Guppy Dhariwal rocks with metal mettle

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 09, 2013 23:24 IST

You could call him an alchemist of sorts.

Jalandhar-born Briton Guppy Dhariwal, 63, is creating ripples in the world of metals with engineering techniques that dramatically reduce the cost of producing some of the world's most precious industrial metals.

Dhariwal's company, UK-based Metalysis, is at the centre of the global high value and rare earth metal business with a potential to alter the course of the future for the sector.

Metalysis has the backing of mining heavyweights including BHP-Billiton, but Dhariwal is unassuming, though he does love fast cars. His low-key style hides the scope of transformation his company is expected to bring to a not-so-hyped industry.

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Sample this: Largely into the business of producing titanium and tantalum and its alloys, Metalysis has developed a process that promises to reduce the cost of these high value metals to less than a tenth of its current prices.

This patented technology that transforms oxides directly to metal powder in a single step, is expected to be commercialised in the next 18 months.

"We are on the brink of commercialising this technology, which will transform the world of metals," Dhariwal says. "It will reduce the cost and environmental impact of metal powder production, which can be used in manufacturing parts, bringing about huge reductions in the fly-to-buy ratio."

The impact of this could be widespread. The two metals are used in sectors from aerospace and military to automotive and healthcare. Like aluminium, it can be used in cars to make them lighter and more fuel efficient, yet stronger and more durable.

"Aerospace, consumer electronics, renewable energy will all be able to benefit from the superior conductive and corrosion resistant properties of titanium and tantalum," he said.

A University of Newcastle science graduate, Guppy was groomed at General Electric as an engineer and accountant - a combination that's working wonders.

 

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