Rio Tinto said on Thursday it had signed an agreement to supply the first batch of its aluminum-scandium alloy produced in North America to additive manufacturer and developer Amaero, to be used to develop powder for 3D printing.
The scandium oxide will be supplied from a new plant the global miner is building in Quebec, and will use a process that Rio’s scientists have developed to extract scandium oxide from waste streams of titanium dioxide production.
The alloy billets will come from its Fer et Titane metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, Rio said.
The companies will also work together to develop the supply chain for Amaero’s aluminium alloy, “Amaero HOT Al”, with expectations of commercializing it for applications in the aerospace, defence and other industries.
Amaero was established with the support of Monash University in 2013, and holds exclusive global commercial licence rights to the alloy, which was developed by Monash University.
“We look forward to working with Rio Tinto to progress the production of the alloy so we can commence the qualification process with key customers in the aerospace sector and other industries,” Amaero CEO Barrie Finnin said.
(By Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Uttaresh.V)