The global titanium industry continues to expand and modernize, and press builder Siempelkamp is remodeling a line for Kazakhstan’s UKTMP Ust-Kamenogorsk Titanium and Magnesium Plant JSC to help it process titanium sponge more accurately. Titanium sponge is the refined form titanium ore, but the result is not as condensed as many metals in a comparable state. It must be “compacted” in order for the next process stage —vacuum remelting, with master alloys to produce ingots that can be forged or rolled.
Engineers and UKTMP developed a plan to update an existing press at the plant in Kamenogorsk to convert the highly porous sponge into dense titanium “compacts” efficiently. In 2010, Siempelkamp supplied UKTMP with an 80-MN press for a comparable operation.
The co-developed jointly redesign concept calls for reusing some of the existing press components for a new operation that will cut the sponge blocks accurately on a plane from 5 mm up to 50 mm. The rebuilt press will deliver force from two directions, generating a very high specific forming pressure of 2x80 MN, resulting titanium compacts that are very dense and, consequently, are easier to remelt efficiently.
Siempelkamp also will deliver a new control system for the cutting process and a tool changer. The remodeling project will be carried out in the third quarter of 2010, for commissioning in January 2013.