Various titanium parts with complicated shapes sit on a bed of gray powder.
Additively manufactured Ti-6Al-4V parts by the powder metallurgy laboratory at the University of Utah.

Metallurgical Engineering professors in the University of Utah’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering recently signed a research agreement with IperionX (IPX) for $10M over ten years, effective January 1, 2024.

The Charlotte, NC-based IPX aims to become a leading American titanium and critical materials company — using patented metals technologies to produce high-performance titanium metal from titanium minerals or scrap titanium at lower energy, cost, and carbon emissions than conventional technologies.

The team of Fang’s powder metallurgy research lab in front of the laser 3D printing laboratory.

The project is led by  Z. Zak Fang, professor of metallurgy in the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering and the College of Science, and is Co-led by Research Associate Professor Pei Sun.

Fang and his research team will provide IPX with research and development services related to metallurgical technologies to produce primary metals, advanced manufacturing technologies, including additive manufacturing (i.e., 3D printing) of titanium alloys, and recycling of rare earth metals from magnets used in wind turbines and electric vehicles.

“This academic-industry partnership of the Fang Lab and IperionX exemplifies the College of Science’s innovative bench-to-application research to meet the needs of our energy future,” says Peter Trapa, Dean of the College of Science.

“Collaborations like this one are virtuous cycles; cutting-edge research and industry supporting one another is the backbone of a growing innovation economy,” says Richard Brown, H. E. Thomas Presidential Endowed Dean of the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering.