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Design and Manufacture of Scaled up 50 kg capacity Plasma Melt Overflow (PMO) system for the commercial production of titanium and iron-chrome-aluminium alloy fibres. (PlasMelt)
Start date: 01 Feb 2016, End date: 31 Jul 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

A previously funded FP7 project MEMLAB has opened new business opportunity for the mass scale titanium fibre application to a novel lead acid battery market. 75.2 million lead acid batteries are used in Europe. Capturing 4% of this market by titanium fibre substrate technology will require 3 million of these batteries and 301 tonnes of titanium fibre production yearly. Currently titanium fibre is used only for very specific applications due to the complexity of the production process and high price. In order to satisfy the new market opportunity, a melting and casting process capable of producing fibres directly from a melt using scrap as a source is required to reduce costs of the fibres. We have developed a 200g prototype PMO system through a new process by integrating plasma arc melting to our unique melt over flow process. This is capable to produce titanium fibre from titanium scrap with specific shape required for the battery. Our system is 41 times cheaper and will create several new titanium fibre market applications. In order to be commercially viable, we would need to upgrade our PMO system from 200g to 50kg capacity, which would be able to produce 550 tonnes of titanium fibres per year. The PMO process can be applied to produce other metallic fibres e.g. FeCrAl alloy fibres to be used as the advanced catalyst coating substrate material for self-regenerative Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs). FeCrAl alloy substrate is a good candidate for the next generation of DPFs due to its advantages of reduced cost and superior performance in filtration efficiency (more than 90%) and passive regeneration through soot burn-off. This has a huge business potential and is timely, especially as Euro VII legislation will require zero particulate emissions from diesel vehicles in cities by 2020.The project will help Fibretech to become a leader in the metallic fibre industry.
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