RALEIGH, N.C. – Allegheny Technologies, which produces sophisticated titanium and super alloy metals for use in devices ranging from medical instruments and devices to jet engines and spacecraft, is committed to a major expansion of its facilities in the Carolinas.

The board of directors of the company has given its approval to a $215 million investment. And some foundations for new facilities have already been poured at Allegheny Technologies’ plant in Bakers, a small town in Union County near Charlotte.

The expansion is the result of increasing demand for the sophisticated super alloy and other metals produced by Allegheny Technologies from aerospace and defense contractors as well as other sectors.

However, exactly where all the expansion will take place and how many jobs might be created is not yet known, company spokesperson Dan Greenfield told WRAL Local Tech Wire in a telephone interview.

“It’s a little premature to talk about jobs,” Greenfield said. “Naturally, an investment like this is something that is likely to add jobs.”

Allegheny Technologies is based in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has facilities in Monroe and Bakers, N.C. and in South Carolina.

The expansion is to cover three years.

Neither the company nor its products are traditional steel or metal manufacturing endeavors. Allegheny Technologies focuses on what Greenfield described as “very high-end, sophisticated manufacturing.”

Its metals are found in the rotating parts of jet engines, gas turbines, medical devices and even space craft.

While Allegheny Technologies said the expansion would be self-financed, Greenfield did not rule out the possibility that the company might seek local and state tax incentives to help cover the cost of the expansion.

“We still haven’t finalized a lot of things yet,” he said.

Allegheny Technologies (NYSE: ATI) reported $1.4 billion in sales and a profit of $167.1 million in the fourth quarter. It employs some 9,300 people.

The expansion will include very high-tech manufacturing systems, such as a 10,000 ton press forge, plasma arc melt capacity for production of titanium alloy, and vacuum “arc remelt” capacity for nickel-based supper alloy and titanium. As many as five furnaces for arc remelt capacity may be constructed.

The plasma arc capacity expansion is already underway at Bakers, Greenfield said.

“This strategic growth project further strengthens ATI’s leadership position in the production of technically demanding premium titanium and nickel-based super alloy long products,” said Patrick Hassey, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegheny Technologies, in a statement. “This combination of equipment is unique in the specialty metals industry. These investments enhance our ability to meet our customers’ current and future technical requirements and create a platform for further innovation.”

Allegheny Technologies touts itself as the “world’s best specialty metals company.”