Rio Tinto, in collaboration with AluQuébec and the Quebec Metallic Transformation Network (RTMQ), seeks to encourage Quebec innovators in the development of new applications for aluminum-scandium alloys resulting in the consumption of at least 5 tonnes per year of ‘Al-2% Sc master alloy. This challenge will promote the transformation of aluminum-scandium alloys in Quebec, which could become a global hub for scandium production in the coming years.
Rio Tinto provides metals and minerals to help the world develop. Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium (RTIT), the group behind this challenge, supplies titanium ore concentrate and slag as raw materials to producers of titanium dioxide pigment and metallic titanium. RTIT also produces pig iron, steel, iron powders and high purity steel powders, for a variety of uses.
RTIT recently developed a clean process to recover scandium oxide (Sc 2 O 3 ) from its iron and titanium smelter in Sorel-Tracy, QC and a demonstration plant with an annual capacity of 3 tonnes Sc 2 O 3 is currently under construction. In addition, Rio Tinto Aluminum has successfully produced an Al-2% Sc parent alloy from this RTIT scandium oxide. This alloy will be available for commercial use as an ingot or as a semi-finished product such as a billet, rod or plate.
The actual worldwide demand for Sc 2 O 3 is estimated at around 15 t / a, of which only a small fraction is used to produce aluminum-scandium alloys. However, it is now well known that small additions of scandium to aluminum (0.05 to 0.5%) can lead to remarkable improvements in the properties of this alloy such as higher mechanical strength at temperatures up to. ‘at 350 ° C, increased corrosion resistance, better weldability, etc. Rio Tinto has the potential to produce greater amounts of scandium oxide (Sc 2 O 3) and Al-2% Sc parent alloy, but to achieve this, the use value of aluminum-scandium alloys in new applications must be demonstrated in order to justify the increase in production. In this challenge, we are looking for your ideas for the development of a new commercial application using Sc as an alloying element for aluminum.
This two-step challenge will allow innovators to fund the most compelling ideas to demonstrate their feasibility and could result in commercialization of their invention. In step 1 of our challenge, participants will provide a non-confidential submission describing the proposed approach to effectively use aluminum-scandium alloys.
Up to three (3) ideas will be selected to proceed to Step 2, which will be carried out under mutual nondisclosure agreements. Each Stage 1 winner will receive CAD $ 25,000 to support their work in Stage 2, which will target the achievement of a proof of concept for the proposed approach through testing using the Al-2% parent alloy. Rio Tinto Sc. At the end of Stage 2, Rio Tinto will select and award a winner up to CAD $ 100,000 for further development under a co-development agreement to be negotiated. Rio Tinto will also provide the winner with technical support and the opportunity to collaborate with Rio Tinto scientists and R&D engineers. If this solution proves technically and commercially feasible.
Awards:- CAD $ 175000