RUSAL starts production of master alloys for high-tech alloys

Krasnoyarsk, 1 February 2023 – RUSAL, a leading global aluminium producer, started its own production of master alloys which are used to make alloys. The new project will cover half of the Company's need for master alloys, and is also intended for supply to external customers.

The new production is launched at Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Smelter. Investment in the project amounted to USD $7.5 mln. The capacity of the production facility is over 5,000 tonnes of melted master alloys per year. Customers of the new production are primarily RUSAL's smelters. External clients are major metal makers of Russia. RUSAL is the largest consumer of master alloys in Russia. Previously, the company purchased alloying components in Europe and China.

Master alloy is an alloy of two or more components designed for adding high-melting elements to liquid metal. Master alloys are used in production of alloys with an accurate chemical composition to achieve desired properties. For example, aluminium-scandium master alloy is used to produce alloys used in shipbuilding. With zirconium — for electrical industry. Strontium master alloys — for casting alloys modifications.

Employees of the RUSAL Engineering and Technology Centre have been working on the master alloy production project for several years. The project started with the creation of a technology to produce aluminium-scandium master alloys, which are the most technologically complex among melted master alloys. A unique, unparalleled technology was developed, Russian and international patents were obtained. RUSAL launched the production of commercial batches of aluminium-scandium master alloys in 2019, and today it leads in production and sales of this type of master alloys. The next stage of development was creating technologies to produce other types of master alloys. They include master alloys with strontium, manganese, titanium, nickel, iron, cobalt, and rare earth metals.

'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,' said Victor Mann, Technical Director at RUSAL.
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