Defence minister AK Antony inaugurated the 500-tonne capacity Titanium Sponge plant at Chavara near Kollam in Kerala
India today joined the elite club of advanced countries producing Titanium sponge when the Defence minister AK Antony inaugurated the 500-tonne capacity Titanium Sponge plant at Chavara near Kollam in Kerala. The plant, at the Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML) campus, is the first of its kind in the country, and will produce premium quality titanium metal in the form of sponge. Titanium and its alloys are used in strategic fields like aerospace, armour plating, naval shipbuilding, missiles, and nuclear power plants. They possess high corrosion, crack and fatigue resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, and the ability to withstand moderately high temperatures. The technology in this crucial area was developed by the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) Hyderabad, and the project is being financed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, the main consumer of titanium sponge. NK Premachandran, minister for Water Resources, Kerala, delivered the presidential address. A host of important ministers from Kerala including the Industries minister Elamaram Kareem and P Rama Rao, director, ARCI Hydrerabad, J Narayan Das, chief controller (R&D), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), D Malakondaiah, director, DMRL and PS Veeraraghavan, director, VSSC, were also present on the occasion, a press release said. India has the third largest deposits of titanium in the world, distributed primarily along the coast of southern peninsula. Mining of the ore and its conversion to pigment grade titanium dioxide on commercial scale was already being done at KMML. The new technology developed and provided by DMRL to KMML would convert titanium dioxide to pure titanium sponge and thus complete the ore-to-product processing of titanium. India would now join the select group of nations like the US, China, Japan and the UK having the technology for industrial scale production of titanium.
Source : SiFy