Discovery Guides Areas


(Released June 2000)

  by Richard C. Hummel  


Key Citations

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Key Citations Short Format Full Format
  1. Titanium for hydrometallurgical extraction equipment

    Graunman, JS; Say, T

    Advanced Materials & Processes (USA), vol. 157, no. 3, pp. 25-29, Mar. 2000

    Hydrometallurgical extraction of nickel and cobalt by high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) is a process that promises a new low-cost standard for winning nickel from the earth. The process has moved into high volume production as three large Australian mining companies start operations this year. Titanium emerged as the material of choice because it is the only metal available at a reasonable cost that resists the high-temperature corrosive slurries in the HPAL process. In fact, Ti is one of only a small group of metals that provides any resistance, and the other metals in this group, such as tantalum and niobium, are more costly. Titanium also is highly abrasion resistant, which is an essential performance requirement because of the heavy load of abrasive undissolved minerals in the HPAL slurry. Pressure acid leaching of nickeliferous laterite ores produces aggressively corrosive slurries that contain many metal ions. These ions act as powerful corrosion inhibitors for Ti processing equipment.

  2. The present state of titanium ship and its advantage

    Kotaki, H

    Titanium Japan (Japan), vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 20-33, Jan. 2000

    Titanium metal has many characteristics for use in ships, such as excellent corrosion resistance against sea-water, light weight and high tensile strength, good recycle ability, etc. The first all Ti yachts and fishing-boats have launched in Japan. They are the first Ti-made private ships. In this paper, the author reports the advantages of Ti ships according to the actual usage results. Some kinds of the rigging parts have been made by Ti also. The history of Ti ships and marine products, such as nuclear sub-marines, deep sea investigators, and marine constructions are introduced. For the future Ti usage, some basic data on Ti should be studied for Ti ship-building. Titanium has a big possibility for ship-material, specially, in some special purpose.

  3. The use of titanium as architectural materials for newly constructed buildings

    Matsusato, I

    Titanium Japan (Japan), vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 27-31, Oct. 1999

    Titanium plate was recently used for the curtain wall of the Showa-Kan building in Kudan, Tokyo and for the roofing of the Shimane Prefecture Art Museum in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. These buildings are both located in severe surroundings: the Showa-Kan located in Kudan Crossing where traffic is heavy and the Shimane Prefecture Art Museum located at the shore of Lake Shinji which is connected to the Japan Sea. So that durability was requested for both buildings in addition to the elaborate design as an art museum. Although the appearance of both buildiings is organic and complicated in shape, it is well accepted among many people as a favorite building in addition to the excellent durability of titanium metal.

  4. '98 use of titanium for architectural materials in Japan

    Kaneko, T

    Titanium Japan (Japan), vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 33-34, Oct. 1999

    In 1998, 239 tons of titanium was used for the architectural materials in 34 applications in Japan. The amount of Ti used for them from 1990-1998 is shown in Figure 1. The amount of use in 1998 increased by 68 tons compared with that in 1997 and the average amount used in the last six years was 190 tons per year. So that the use of Ti for architectural materials has been increasing slowly. In 1998, we had no big construction projects but medium and small ones. In the various uses, the rate for roofing was approx62% and these rates for each use in 1998 were almost the same as those for the last six as shown in Figure 2.

  5. The use of titanium for the farming of high grade fish at the land based plant

    Hirai, K

    Titanium Japan (Japan), vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 37-39, Oct. 1999

    The rate of the farm raised fish in the total amount of fish supply in Japan is increasing year by year, especially the high graded fish is. As the farming of high graded fish increases, many plans and discussion have been made to actualize farming in the land instead of it at the seaside because it is easy to ensure the space, to raise the efficiency, to produce fish safely and to cut down the cost. In this article, the planning to actualize the land based farming plant of the high graded sea fish is introduced. In addition to this, possiblity to use Ti for this project is described because this metal is effective in sea water use. At the end we highly hope that the cost of Ti parts is lowered in the near future.

  6. Alloys repair the human body

    Schorr, M; Salas, BV

    Stainless Steel World (The Netherlands), vol. 11, no. 7, pp. 19-22, Sept. 1999

    The three main groups of alloys used for surgical and medical instruments and body implants are stainless steels, Co alloys, and Ti alloys. Behavior of the materials in the body environment is described. Applications such as bone screws, spine stabilizers, and intramedullar devices are addressed.

