U.S. Ability to Produce Titanium Alloys for Aerospace Threatened

U.S. Should Act to Strengthen Domestic Vanadium Production or Prepare for the Possibility that China and Russia Could Disrupt Supply Lines Critical to the U.S. Military

HOT SPRINGS, AR – (August 24, 2020) –U.S. Vanadium, the Arkansas-based producer of the world’s highest-purity vanadium pentoxide (V205),is urging that the U.S. Government act to strengthen domestic production of vanadium, given that nations such as Russia and China are now in a position to disrupt vanadium supply lines crucial to the U.S. military.

As much as 86 percent of vanadium imported into the U.S. is currently sourced directly or indirectly from Russia, China, Brazil, and South Africa, U.S. Vanadium and AMG Vanadium (“AMG”) told the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) this week in a joint filing as part of an ongoing investigation by DOC to determine whether vanadium imports threaten to impair U.S. national security. The public version of the USV/AMG filing can be seen here.

Designated by the U.S. Government as a “Critical Mineral” in 2019, vanadium is a metal used in high-performance titanium alloys that are vital to jet engines, aircraft structures, and vehicle armor. Such alloys have the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any engineered material, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (“USGS”). Because there are no acceptable substitutes for vanadium in aerospace titanium alloys, it is essential for both military aircraft and ballistic missiles.

Vanadium-alloyed steels are used in virtually every high-strength structural steel application in military equipment, including military-grade AH36, AH32, and MIL22698 steels used to build U.S. Naval aircraft carriers and submarines, as well as in combat vehicles, tactical vehicles, tactical bridges, material handling equipment, aircraft, watercraft, rail trailers, and steel structures. Vanadium-alloyed steels are also used in mortar tubes, cannon tubes, and in howitzers, as well as in blast resistant hardened structures.

In the commercial sector, vanadium-alloyed steels are used in infrastructure applications such as auto parts, buildings, bridges, cranes, pipelines, rail cars, ships and truck bodies.

High-purity vanadium, such as that produced by U.S. Vanadium in Arkansas, also is vital to batteries used in solar and wind power grids, as well as a catalyst for chemicals across aerospace, defense, energy, and infrastructure sectors.

U.S. Vanadium and AMG petitioned the federal government to provide proper adjustments of vanadium imports so as to strengthen domestic production of vanadium in the U.S.

“Supply lines from South Africa, Russia, Brazil, and China are obviously lengthy and subject to periodic and unpredictable disruption, particularly from government action,” said Jody Orme, CEO of U.S. Vanadium. “Fortunately, the U.S. currently has the capability to meet total demand for high-purity vanadium, and more than half of the demand for steel-grade vanadium, if proper relief is provided and proper economic conditions are created.

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Jim Sims, js@usvanadium.com, +1 (303) 503-6203

About U.S. Vanadium LLC

U.S. Vanadium is one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of vanadium oxides and vanadium chemicals used in the titanium alloy, steel, chemicals, petrochemicals, batteries, and turbine coatings industries. At its facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas, U.S. Vanadium produces the highest-purity vanadium pentoxide made anywhere in the world, and is a critical supplier of high-purity vanadium oxides necessary for the production of titanium alloys for the aerospace industry. U.S. Vanadium produces its vanadium products from steel slag, ores, and other vanadium bearing materials. For more information, please visit: USVanadium.com

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U.S. Vanadium Holding Company, LLC produces and sells a range of specialty vanadium chemicals, including the highest-purity Vanadium Pentoxide (V205) in the world.
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