Metalysis, a UK company that has developed a disruptive technology for solid-state metals and novel alloys production, has signed a joint research and development programme with an international partner, to co-create a high-value aluminum-scandium alloy. The R&D Programme will investigate the use of Metalysis’ electrochemical technology to provide a scandium-rich feedstock addition, supporting master alloy production.
Aluminium-scandium alloys offer unique strength and light-weighting characteristics. They are of increasing demand among high specification manufacturing applications such as in the aerospace and automotive industries. 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 by-product, with little surety of supply. As an alloy addition, scandium can as much as triple the cost involved in manufacturing.
Metalysis’ process is capable of producing a wide range of metals and alloys at a lower cost and environmental footprint than traditional melting processes, which may 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, and look forward to commencing a particularly exciting work programme together.” Dion Vaughan, CEO of Metalysis.
“Aluminium-scandium alloys – he continued – 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 Metalysis’ process – he concluded – 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 Programme will be conducted in phases at the Company’s Materials Discovery Centre within South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park Innovation District, UK. It is the second R&D programme launched from the new facility since it opened in March 2017. The Materials Discovery Centre houses Metalysis’ commercial R&D projects to produce exotic metal powders for high-performance alloys of growing demand among additive manufacturing applications.
On 20 March, it was announced that Metalysis entered a commercial R&D partnership to research, develop and commercialize novel rare earth metal alloys for use in three-dimensional (3D) printed permanent magnets.
The Company is also investing in its Materials Manufacturing Centre in Wath-upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire, UK, where it is nearing completion of its ‘Generation4’ technological expansion, taking production capability to new levels. Generation4 will enable ‘Generation5’, which Metalysis anticipates commencing feasibility studies for this calendar year: manufacturing options for hundreds to thousands of tonnes per annum of high-value metal and alloy powders.