  7. Technology, properties and applications of intermetallic gamma -TiAl based alloys

    Clemens, H; Lorich, A; Eberhardt, N; Glatz, W; Knabl, W; Kestler, H

    Zeitschrift fur Metallkunde (Germany), vol. 90, no. 8, pp. 569-580, Aug. 1999

    This paper reviews industrial scale thermomechanical and near-net shape processing of gamma -TiAl based alloys (" gamma alloys"). The progress achieved in forging of large ingots, rolling of sheets from forged ingots and HIPed powders, single and multistep extrusion of ingots and HIPing of prealloyed powders to near-net shape parts is presented. The impact of the different prematerial routes on process economy and the quality of semi-finished products will be discussed. The problems which arise when heat treatments are transferred from small lab furnaces to large industrial furnaces are outlined. The superplastic behavior of gamma -TiAl sheet material is described and results of superplastic forming are presented. Different joining techniques have been screened for gamma -TiAl based alloys including laser welding, brazing and solid-state diffusion bonding. Although the oxidation resistance of gamma alloys is remarkably higher than that of Ti alloys the need for reliable oxidation resistant coatings for long-term application at temperatures >700 deg C is anticipated. Results of cyclic oxidation tests on coated gamma -TiAl samples are presented. Finally, some potential application fields for gamma -TiAl alloys are outlined.

  8. Research on the possibility of application of titanium in the brewing and food industry

    Titanium Japan (Japan), vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 17-23, July 1999

    In an attempt to promote titanium application to the brewing and food industrial field, our Medical and Civil Products Committee of JTS visited R&D institutes, relevant associations and several manufacturers in those sector. We have studied whether there is any possibility of applying titanium materials into the machinery and vessel in the use of liquor and food factories. Although very few of Ti parts were found in the brewing facilities, there will be more chance to accept Ti materials for food processing machinery in preserving facility. In that case salt corrosion should be well take care of. In this study, we have learned that there are, at least, two activities to understand the merit of Ti from our potential customers. One is to spread the information about excellent properties of Ti materials; high corrosion resistance biocompatibility, no poison, high cleaning and disinfecting capability. The other is to assess the total life cycle cost by using Ti materials instead of other materials.

  9. Engineering and economic aspects of application of titanium alloys in the shipboard sea water systems

    Ushkov, SS; Kudryavtsev, AS; Kirilin, EF; Karasev, EA

    Vopr. Materialoved., vol. 3, pp. 151-177, July-Sept. 1999

    An analytical treatment of comparative data on characteristics of the shipboard salt water system pipes and equipment made of the copper- and titanium-base alloys is presented. Engineering and economic expediency of application of titanium alloys instead of copper-base alloys for the shipboard standing systems is shown.

  10. Will the titanium golf club by tomorrow's mashy niblick?

    Froes, FH

    JOM (USA), vol. 51, no. 6, pp. 18-20, June 1999

    In the sporting goods industry, the application of game-improving advanced materials has resulted in titanium golf clubs attaining near-mythical status. These improvements have not come cheaply, however, and titanium clubs are losing ground to creative designs that employ combinations of lower cost materials. As a result, unless the cost of Ti can be lowered, the metal will see its share of the market become significantly reduced by the judicious use of lower-cost materials. Alloys used include Ti-6Al-4V, Ti-3Al-2.5V and Ti-15V-3Cr-3Sn-3Al.

  11. Alternate materials choices--some challenges to the increased use of Ti alloys

    Williams, JC

    Materials Science and Engineering A (Switzerland), vol. 263, no. 2, pp. 107-111, 15 May 1999

    Titanium alloys are used in a variety of high-performance applications. Properties that lead to the selection of Ti alloys include modulus, chemical inertness, density, static strength, fatigue strength and damage tolerance (fracture toughness and fatigue crack growth). The reasons that Ti alloys are selected for a wide range of products have been widely discussed. Reasons for not selecting Ti alloys have been less widely discussed, and are the focus of this paper. This paper describes examples where alternate materials have been chosen in lieu of Ti alloys. The reason for these choices include elevated temperature creep strength, the tendency for combustion, raw material cost and article manufacturing cost. Specific examples of aircraft engine and aircraft components will be described and the reasoning behind the selection of alternate materials will be outlined. The paper concludes by suggesting factors that could re-balance the decision making process in favor of Ti alloys.

