Rusal has launched Scalution – a new brand for its aluminium-scandium products.
Under the new brand, the company will produce the entire range of aluminium-scandium products, including master alloys, slabs, billets, as well as wire and powders for additive manufacturing technologies.
For these purposes, Rusal has developed and patented aluminium-scandium lean alloys of the following grades: AA 5081 containing up to 0.10 % of scandium for aerospace industry; AA 5181 containing up to 0.03 % of scandium for transport engineering, including shipbuilding; and RS 553 powder for additive technologies.
Due to their technological, physical and mechanical properties, Scalution alloys – a term composed of the words scandium, aluminium, and solution – contribute to lighter vehicles and lower fuel consumption and air emissions. Such alloys are in high demand across all aluminium-based industries.
‘Scalution’ brand – aluminium-scandium products with much higher mechanical properties
“Rusal’s engineers have managed to develop a brand-new scientific and industrial approach to creating aluminium-scandium lean alloys, through its casting and thermo-mechanical treatment technology. As a result, Scalution alloys have 40 to 50 percent higher mechanical properties compared to alloys without scandium,” said Victor Mann, head of Technology at Rusal. “Applying Scalution to the production process helps towards countering the current challenges of the global industry. For example, applying our alloys makes it possible to deliver 300 kg more of useful cargo to the orbit or reduce the weight of a sea ship by up to 20 percent.”
High market potential for aluminium-scandium products
Until now, aluminium-scandium alloys have only been used in the aerospace and sports industries. Their widespread application across industries was restrained by three key factors: high concentration of scandium – up to 0.25 %, significant cost of scandium oxide – up to USD2,000/kg, and no large and reliable producer of scandium oxide. Rusal prides itself on being at the forefront of creating the looped production chain – from the production of scandium oxide to the output of finished products.
Thanks to its comprehensive approach, Rusal solved the problem of cost and supplies of aluminium and scandium materials to the market. Referring to companies in the transport and aerospace industries, Rusal says that the consumption of aluminium-scandium lean alloys may reach 300,000 tpy by 2035.