History of JSC "URALREDMET"
On July 19, 1958 a certificate was signed to accept into service the first plant stage. Pyshminsky Pilot Plant "GIREDMET" became experimental facility of State Research and Design Institute of Rare Metal Industry ("GIREDMET," Moscow city).
According to the research and development plan approved by Master Research and Development Project of the USSR State Plan with direct involvement of employees and scientific workers, laboratories and agents of “GIREDMET” Institute, the plant began sub-commercial inspections and introduction of the most recent manufacturing processes and equipment.
Since its first days and during subsequent years the plant actively performed operations with more than 45 elements from Mendeleev periodic system.
Among the events which are of importance for the plant history the following ones should be mentioned: issue of first commercial products during comprehensive testing in late 1957, i.e. cerous oxide hydrochemical shop and copper-zirconium master alloy in electrometallurgical shop, testing of ion-exchange (1959) and extraction processes (1962) of rare earth elements separation and purification.
In the first decade the plant conducted intensive refinement of rare earth metals electrolytic production processes, including tantalum and niobium powders, and aluminothermic vanadium refinement.
From 1958 to 2003the plant developed more than 50 types of master alloys, 33 of which are being manufactured up to date.
From 1961 chlorine metallurgy operations for niobium and vanadium expanded. They ensured the development of electrolytic refinement processes for niobium and vanadium, hydrogen reduction of niobium and related compounds, production of ortho-vanadic phosphor, high-purity chlorides of niobium, tantalum, vanadium and oxides thereof. In subsequent decades around 30 different types of phosphor were synthesized and released.
From 1969 operations began to master technologies, develop and create equipment for permanent magnet production based on alloys REM-cobalt.
High-purity yttrium and gadolinium production technology development gave occasion to create the site for manufacturing technique development and mastering of articles from polycrystalline garnets for microwave equipment.
In 1978 a laboratory building was commissioned, which provided a background for further development of operations on analytical chemistry and production expansion of ferrogarnets and articles thereof using improved and heavier equipment.
Production technology for saline single crystals based on thallium halides was created.
In 1981 completion of the industrial wastewater treatment site reconstruction was accompanied by operations on introduction of previously developed extraction manufacturing systems of REE therefrom and production technologies of complex potassium-ammonium and chloride saline systems.
In 1970-1980 construction of the second plant stage was completed. Its further development was carried out by means of new facilities renovation and construction.
By 1990 rare-metal and related industry companies introduced 91 types of technological developments, 70 techniques of analytical process and released products monitoring.
The plant remained a sole country product manufacturer of more than 400 grade articles, which in 1980s and early 1990s were supplied by more than 920 customers.
All in all, according to incomplete data only for the period from 1957 to 1983 positive benefit to society from introduction of new manufacturing processes, developments and equipment exceeded 500 million rubles.
During its operation the plant used 230 inventions, acquired 298 author’s certificates and two patents, with the number of inventors reaching 145 people.
However, the market reform of early 1990s with respective drastic reduction of defense orders, as well as virtually ultimate R&D termination, put the company in quite a financial predicament. Knowledge-intensive and advanced, though being fine and small-series manufacture of wide range of products using rare-earth elements (REE) in the context of USSR collapse, when sources of raw materials ended up outside RUSSIA, proved to be not that competitive.
All the plant efforts were focused on release of marketable tonnage competitive products, first and foremost titanium master alloys, including electron-beam melting vanadium.
In late 1990s the productive and economic activity results of JSC "URALREDMET" fully confirmed the correctness of such anti-crisis measures.
As a result of large-scale reconstruction of master alloy production site in early 2000s annual production volumes were increased tenfold as compared to the maximum annual level reached during pre-reform years. Vanadium-aluminum master alloy is included in its official customer lists for smelting of airspace titanium alloys by companies VSMPO (Russia), "General Electric," "Boeing" (USA), "Mishra Dhatu Nigam" (India).
The financial and economic production and sales effect of these products with high performance characteristics optimization enabled to create a required volume of current funds available for investment, which, by virtue of new and real market basis, allow for restoration of science-intensive product development dynamics taking place in 1970-80s.