Russian Federation aluminium titan U.C. Rusal announced yesterday the beginning of a project to produce a new variant of aluminium alloy wire rods at its Kandalaksha aluminium smelter (KAZ).
Rusal began the US$5.6 million project in March 2016, which included the installation of a series of four state-of-the-art furnaces specially designed for hardening 6101-T4 aluminium alloy. The facility also includes a loading and unloading table, a transborder, and two drying chambers. The new complex has a projected capacity of 68 thousand metric tons per annum of hardened wire rod, which the company says will be sold to both domestic and overseas customers.
According to Rusal, the process is unique as it involves hardening the rods in a water basin, which naturally ages the metal over three days. Such natural aging allows the metal to attain a certain crystal lattice that the material requires for subsequent processing.
“The launch of the furnaces at the Kandalaksha smelter to produce a new type of wire rod is part of RUSAL’s strategic plan to increase the share of value-added products,” explained Evgeny Nikitin, Head of Aluminium Division at RUSAL.
This installation is the latest of several new production lines installed at KAZ offering various diameters of wire rod. In March the Properzi rolling mill came online, producing wire rods with diameters of 9.5, 12, 14, 15, 19, 23, and 25mm. The activation of this mill bumped the firm’s yearly output of value-added products to 50 thousand metric tons per annum.
The smelter is located in far northwestern Russia in the Murmansk Oblast on the White Sea’s Kandalaksha Gulf, north of the Arctic Circle.