UACJ Corporation formed an agreement with Sunrise Energy Metals Limited to jointly develop aluminum-scandium alloys for the transportation industry. The use of scandium can make aluminum alloys even stronger and more heat resistance. This is particularly useful for transportation components that require strong and lightweight materials, as well as components that can be used under high-temperature conditions.
One of the major limiting factors to the use of scandium in alloys has been the absence of reliable supply. Sunrise Energy Metals is a mining development company in Australia that is set to remove that limitation. The company operates the Sunrise Battery Materials Complex, which houses one of the world’s largest and highest grade accumulations of scandium ever discovered. The company has been developing applications for scandium, recognizing that scandium’s greatest value lies in the functional properties it imparts as an alloying element in aluminum. In particular, the company recognizes the untapped potential of aluminum-scandium alloys in the lightweighting of the global transport industry.
UACJ is a major global aluminum group, headquartered in Japan. The company manufactures aluminum sheet, extrusions, and cast and forged products. In the past, the company has collected data and conducted research on aluminum-scandium alloys, but did not foresee practical applications due to the limited supply of scandium. Now that scandium production volume is expected to increase going forward, UACJ is making serious efforts to develop aluminum-scandium alloys.
Under this new agreement, UACJ will work to develop such alloys by applying technologies and expertise related to scandium, which will be supplied by Sunrise Energy Metals. UACJ is aiming to quickly produce and commercialize the alloys it develops for the transportation market, designing parts and equipment to meet the needs of customers.