The research dedicated to the deposition of titanium alloys from melts involves basic studies of the electrodeposition mechanisms of binary and ternary titanium alloys. The goal is to develop stable deposition processes for Ti-Al-V alloys with custom compositions.
The current state-of-the-art in alloy production is the Kroll process, in which a titanium sponge is alloyed with the desired additions in a melt. Different remelting and alloying approaches exist for titanium sponges, with Vacuum Arc Remelting and remelting by Electron Beam representing the most important techniques. Less frequently employed are alternative routes such as the FFC/Cambridge or Armstrong processes. Depending on the chosen route, either compact layers or powders can be obtained that can e.g. be processed further by powder-metallurgical manufacturing.
Production by molten-salt electrolysis of titanium alloys not only promises economical advantages compared to these processing routes, but also allows adjusting the properties of the produced alloys more flexibly (fig.).
Overarching aim of the research activities in this area is the development of deposition parameters for preparation of compact, homogeneous layers of defined Ti-Al-V compositions (.e.g. Ti-6Al-4V). A prerequisite for the electrochemical preparation of alloys is the ability to dissolve the corresponding elementary salts (e.g. chlorides) in the melts. This necessitates investigations of the dissolution and deposition mechanisms and the characterization of the obtained products by means of electrochemical, spectroscopic, mass-spectrometric as well as other microanalytical tools.