Rio Tinto has signed an agreement to provide a first commercial batch of aluminium-scandium alloy from its North American operations to Australia-based metal additive manufacturer Amaero International.
The company will deliver alloy billets made of 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. Amaero will processe the alloy into powder for 3D printing.
Tolga Egrilmezer, Rio Tinto Aluminum Vice President, Sales and Marketing, said, “Aluminum-scandium alloy is the material of choice where lightweight, high-strength material with thermal resistance and good welding properties is needed.”
The deal will also see the companies work together to develop the supply chain for Amaero’s own Hot Operating Temperature Aluminum Alloy (Amaero HOT Al) and commercialize it for additive manufactured applications for the aerospace and defense sectors.
HOT Al is an aluminum alloy with a high scandium content that can be heat treated and age hardened after 3D printing to increase its strength and durability.