INDUSTRY: Titanium Trouble

After listening to testimony from both industry and Government experts, a Senate Armed Services subcommittee last week issued a sharply critical report on the U.S. titanium program. The much-touted miracle metal for jet engines, said the committee, is not living up to its advance billing. Though planemakers need titanium badly, the metal is so costly (current price: $7,000 to $8,000 a ton) and so difficult to fabricate that "production is running far ahead of demand." As a result, the General Services Administration has already stockpiled 4,000 tons of excess titanium at a cost of $36 million, may have to...

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