UK’s Metalysis Enters Partnership to Develop Aluminium-Scandium Alloys

UK’s Metalysis Enters Partnership to Develop Aluminium-Scandium Alloys
Scandium, sublimed-dendritic, high purity 99.998 % Sc/TREM. As well as an argon arc remelted 1 cm3 scandium cube for comparison. Source: Wikimedia

British metal powders research and development firm Metalysis announced a new joint R&D program with an unnamed international partner to develop a high-value aluminium-scandium alloy.

According to the announcement last week, Metalysis’ electrochemical technology will provide scandium-rich feedstock for master-alloy production. Aluminium-scandium alloys are preferred by industry buyers seeking strong but lightweight metals, such as those participating in the automotive and aluminium sectors. Scandium has proven to be an expensive medium, however, and is usually only considered a by-product of mining for more lucrative metals.

Metalysis says that the program will be carried out in its Materials Discovery Centre, which is a part of South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park Innovation District. This endeavor is the second one launched at the facility since its opening in March of the current year. Within days of the company’s opening it announced a commercial R&D partnership dedicated to research and development of novel rare-earth metals as media for additive manufacturing (a.k.a. 3D printing).

“We are very pleased to welcome another international partner to our R&D project portfolio, and look forward to commencing a particularly exciting work programme together,” said Metalysis’s CEO Dion Vaughan. “Aluminium-scandium alloys are a huge subject of interest to Metalysis, and while their cost implications are well-known, so are their highly beneficial characteristics. The ‘unknown’ element of this picture is how disruptive technologies will traverse historic barriers to manufacturing these alloys, and this is exactly what we will address.”

“We will use Metalysis’ process to explore opportunities to materially improve their cost setting and deliver a high-demand, high-spec product,” he went on. “Achieving this would pose truly revolutionary results and create an important area of potential growth for both parties.”

Metalysis is based in Wath upon Dearne, on the southern edge of South Yorkshire’s Dearne Valley.