Titanium Safety Committee Seeks To Develop Fresh Data To Help Illuminate Safety Standards
The Board of Directors of the International Titanium Association (ITA) has approved a proposal by the ITA Safety Committee to proceed with a project to create data to determine whether there should be further updating of key safety standards related to the flammability of titanium, in order to more accurately reflect the rapidly changing types of products and manufacturing technologies being developed by the titanium industry.
Bob Lee, the chair of the ITA's Safety Committee, said the thrust of the effort is to generate accurate, up-to-date information for regulators, not to make recommendations. The study will collect information from ITA members, conduct rigorous scientific studies, and testing as appropriate and engage experts to evaluate the data.
Lee explained that there are many regulatory agencies, standards and specifications that govern how buildings and equipment must be designed and operated, safety of employees, transport and disposal of titanium if it is determined that the form of titanium manufactured, processed, stored or shipped is identified as a combustible metal.
Dawne S. Hickton, current President of the ITA added that, while as a trade organization, ITA does not create or establish safety standards, ITA will be pro-active in developing technical data to enhance the regulatory environment that protects our employees, the public and the environment while advancing the world wide use of titanium.
Lee, who also serves as the president of Accushape Inc., Albany, Oregon USA, said the Safety Committee will provide data to NFPA authorities having jurisdiction in order to help them "understand the flammability of what the titanium industry is producing. The titanium industry has expanded the way the metal can be used in manufacturing applications. We are developing data to more accurately reflect titanium in a flammable condition than previously was known." For example, Lee said that in recent years there has been an accelerated development of new grades of titanium powders dedicated to the leading-edge technology known as 3D or additive manufacturing.
"This is a space age metal," he said, underlining the expanded use of titanium in aerospace and other industrial markets during the last 50 few years. "The fundamental data on regulations for titanium flammability is old. We're looking to modernize that data to reflect the substantial changes in the titanium industry."