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. 2018;70(2):129-137.
doi: 10.1007/s11837-017-2664-4. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Development of the Fray-Farthing-Chen Cambridge Process: Towards the Sustainable Production of Titanium and Its Alloys

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Free PMC article

Development of the Fray-Farthing-Chen Cambridge Process: Towards the Sustainable Production of Titanium and Its Alloys

Di Hu et al. JOM (1989). .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The Kroll process has been employed for titanium extraction since the 1950s. It is a labour and energy intensive multi-step semi-batch process. The post-extraction processes for making the raw titanium into alloys and products are also excessive, including multiple remelting steps. Invented in the late 1990s, the Fray-Farthing-Chen (FFC) Cambridge process extracts titanium from solid oxides at lower energy consumption via electrochemical reduction in molten salts. Its ability to produce alloys and powders, while retaining the cathode shape also promises energy and material efficient manufacturing. Focusing on titanium and its alloys, this article reviews the recent development of the FFC-Cambridge process in two aspects, (1) resource and process sustainability and (2) advanced post-extraction processing.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
(a) An illustration of the FFC-Cambridge process for the electrochemical reduction of solid metal oxide to solid metal in molten salt. (b) The microstructure of a titanium sample produced by the same process in the authors’ laboratory. (a) Reprinted from with permission
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
(a) Optical scanning image of an alpha-case covered Ti-6Al-4V foil (right) before and (left) after electro-reduction in molten CaCl2 at 3.0 V and 950°C for 1 h. (b) Reactor and electrolytic cell for removal of the alpha-case on titanium and alloys in molten CaCl2, showing (left) a sample suspended in molten salt and (right) more samples placed at the bottom of the crucible. Reprinted from with permission
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
(a) SEM image of plasma spheroidised titanium powder, and photographs of (b) a 3D printed aerospace turbine guide vane using spherical titanium powders, (c) HIP’ed cube from coarse titanium powder extracted from pigment grade TiO2, and (d) SPS compact from spherical titanium powder extracted from rutile. Reproduced from with permission
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Photographs of electrolytic Ti-6Al-4V components. (a) A cylindrical cup before and (b) after polishing, and (c) SEM image of its well consolidated interior structure. (d) A miniature hollow golf club head made of metal oxide mixture before and (e) after electro-reduction. The insert in (e) is the photo of a real golf club head for shape comparison. (f) Cross section of electrolytically produced miniature hollow golf club head. Reproduced from with permission

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