(AMM) Engine makers still need costly rhenium

Aero engine manufacturers have not abandoned their efforts to remove high-cost rhenium from their products, but engineering out the metal completely is proving more difficult than some companies had hoped, sources told AMM.

Rhenium-bearing alloys can withstand higher operating temperatures and therefore help an engine burn fuel more efficiently and boast lower emissions, but engine manufacturers like Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce Group Plc have been working to reduce their use of the specialty metal nonetheless due to its hefty price tag.

Rhenium is about $1,950 to $2,050 per pound in-warehouse Rotterdam, duty unpaid, according to AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin, although most engine makers are believed to source a portion of their rhenium from major supplier Molibdenos y Metales SA (Molymet) under long-term contracts at below-market prices of less than $1,000 per pound. Some of those long-term agreements are due to expire...


May 20, 2011

17:34 GMT