  12. Titanium alloys for marine application

    Gorynin, IV

    Materials Science and Engineering A (Switzerland), vol. 263, no. 2, pp. 112-116, 15 May 1999

    The paper covers some problems of the development and application of titanium alloys for manufacturing engineering structures for the extraction of hydrocarbons in the offshore zone of Russia. The conclusion on the expediency and efficiency of the use of Ti alloys is based on the analysis of operating conditions and experience in the operation of Ti alloys in vessel structures and power plants. Marine alloys mentioned include VT1-0, 37, 5V, PT-3V, Grade 5 and Grade 23.

  13. Lightweight folding bicycle with titanium: Traincle 6500

    Ono, T; Takehara, K; Suzuri, M

    Titanium Japan (Japan), vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 7-10, Apr. 1999

    National Bicycle Industrial has developed the extra-light weight and extra-small folding bike called Traincle 6500 in cooperation with East Japan Railway Company. It weights only 6.5 kg (the lightest in the world) and can be put into a coin-operated locker. As the frame occupies >25% of a whole bicycle weight, an extensive study was made including a proper selection of materials in order to reduce the weight. As a result, titanium alloy was decided to be used for the frame, since it is light, mechanically strong, and highly anti-corrosive. We used a simulation design method of FEM and reliability test of fatigue break. Carrying a bicycle on JR Line is permitted after the sale of Traincle starts.

  14. The titanium golf club scenario

    Ma, J; Li, C; Froes, FH; Shira, C

    Minerals, Metals and Materials Society/AIME, Synthesis of Lightweight Metals III (USA), pp. 91-99, Mar. 1999

    The developments in golf club manufacture at two locations are discussed in order to provide a status report of the current status of the technology and use of titanium clubs. An assessment is then made of the future for Ti golf clubs, with the conclusion that unless costs are reduced other materials will replace Ti in high performance clubs.

  15. Titanium frame bike

    Ono, T; Takehara, K; Suzuri, M

    Kei Kinzoku Yosetsu (Journal of Light Metal Welding and Construction) (Japan), vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 15-18, Mar. 1999

    The annual production of bicycles have surpassed 75 million in Japan and has become an important transportation factor in the society. Over past several years this company has been involved in development of titanium frame bikes which is being reported here. In particular three requirements of: strength, light weight and impact resistance are demanded in the sports bike frames. Today the demand for lighter material over traditional chrome alloy steel is quite significant and in this respect aluminum alloys, pure and alloy titanium are among such materials being used for development of new bike frames. In their development works these authors have based their efforts on easy to obtain and reasonably priced titanium frames for which several topics like: simplification of welding process like pulse welding as introduced here. Development of optimum titanium alloy, and construction design superbly take advantage of titanium characteristics. Several photographs are provided.

  16. Titanium - A complement to stainless steel

    Stainless Steel (South Africa), pp. 21, Mar.-Apr. 1999

    While various grades and alloys of stainless steel are used in vessels, pipes and tanks for many process industries, there are some applications where titanium is needed for its special characteristics and resistance to certain chemicals.

  17. Titanium and titanium alloys in naval and nautical component production

    Fabroni, A

    Trattamenti & Finiture (Italy), vol. 39, no. 3-4, pp. 126-129, Mar.-Apr. 1999

    Titanium is a rather 'young ' metal in civil and industrial use, and is virtually unknown in the small and medium sized business activities scattered all over Italy and Europe. Two main assumptions have greatly limited the use of this material up to today, a) high costs, and b) poor workability. As regards the first issue, not only production costs, but rather global cost /effectiveness should be assessed, since titanium items last longer and require less service Interventions compared to steel items, for example. As to the second issue, titanium has the same workability problems as stainless steels, except for some requirements which, in any case, do not need high technology machinery. Not all the parts of a boat can be made of titanium or its alloys, but those that can, will certainly improve the final product. Titanium is particularly resistant to the saline environment, to hydrocarbons and to some aggressive acids; it has very good mechanical characteristics, a low specific weight, a low thermal conductivity and is absolutely biocompatible. Moreover, titanium is strongly resistant to corrosion and should therefore be used for many boat components, such as heat exchangers, drain pipes, fire-prevention barriers, propellers, some tools and other components. Finally, another field of application for this material could be the sports sector as, in fact, the low density, high mechanical characteristics and fatigue resistance of titanium would certainly meet sports performance and reliability requirements.

