NSSMC’s Titanium Alloy Receives the Honda Frontier Award

Jun. 01, 2015

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

NSSMC’s Titanium Alloy Receives the Honda Frontier Award

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC) has received the Honda Frontier Award*1 from the Honda Memorial Foundation for the first time. This was given for development of unique titanium alloys, notably “Super-TIXTM51AF” and “Super-TIXTM10CU”, etc. The award ceremony was held on May 29, 2015 at the Gakushi Kaikan in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, and Hideki Fujii, Doctor of Engineering and General Manager of Titanium & Specialty Stainless Steel Research Lab. of NSSMC made a commemorative speech.

The award was specifically given to the “Development and market creation of the new titanium alloys which use ubiquitous alloying elements,” and was in recognition of the significance of NSSMC’s proprietary titanium alloy “Super-TIXTM” series. Their distinctive features enable the alloys to be made using inexpensive common alloying elements such as aluminum, iron, oxygen, and copper yet deliver the equivalent or superior performance in terms of strength, heat resistance, productivity enhancement by workability, and other factors than that of high-strength conventional titanium alloys, currently used for aircraft components, containing large amounts of expensive rare alloying elements, such as vanadium and molybdenum.

Initially, when the new “Super-TIXTM” was used by customers, problems different from those associated with the use of conventional titanium alloys emerged. NSSMC has solved those new problems by applying many academic research achievements which were obtained in the course of mastering basic metallurgy. Through the research activity, NSSMC has been promoting commercial applications of these new materials into existing and potential markets.

Due to superior performance in hot working and in machining, the “Super-TIXTM” is easily processed into components by customers, and NSSMC is able to steadily supply it from existing facilities, so manufacturers with high-volume or long-run products can comfortably plan on use of the alloys.
NSSMC has also contributed to expand the titanium market by adopting the “Super-TIXTM” for mufflers of motor vehicles and motorcycles and for golf clubs. Producers of mufflers require good cold workability equivalent to that of pure titanium and high-level heat resistance and this is provided by these new alloy products. Golf clubs have been improved by dint of the high resilience and high strength-to-weight ratio of these new alloy products as well.
NSSMC’s R&D activities from basic research to commercialization studies, and consequent market development have been highly accredited this time.    

Titanium is a versatile, light weight, strong, corrosion-resistant material. The “Super-TIXTM” series was developed to take advantage of such distinctive features and be easily usable by our customers. The new materials are used broadly in automotive engine parts and exhaust parts, golf clubs, and other products. NSSMC intends to expand application of its titanium products into aircraft body components among others.

 [Award ceremony at Gakushi Kaikan]
 Hideki Fujii, General Manager of Titanium & Specialty
Stainless Steel Research Lab., is awarded.
 Fujii is making a commemorative speech

[Super-TIXTM application examples]
 Car muffler made of the Super-TIXTM
 Photo: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
 A motorbike connecting rod, using the Super-TIXTM
  Photo: Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.

 A golf club, using the Super-TIXTM in its face
 Photo: Dunlop Sports Co., Ltd.   

*1 Honda Frontier Award
As an originator of the materials science in Japan, Dr. Kotaro Honda (1870 – 1954) made tremendous contribution in the development of metallurgy with his own research achievement and by educating many talented researchers. In order to treasure his name, the Honda Memorial Foundation was established in 1957. Since 1959 the Foundation has given the “Honda Memorial Prize” to researchers who have made outstanding contribution to development of the materials (mainly metals) science technology. Since 2004, the “Honda Frontier Award” has been given to researchers in materials and peripheral materials who have made epoch-making invention or discovery in academic or technical aspects

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