Ford’s IperionX Low-Carbon 3D Printing Deal Sends IPX Stock Soaring

Metal AM Markets

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In an unprecedented move that triggered a dramatic surge in IperionX‘s stock price (Nasdaq: IPX), the company has announced a landmark collaboration with Ford (NYSE: F) to design, test, and additively manufacture a series of high-quality titanium components for future Ford Performance production vehicles. Moreover, as of today, IperionX’s stock stands at a staggering 145% increase, extending the steady uptrend it had been experiencing over the past few months. This new development further reinforces the significance of the collaboration and aligns with Ford’s recent announcement of the opening of its Cologne Electric Vehicle Center (the first carbon-neutral assembly plant worldwide), marking a decisive shift towards a more sustainable future in the automotive industry.

IperionX is making a 100% recyclable metal supply chain. Image courtesy of IperionX.

Originally founded in Australia and operating out of Charlotte, North Carolina, IperionX (formerly Hyperion Metals) has finalized a comprehensive plan with Ford. This project involves producing titanium components using IperionX’s innovative low-carbon, 100% recycled titanium metal and includes key project deliverables, costs, and timing, with activities set to conclude in the third quarter of 2023.

Central to this collaboration is Ford Performance, Ford’s high-performance division known for its remarkable range of cars, such as the F150 Raptor, Bronco Raptor, Mustang Mach 1, and the Shelby GT500. Notably, this partnership paves the way for an industry first, a commitment by a manufacturer to compete in esteemed global racing events like Formula 1, Le Mans 24 Hours, and NASCAR using sustainable components.

Ford Performance cars. Image courtesy of Ford.

This effort signals a significant shift in the competitive landscape of automotive racing. Traditionally, motorsports have been arenas of high performance and speed, often at the expense of environmental concerns. However, Ford Performance’s decision to incorporate sustainable components in its racing cars represents a groundbreaking change in the automotive industry. If anything, it challenges the notion that high performance and environmental considerations are incompatible, thanks to the integration of IperionX’s low-carbon, 100% recycled titanium components.

Once finalized, Ford’s parts will set a precedent that promotes sustainability within racing and inspires changes in vehicle design and manufacturing processes. Moreover, the implications extend beyond the racing circuit since advancements made in high-performance cars often trickle down to consumer vehicles. Ultimately, it could help make sustainable materials and technologies more common in everyday vehicles, ushering in an era of environmentally conscious, high-performance automobiles.

Distinguishing innovation

IperionX’s low-carbon, circular titanium metal has undergone extensive quality and strength testing and has been found to meet and even surpass the required parameters set under ASTM International standards. According to the companies, the “Scope of Work” deal signed by IperionX will also include a comprehensive “finishing study” to assess the surface finish of the parts and guide the final design and unit costs for the low-carbon titanium components in Ford Performance production vehicles.

The potential of automotive parts made from titanium is immense. They are renowned for their superior strength-to-weight ratios, high levels of corrosion resistance, and outstanding durability. One of the upsides to IperionX’s proprietary technologies is that these components can be sustainably recycled at the end of their life cycle, a crucial benefit for a low-carbon, fully circular titanium automotive supply chain.

Commenting on the deal, Anastasios Arima, CEO of IperionX, noted that “IperionX is re-shoring a lower cost and more sustainable U.S. titanium supply chain – shifting from a linear supply chain to a lower carbon, circular titanium supply chain.”

IperionX is making a 100% recyclable metal supply chain. Image courtesy of IperionX.

IperionX is a pioneer in developing low-carbon titanium for advanced industries, such as space, aerospace, electric vehicles (EVs), and 3D printing, which plays a key role in IperionX’s strategy. By combining 3D printing technology with their unique titanium metal production process, IperionX promises superior flexibility in design and production, reducing waste and improving overall efficiency. This connection to 3D printing is vital, as it provides a sustainable and efficient method to use its innovative titanium materials in various applications, including the automotive sector, as showcased by its partnership with Ford.

The company aims to produce titanium metal powders from titanium scrap at its operational pilot facility in Utah and expand production at a Titanium Demonstration Facility in Virginia. It holds an exclusive option to acquire breakthrough titanium technologies that can yield fully circular and low-carbon titanium products.

Innovating responsibly

Also, in alignment with its sustainability goals, Ford has joined the First Movers Coalition. This global initiative leverages the collective purchasing power of over 50 foundational companies, including industry giants like Volvo, Airbus, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. The aim is to provide a demand signal to scale up critical emerging technologies essential to transition to net zero.

As part of its sustainability initiatives, Ford has embraced 3D printing. The company has been actively exploring and relying on AM to produce components for its vehicles, allowing for more efficient production, customization, and optimization of parts, leading to lighter and more sustainable vehicles. The car brand has also been investing heavily in EVs and has plans to release several all-electric models in the coming years.

On social media yesterday, Ford indicated that it had built nearly 18 million vehicles at its assembly plant in Cologne since 1931, which this week re-opened as the Ford Cologne Electric Vehicle Center. Described as “the start of a new electric era for Ford in Europe,” the move is part of the brand’s continued commitment to reaching carbon neutrality across its European facilities by 2035.

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