Rio Tinto Aluminium Scandium Alloy for 3D Printing
Rio Tinto has signed an agreement to provide a first commercial batch of high-performance aluminium-scandium alloy from its North American operations to
Rio Tinto has signed an agreement to provide a first commercial batch of high-performance aluminium-scandium alloy from its North American operations to Amaero, a leader in metal additive manufacturing. This first sale is being delivered through Rio Tinto’s unique position as a producer of both aluminium and scandium, and its technical capability to develop specialised alloys. Under the agreement, Rio Tinto will deliver alloy billets made of responsibly produced, low carbon aluminium from its hydro-powered Canadian smelters and high purity scandium oxide from its Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. The billets will be processed by Amaero into powder for 3D printing and offered to the market for high temperature applications.
The scandium oxide will be supplied from a new plant Rio Tinto is building in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, bringing the first North American supply source to the world. The plant will use an innovative recovery process developed by Rio Tinto scientists to extract high purity scandium oxide from the waste streams of titanium dioxide production, without the need for any additional mining.
The companies will also collaborate to develop the supply chain for Amaero’s high performance, High Operating Temperature Aluminium Alloy, “Amaero HOT Al”, and commercialise this lightweight material for applications in the aerospace, defence and other industries.
Amaero International Limited is an Australian based company that manufactures large format complex components in metal with laser-based additive manufacturing processes, commonly known as 3D printing.