Australian-based mineral exploration company Tao Commodities, which aspires to become an integrated leader in the titanium supply chain, has inked a research agreement to develop titanium metal powders using a breakthrough technology invented by University of Utah researchers.
The research agreement was signed between Tao’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Hyperion Metals, and materials innovation company Blacksand Technology, which was founded by University of Utah Professor Z. Zak Fang – the man behind the innovative HAMR technology.
Tipped to become a breakthrough technology for the production of titanium metal and titanium additive manufacturing, Blacksand’s HAMR process brings to the table the potential for low-to-zero carbon, low-cost products used in high-growth sectors such as space exploration, aerospace, electric vehicles and defence.
The HAMR process was invented with funding from ARPA-E and Boeing and Arconic as industrial partners.
Tao’s Executive Director Anastasios Arima said the company’s potentially large-scale titanium deposit at the Titan Project in Tennessee – coupled with the development of low-to-zero carbon, low cost titanium powders – could build a platform for Tao to penetrate the US market as the largest global consumer of titanium metal for aerospace and defence.
“This is a pivotal moment for our Company as we begin to address the need for cleaner, lower cost US domestic sources of titanium metal,” Mr Arima said.
“The breakthrough HAMR technology, coupled with the Company’s titanium deposit in Tennessee, has the potential to make Tao the leader in this field.
“This technology adds another important dimension to our business in addition to solving the critical import dependence of the US titanium material market.”
Tao will also establish a scientific and technology advisory board, beginning with founding member Dr Zak Fang, to draw from academia, industry, and government to advance the development of the HAMR technology.
“My team welcomes Dr Fang as the founding member of the Company’s scientific and technology advisory board and we look forward to working together in developing this technology that is not only critical to America’s current aerospace, defence and transportation/ EV sectors but is critical to helping the US achieve its future ambitions in space development and exploration,” Mr Arima concluded.