Sumitomo Metals Eyes New EB Furnace for Ti Unit

Sumitomo Metal Industries eyes new electron beam (EB) melting furnace at rolled titanium making Naoetsu plant. The firm would seek cost advantage to use scrap more for rolled titanium making through the investment of the furnace, which allows more scrap use than vacuum arc remelting furnace.

Naoetsu plant makes rolled titanium along with stainless flat and shapes products. The plant makes casting and rolled products from purchased sponge titanium.

The EB furnace can use scrap with various shapes and sizes. The plant has sold scrap from the plant to third party scrap dealers. With the new furnace, the plant can utilize the scrap at the process.

Titanium ingot price increased in the year when sponge titanium makers passed higher ore cost on ingot price under strong demand in emerging countries. Rolled titanium price improvement is low due to low demand for other applications than airplane.

Sumitomo Metals applied subsidy for rare earth utilization offered by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The firm got the approval in June 2011.