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Kobe Steel supplies titanium for separators in Toyota’s Mirai fuel cell vehicle

January 20, 2015

TOKYO, January 20, 2015 — Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that its titanium material is being used in Toyota Motor Corporation’s Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV), which went on sale in Japan last month. The flat-rolled specialty titanium goes into making the separators in the fuel cell stack.

Separators — a key part of the fuel cell stack in the powertrain — require a material that is corrosion resistant, with high surface conductivity and good formability. Owing to its expertise in material quality and surface control as well as flat-rolling technology, Kobe Steel was able to successfully commercialize the optimum titanium material for separators.

The first company to begin research on titanium production in Japan in 1949, Kobe Steel has pioneered the commercialization of titanium products in that country. Kobe Steel is one of the world’s leading integrated producers of titanium mill products, with operations ranging from ingot melting to the production of final products. Since the early 2000s, Kobe Steel has stepped up development on the practical use of titanium separators. Continuous research on a wide variety of titanium materials that maximize corrosion resistance and surface conductivity led to the application in the Mirai.

The use of titanium for the separators in the Mirai will create new demand in the future. With its extensive research and manufacturing experience, Kobe Steel is striving to create demand for this application, thereby contributing to a low-carbon society.