Introduction

TITANIUM is used for many aerospace and nonaerospace applications because of an attractive combination of low density, good mechanical properties, and good corrosion resistance. More recently, titanium aluminide alloys are being developed for applications requiring high-temperature strength. In general, titanium is expensive to produce and fabricate. With the advent of the titanium aluminide alloys, this is further complicated by segregation problems in these highly alloyed materials. Powder metallurgy (P/M) processing of titanium offers potential solutions to these problems. One area for cost reduction with P/M processing is the production of near-net shapes eliminating yield losses associated with ingot breakdown, forging, and machining. With highly alloyed materials such as the titanium aluminide alloys, processing from ingot requires repeated homogenizing heat treatments and hot working operations to minimize segregation. Powder metallurgy products are inherently homogeneous and do not require any special processing to eliminate segregation. Powder metallurgy processing also provides an opportunity to produce alloys and structures that are not possible through conventional ingot processing.

Titanium powder is produced by a variety of processes. These include chemical reduction, hydride/dehydride, gas atomization, plasma-rotating electrode, and mechanical alloying. This article will describe each of the processes, the characteristics of the resulting powder, and some end applications.

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