2014 Volume 55 Issue 9 Pages 1419-1427
We propose a smelting reduction process for titanium that uses a flux without any added deoxidizer, such as metallic calcium. For the smelting flux, material from the CaO-Al2O3-ZrO2 ternary system was utilized, and an arbitrary quantity of TiO2 was added to the ternary flux. The mixed TiO2-bearing quaternary flux was electrochemically treated in a reaction cell made of CaO-stabilized ZrO2 solid electrolyte above the melting temperature of titanium. Small, lustrous particles were observed on the crushed flux surface after smelting and quenching, and these were analyzed by optical microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) during scanning electron microscopy, and wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. The formation of metallic titanium was confirmed by the X-ray diffraction data and elemental mapping by EDX, and was determined to be reasonable from thermodynamic investigations.