  18. Titanium aluminide applications in the high speed civil transport

    Bartolotta, P.A., -; Krause, DL

    Minerals, Metals and Materials Society/AIME, Gamma Titanium Aluminides 1999 (USA), pp. 3-10, Mar. 1999

    It is projected that within the next two decades, overseas air travel will increase to over 600,000 passengers per day. The High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) is a second-generation supersonic commercial aircraft proposed to meet this demand. The expected fleet of 500 to 1500 aircraft is required to meet EPA environmental goals; the HSCT propulsion system requires advanced technologies to reduce exhaust and noise pollution. A pan of the resultant strategy for noise attenuation is the use of an extremely large exhaust nozzle. In the nozzle, several critical components are fabricated from titanium aluminide: the divergent flap uses wrought gamma; the nozzle sidewall is a hybrid fabrication of both wrought gamma face sheet and cast gamma substructure. This paper describes the HSCT program and the use of titanium aluminide for its components.

  19. The future use of gamma titanium aluminides by Rolls-Royce

    Voice, W

    Minerals, Metals and Materials Society/AIME, Gamma Titanium Aluminides 1999 (USA), pp. 397-400, Mar. 1999

    Gamma Titanium Aluminide is a material essential for meeting military and civil engine performance targets in the future and potentially it could be used throughout the engine from compressor to combustor to turbine. The current alloy being used within Rolls-Royce is the established Ti-45-2-2-XD. This is competing for lower temperature applications such as stators and structural components which take advantage of the lower costs arising from the casting route. Rigorous design criteria are required to compensate for the risks in using these relatively new materials in components and this requires investigation into the effects of manufactured surface conditions, of microstructures local to load bearing regions and of compositional variations. For the future, Rolls-Royce has patented a next generation gamma titanium aluminide resulting from alloy development programs undertaken by The University of Birmingham 1. The aim is to optimize castability with strength and creep resistance and their potential for commercial use within the aeroengine is discussed.

  20. All titanium ship

    Kotaki, H

    Kei Kinzoku Yosetsu (Journal of Light Metal Welding and Construction) (Japan), vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 9-16, 1999

    At present FRP construction ships of under 20 tonnage cover the majority of these ships. Although the aluminum ones cover a large portion as well. The metallic titanium processes superb corrosion resistance to seawater yet being light weight and of relatively high tensile strength and very good reclaiming potentials as well as environmental friendliness. All these properties have led the industry to consider titanium as an appropriate material for marine applications. Although one ought to add that the overall titanium fabrication experience is somewhat shallow at this time. Regarding the first powered all-titanium ship an illustration is provided with the specifications of this 4.6 gross ton ship of 40 feet long, and 9 feet wide using pure titanium (JIS type 2). This is a fishing vessel and its completion has been scheduled for October 1998 and registered in Shimane Prefecture with the name of Dai Ni Asahi Maru. In comparison with FRP ships, the bottom can be without any protective paints since no marine living organisms can easily adhere to titanium. Obviously lighter weight contributes to lower CO sub 2 emission, and generally speaking an undetermined life span expectancy is observed for titanium ships. Several photographs of already produced titanium yachts and marine-use components are shown with a table that compares various specifications of different types of boats like rubber, FRP, aluminum, steel, polyethylene, wood etc.

