The technical case for titanium application to seawater service was well established in the early 1970s and performance of titanium over the last 40 years has validated the technical case. Widespread use of titanium for process plant application has grown significantly over the last 40 years in spite of comparative cost with competing alloys. This challenge began to reverse in the early 2000s as global expansion of titanium production accelerated and the cost for competing alloys continued to rise.
With expanding global production, the application base for titanium was able to expand and this expansion allowed the stocking of service centres worldwide to support existing and developing applications. Concurrent with this improved market position for titanium, the global nickel and copper industries faced increasing demand, rising energy prices and most importantly declining ore grades. Producing commodities from low-grade resources requires higher energy input and capital intensive plants for the processing of large tonnage and low-grade run-of-mine ore.
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