at lower costs, with zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and provides a pathway to sustainable production of titanium by using 100% scrap titanium as feedstock.

Aerospace industry landing gears also use other high performance titanium alloys, including Ti-5553 and Ti-10-2-3, that are valued for improved fracture toughness and strength. IperionX’s technologies can upcycle these titanium alloys, eliminating the need for a re-melt process, and allow these alloys to be used in a range of new high-performance applications.

What does the partnership mean for stakeholders?

Anastasios Arima, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at IperionX
Anastasios Arima, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at IperionX

Anastasios (Taso) Arima, IperionX CEO said: “We are pleased to partner with Heroux-Devtek to develop a sustainable titanium supply chain for the advanced U.S. industries. This alliance provides IperionX with a diversified, long term supply of titanium feedstock for the production of American titanium and will enhance the sustainability of the aerospace supply chain.”

Dominique Dallaire, Heroux-Devtek Vice-President Central Division said: “The partnership between Heroux-Devtek and IperionX establishes a benchmark in the sustainability of the aerospace supply chain through the development of low carbon titanium materials for North America. We look forward to building upon this agreement and investigating the potential application of fully circular recycled titanium metal within Heroux-Devtek’s future operations.”