  21. On the development of titanium exhaust pipe and its future

    Yoshimura, F

    Titanium Japan (Japan), vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 3-5, Jan. 1999

    Yoshimura Japan Company Limited, has 40 years' history of Racing and Manufacturing of Exhaust Pipe for Motorcycle. Motorcycle with titanium exhaust system of Yoshimura Japan has got the victory at the BOL-DOR 24 h endurance race in France. Titanium system was evaluated comparing to steel and stainless steel by lighter weight, less vibration and less crack damage. A manual bending method was developed to produce the component. Titanium pipe with river sand in it is heated by gas burner and is bent by hand. The special rainbow color which occurs during heating is welcomed by customers. Yoshimura has also developed "4 into 1 Exhaust Pipe" for motorcycles. Painting, plating and polishing are not necessary for Ti exhaust pipe. This is important for decreasing delivery time and stock amount. Quality problem on surface treatment is also deleted. Environmentally, it is recommendable that chemical agents for painting and plating is not used for Ti pipe. Titanium parts will be used more in the future. Titanium is very good for recycling. It is also has the advantage of Ti parts.

  22. R & D, manufacturing Ti wheel chair

    Matsunaga, N

    Titanium Japan (Japan), vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 6-8, Jan. 1999

    Matsunaga Manufactory started 25 years ago, for manufacturing wheel chair, and now became the top manufacture in Japan. Development of the Catalog model has succeeded. It was cheaper than other made models and also, shortened the delivery time. Plastic joints have been introduced instead of welding. By this development, higher dimension accuracy was easily performed, and stable quality of products was achieved. Module system was introduced, by which system, the selection by customers became wide and easier. Titanium wheel chair is evaluated by its strength and lightness.

  23. Induction to biomedical alloys

    Ma, N.Y., -

    Metal Industries (China) (Taiwan), vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 86-89, 1999

    The mechanical and corrosion behaviors of biomedical alloys are introduced. The biomedical materials for implants include AISI316 stainless steel, cast and forged Co-Cr alloy, titanium, Ti-6Al-4V, Mp35N, Ta. The various properties of stainless steel, Co-Cr alloy, Ti, and Ti alloy are described in detail.

  24. Application and life prediction of titanium alloys in military gas turbine engines

    Cowles, BA

    Minerals, Metals and Materials Society/AIME, Fatigue Behavior of Titanium Alloys (USA), pp. 277-290, 1999

    Since initial introduction in the 1950's, application of titanium alloys has steadily increased in aircraft gas turbine engines. The low density and high specific strength of Ti alloys have contributed significantly toward attainment of today's high thrust, lightweight, fuel-efficient engines. Today, Ti alloys comprise more than one-third of total engine weight, much of it in structurally critical parts such as fan and compressor rotors and airfoils, and engine mainframe structures. Materials processing, and structural design, durability, and life prediction practices have continuously evolved to facilitate such applications. This paper presents an overview of current Ti applications in gas turbine engines, the current durability and life prediction challenges and areas that appear significant for future applications.

  25. Producing lower-cost titanium for automotive applications

    Hartman, AD; Gerdemann, SJ; Hansen, JS

    JOM (USA), vol. 50, no. 9, pp. 16-19, Sept. 1998

    Although titanium has attractive properties that can improve the performance and economy of automobiles, at its current cost, it cannot compete with steel in most applications for which it is suited. It is readily apparent that Ti cannot be considered a viable mass-market automotive materials alternative as long as it is produced with the Kroll process. A look at existing and new technologies (and some that have been found lacking) in terms of applicability toward high-volume, low-cost Ti production for automotive applications indicates other options.

  26. Latest in titanium architecture: world-wide and sky-high

    Housley, K

    Titanium News (USA), vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 1-2, Winter 2000

    Frank Gehry's curvilinear design of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, has attracted worldwide attention since its opening in October 1998. It has also sparked architectural interest in the use of Ti. The most spectacular project soon to start construction is the Chinese Grand National Theater planned for Tiananmen Square in Beijing. In Japan, architects have used it in both classical and modern buildings, the most significant being the stunning roof design of the Shimane Prefecture Art Museum in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, and the futuristic curtain wall of the Showa-Kan building in Kudan, Tokyo.

