Anglo-Australian mining behemoth Rio Tinto Group and Quebec’s aluminium equipment provider STAS jointly announced last week a partnership to commercialize advanced compact filtration technology (ACF) for aluminium cast houses.
The ACF technology, which was developed by Rio Tinto, will be manufactured and marketed by STAS to buyers throughout the world. ACF technology is the result of work in the early part of this century at Rio Tinto’s Arvida Research and Development Centre (ARDC) in Quebec.
Rio Tinto’s ACF technology filters up to 90 percent of inclusions found in molten aluminium, and researchers say the process is specially suited for production of highly-pure aluminium for critical applications including high value-added aluminium sheet and plate for the production of cans.
STAS Executive President Louis Bouchard believes the move to market the process will yield benefits for both the firms involved and the aluminium industry as a whole.
“We believe the ACF technology has enormous commercial potential for the global aluminium industry and we are convinced that this partnership will maximize the value it can deliver.”
Arvida Research and Development Centre Casting Technology Director Claude Dupuis said that the development is a testament to the Centre’s continuing focus on improving aluminium technology.
“Thanks to the unique expertise of our researchers, the Arvida Research and Development Centre has a strong track record of creating innovative technologies that have been widely adopted and become industry standards. We look forward to continuing our long-term collaboration with STAS and other equipment manufacturers in the region.”
Rio Tinto and STAS first deployed the technology at Rio Tinto’s Grande-Baie and Laterrière smelters over ten years ago, where the firm says it has been utilized to great success. The firms anticipate that the move to commercialize it will maximize its value as well as supporting continuing development and evolution of the process.