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Titanium award to inspire creative applications

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International Titanium Association
: 11 April, 2008  (Company News)
Continuing its mission promote and expand the use of titanium in industrial and consumer applications, the International Titanium Association (ITA), Broomfield, CO, is now accepting applications for its second-annual 'Titanium Applications Development Award.' The deadline to submit applications is June 30
The ITA will announce the winner of the $20,000 award at the TITANIUM 2008 Conference, which will be held at Caesar’s Palace Hotel in Las Vegas Sept. 21-24. Five executives from Tokyo-based Nippon Steel Corp. garnered the ITA’s initial applications development award last year. Nippon Steel was cited for its leading-edge applications in precision industrial components for cars and motorcycles.

Because the titanium industry, to a large degree, remains a cyclical market driven by the aerospace sector, the ITA’s education and outreach efforts to promote new applications are considered essential for continued international growth of he association, according to Brett Paddock, the president and chief operating officer of Titanium Industries Inc. based in Rockaway, NJ, Titanium Industries is a service center and “manufacturing distributor,” with operations in North America, Asia and Europe. Paddock, who also chairs the ITA application award and membership committees, was instrumental in launching the award.

“This is one of the most dynamic times in recent history for the titanium industry,”
Paddock said, noting how the titanium sector has achieved a remarkable turn round during the last seven years from the depths of the post-9/11 period. In today’s ascending international marketplace, new or enhanced titanium applications are limited only by titanium market creativity. The hope, he said, is that the ITA’s development award will play an important role to bolster that much-needed spirit of innovation to help advance the titanium market.

Paddock observed the current forecast for international titanium consumption, boosted by emerging markets in China and India, will be at “unprecedented levels,” with billions of dollars of capital investment now in the pipeline to increase titanium production. While aerospace remains the key driver spurring this higher metal capacity for the near term,
Paddock explained that it is now more important than ever to find other sustainable industrial markets to complement the aerospace business and consume the expanded metal production, in order to help tame the steep cyclical swings that are characteristic of the titanium market.

“The key is to take some of that cyclical element out of the titanium business,” Paddock said. “We want to promote the use of titanium in emerging markets. We want to inspire the next big idea for titanium,” he said, pointing to potentially lucrative, high-end applications in medical and automotive markets and consumer products as fertile ground for new business.

Paddock sees the ITA’s applications development award as a beacon to inspire inroads for titanium in new markets and novel applications. The award also represents the continuing efforts of the ITA to promote new business for its members. Constraining elements that once caused some designers and engineers to hesitate from specifying the use of titanium-such as challenging welding techniques—have long been solved, he said. “The fabrication of titanium products is no longer the mystery it was just 10 years ago,”Paddock said. He also pointed to a more mature international titanium supply chain
that can readily deliver reliable, high-quality metal grades and alloys on a consistent basis. “There is no longer the ‘fear of the unknown’ when it comes to specifying titanium.”

The criteria to judge applications and nominations for the ITA’s application development award includes: significant achievement towards improving and expanding the use of titanium; promoting titanium products into new applications or
enhancing existing applications; unveiling technology breakthroughs; influencing research or market programs; and creating important, innovative uses for titanium.
Application forms can be downloaded from the ITA’s Web site.
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