  27. Kobe Steel sells titanium muffler

    New Materials Japan (UK), pp. 3, Dec. 1999

    Kobe Steel reports that it has received orders for an exhaust muffler made from pure Ti from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Honda Motor and Yamaha Motor. The muffler, called KS50, is designed for motorcycles. Compared with conventional stainless steel mufflers, the Ti product is lighter in weight and therefore contributes to greater fuel efficiency, in addition to its superior properties of corrosion resistance and workability. Contact: Kobe Steel Ltd, 2-10-26 Wakinohama, Chuo-ku, Kobe 651-8585, Japan; tel +81-78-261-5111, fax +81-3-5252-7961, website: http:/ /

  28. Titanium alloy dental implant offers improved properties

    New Materials Japan (UK), pp. 11, Dec. 1999

    Japanese scientists have devised an artificial dental implant made partly of Ti that overcomes some of the problems associated with other materials. The device includes an implantable part which goes into the bone tissue and a crown-fixing part. It is manufactured using an injection molding method for metal powders. Contact: Matsumoto Dental College, 1780 Gobara Hirooka, Shiojiri 399-07 Japan; or, Injex Corp, Nagano-ken, Japan.

  29. Titanium tubes

    Stainless Steel World (The Netherlands), vol. 11, no. 9, pp. 17, Nov. 1999

    AB Sandvik Steel is claiming significant worldwide gains in market share for Ti tubes. The company's most recent contract involves the supply of straight and U-bent Commercial Grade 2 seamless Ti tubes for several heat exchangers required for the refurbishment and modification of a PTA plant in the Far East. In heat exchanger applications, particularly where chlorinated seawater cooling is involved, Ti tubes are now regularly specified when potential maintenance costs and life cycle cost calculations are taken into account.

  30. Titanium provides long-term protection for buildings inside and out!

    Peacock, D

    Stainless Steel World (The Netherlands), vol. 11, no. 9, pp. 72-73, Nov. 1999

    The outstanding resistance of Ti to atmospheric corrosion justified its choice for 33,000 m exp 2 of cladding on the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. In industrial buildings, Ti cladding was used in the ductwork and flues of major power station gas desulfurization plants built to reduce the problems of acid rain. Particular application of Ti linings in the Draw 6x660MW National Power plant in North Yorkshire, England, is described.

  31. Titanium racing bike parts take a turn for the better

    Modern Applications News (USA), vol. 33, no. 11, pp. 74-75, Nov. 1999

    Litespeed Titanium Bicycles, Chattanooga, TN, USA, produces Ti bicycle frames that weigh approx2.5 lb. For axle dropout and many other parts that are cut from solid Ti plate or bar stock, the company recently installed a Mazak VTC-30 vertical machining center. Tubular swaged frame parts are then joined to machined parts by welding. The average retail price of a Litespeed bicycle is between $1500-6000, with custom frames considerably more expensive.

  32. Titanium is tops for implants--but too dear for some

    Barrett, R

    Metal Bulletin Monthly (UK), vol. 346, pp. 48-49, 51, 53, Oct. 1999

    Titanium is about half the weight of its rival for long-term surgical implants, stainless steel, and has the added advantage that bone growth can adhere to implants made from it or its alloys, without cement, to create a long-lasting bond. Most Ti for medical implants comes from wrought or drawn products which are machined or gorged. Worldwide, Ti used in medical implants amounts to between 600-1000 tpy. Developments in materials and applications are described.

  33. Titanium implants

    Design Engineering (Toronto) (Canada), vol. 45, no. 8, pp. 19, Aug.-Sept. 1999

    Titanium seems to be a metal of choice for nearly all implantable devices, such as pacemakers, because it is impervious to the body fluids that can erode stainless steel and other metals. Accordingly, Hudson Medical Products (HMP), a business unit of Hudson Tool and Die Co, is increasing emphasis on the design and manufacture of medical-grade Ti implantable products (cardiac pacemaker cases) and other medical components made of Ti. The cases have wall thicknesses of 0.010-0.020 in. within 0.0001 tolerances.

  34. More durable artificial hip joint [to combine apatite with titanium alloy]

    New Materials Japan (UK), pp. 9, May 1999

    Kobe Steel is to embark on the development of an artificial hip with biologically active functions for the replacement of natural joints ravaged by aging and injury. The company aims to combine apatite, a substance similar to natural bone, with a titanium alloy, a material commonly used in artificial joints. The goal is to produce a more durable joint than existing artificial hips, according to Kobe Steel (2-10-26, Wakinohama-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 651-8585, Japan; tel +81-78-261-4101; fax +81-78-261-4074; website: