Rio Tinto & Comptech Giga Casting Alloys for EVs & 5G
Rio Tinto and Comptech are partnering to bring a new generation of aluminium alloys to the market for use in advanced technologies such as electric vehicles and 5G antennas. Rio Tinto’s metallurgical experts have designed the alloys for the semi-solid Rheocasting process offered by Comptech, to meet the requirements of producing large, specialised single piece designs, known as giga-casting. The alloys offer high strength, electrical and thermal conductivity properties, while Rheocasting allows fast, low cost production of advanced lightweight designs. The products are currently undergoing qualification with automakers in Europe.
Rheocasting is an emerging semi solid casting process that allows the production of low-cost aluminium components with high strength, extremely low porosity and a broad range of possible alloys. Comptech has seen a breakthrough in uptake of the process over recent years, with orders for high volume deliveries to the automotive industry as well as supplying equipment supported with technical expertise.
The Rheocasting process is ideally suited to giga-castings for electric vehicles, where a single large aluminium part is produced to significantly reduce the number of components, weight and assembly time and cost. It also offers significant advantages in the production of 5G antennas, where a single large aluminium housing can deliver high thermal conductivity and sealing features with reduced manufacturing, installation and maintenance cost.