Recognizing the inexpensive, sustainable, and lightweight nature of aluminium, and taking advantage of the fact that domestic smelters produce more than half of all aluminium used in North America, Canada’s newly-formed ALTec Industrial research R&D Group is working towards merging the country’s aluminium sector’s research on developing new products for ground transportation applications.
“By 2020, the world aluminum market in the transportation sector alone is forecasted to represent more than 65 billion US dollars,” explains General Manager of Automotive and Surface Transportation at the National Research Council of Canada Michel Dumoulin. “Canadian businesses include aluminum in the design of their vehicles, but we saw a gap in knowledge transfer and this is where ALTec comes in.”
The consortium has almost two dozen members to date and will have access to the most modern tools and cutting-edge talent in aluminium forming, assembling, corrosion control, and performance validation that Canada has to offer. The ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation du Québec, a major partner in the alliance, has already contributed nearly half a million Canadian dollars (US$349,000) via PRIMA QUÉBEC, an Advanced Materials Research and Innovation Hub.
“This alliance helps strengthen collaborative innovation in the field of advanced materials to enrich Quebec’s research expertise and increase the competitiveness of companies,” said the General Director of the Advanced Materials Research and Innovation Hub Benoit Balmana.
“Rio Tinto is proud to contribute $125,000 to this partnership. Our commitment to research and development for innovative applications in the automotive sector ensures that the low-carbon footprint aluminium produced in Canada continues to be the material of choice for world class automakers,”said Director of the Arvida Research and Development Center at Rio Tinto Aluminium Frédéric Laroche. “ALTec generates positive results and contributes to the economic development of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.”
According to ALTec, the partnership has launched ten research and development products to date.