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Metalysis signs joint R&D program to develop aluminum-scandium powder alloy

August 03, 2017
Source: ASM International

Metalysis, England, has signed a joint research and development program with an international partner to co-create high-value aluminum-scandium alloys. The R&D program will investigate the use of the Metalysis electrochemical technology to provide a scandium-rich feedstock addition, thereby supporting master alloy production.

Aluminum-scandium alloys offer unique strength and light-weighting characteristics. However, scandium's cost has proven to be prohibitive to its use in spite of its revolutionary properties. To date, it is largely mined as a byproduct, with little assurance of supply. Therefore, as an alloy addition, scandium can as much as triple the cost involved in manufacturing.

The Metalysis powder process is capable of producing a wide range of metals and alloys at a lower cost and environmental footprint than traditional melting processes. This process may therefore aid in resolving cost constraints encountered in manufacturing aluminum-scandium alloys.

"We are very pleased to welcome another international partner to our R&D project portfolio," says Dion Vaughan, CEO of Metalysis. "Aluminum-scandium alloys are a huge subject of interest to Metalysis, and while their cost implications are well-known, so are their highly beneficial characteristics. The ‘unknown' element of this picture is how disruptive technologies will traverse historic barriers to manufacturing these alloys, and this is exactly what we will address.

"We will use the Metalysis process to explore opportunities to materially improve their cost setting and deliver a high-demand, high-spec product. Achieving this would pose truly revolutionary results and create an important area of potential growth for both parties."

The R&D program will be conducted in phases at the company's Materials Discovery Centre within South Yorkshire's Advanced Manufacturing Park Innovation District. It is the second R&D program launched from the new facility since it opened in March 2017.

The Materials Discovery Centre houses commercial R&D projects to produce exotic metal powders for high-performance alloys of growing demand among additive manufacturing applications. On  March 20, it was announced that Metalysis entered a commercial R&D partnership to research, develop, and commercialize novel rare earth metal alloys for three-dimensional (3D) printed permanent magnets.


Subject Classifications

Materials Processing and Treatment | Additive Manufacturing

Materials Processing and Treatment | Powder Metallurgy

Materials Processing and Treatment | Thermal Spray Technology

Metals and Alloys | Aluminum

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