The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) collaborated with defense innovators through NSIN Challenges to support solutions for metallic and titanium scrap reprocessing.

A U.S.-based start-up company, IperionX, has won Phase 1 of the NSIN-sponsored AFRL Reprocessing of Metallic Scrap and Waste Powders Grand Challenge (AFRL Grand Challenge #4). The challenge included the potential of a $500,000 contract, awarded in four development phases over the next 9 months, to develop equipment and processes to transform scrap titanium into powders suitable for additive manufacturing.

The IperionX team pitched a highly innovative approach to reprocessing the waste, deoxygenating titanium powder to make it suitable for reuse.

Each of the final teams impressed the judges, but the approach that IperionX took stood above the others.

Dr. Calvin Mikler, Materials Engineer, AFRL said, “The AFRL team is excited to work with IperionX on the next phase of the titanium recyclability Grand Challenge. IperionX seemed to really understand the purpose of the Grand Challenge and pitched a unique strategy to deoxygenate and rejuvenate used titanium powders and scrap materials back into powder suitable for additive manufacturing of aerospace-quality parts. We can’t wait to see the results of all the hard work yet to come!”

About National Security Innovation Network

NSIN is a government program office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD(R&E)) that collaborates with major universities and the venture community to develop solutions that drive national security innovation. We operate two portfolios of programs and services: Talent and Venture. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.