Korea will inject 81.8 billion won ($75.5 million) into developing a domestic titanium parts and material industry that can make components for aircrafts, medical implant applications and industrial plants, the government said Tuesday. The seven-year plan includes the government providing 60.3 billion won in support with the rest of the money coming from private companies, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. For this year, 9.5 billion won has been set aside in the state budget to support the project, it said.
Titanium, a low-density, high-strength metal, was first developed on a mass scale for military use. It is stronger than steel, light and highly corrosion resistant, although it costs more and is more scarce and harder to manufacture than steel. Even before the industry is fully developed, demand for heat exchange parts in desalination plants, steam turbine blades used in various power generating facilities and medical implants could create a 317 billion won market, the ministry said. Titanium parts can also be used in South Korea’s next generation fighter project. The material is used on the leading edges of wings in many aircraft.
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