Russian Federation aluminium giant UC Rusal commenced production of master aluminium alloys, which will ultimately become high-tech aluminium alloys, at Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Smelter, filling about half the firm’s demand for master alloys.
Krasnoyarsk’s production capacity for master aluminium alloys is over 5 thousand metric tons per annum, which is the product of a US$7.5 million investment at the plant. Although most of the production of master aluminium alloys will be used in-house, Rusal plans to sell a portion to third party customers as well.
Victor Mann, Rusal’s Technical Director, said in a press release that production of master aluminium alloys in-house opens new doors for the firm.
“The start of our own master alloy production will allow us to release innovative types of alloys, reduce our carbon footprint by using secondary aluminium in the production of master alloys, as well as to mitigate supply risks. Due to the new site, RUSAL can produce types of master alloys that no one else in the world makes — with rare-earth and rare elements, for example, with cerium, erbium, yttrium, ytterbium. Such master alloys are used to produce high-tech alloys.”
Work on master aluminium alloy production has been underway at Rusal’s Engineering and Technology Centre for some time. The project began with the production of aluminium-scandium master alloys, which the firm says are among the most technologically complex master aluminium alloys. Upon obtaining the necessary patents, Rusal began large-scale production of aluminium-scandium master alloys in 2019.
After beginning scandium-aluminium alloy production, Rusal turned to producing master alloys of strontium, manganese, titanium, nickel, iron, cobalt, and rare earth metals.
Rusal is currently the largest consumer of master aluminium alloys in Russia. Prior to producing their own master aluminium alloys, Rusal bought alloying components from producers in Europe and the People’s Republic of China.