National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC
Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.

Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.

February 28, 2014 10:03 ET

Minister Lebel Announces New NRC-Rio Tinto Alcan Partnership for Aluminum Technology

Innovative and cutting-edge technology to provide solutions for transportation Industry

SAGUENAY, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Feb. 28, 2014) - The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Rio Tinto Alcan are proud to announce the creation of the Partnership for Innovation in Aluminum Extrusion. By combining their research and development (R&D) expertise in this field right now, the two organizations will improve the profitability of the aluminum market and help meet industry demand for more economical and ecologically friendly products.

The Partnership will benefit from an investment by NRC and Rio Tinto Alcan of up to three million dollars over a five-year period. This partnership will enable Canadians to benefit from eco-efficient aluminum products at lower prices, such as automotive bumpers, bus structures and truck trailer floors and beams.

The Partnership will be recognized by North American manufacturers for its expertise, cutting-edge equipment and network of experts. It builds on an already deep relationship between NRC and Rio Tinto Alcan spanning over 10 years of working together to promote economic growth in the Saguenay region and to support innovation in Canada.

Quick facts

  • Extrusion is an essential step in the aluminum production process used to create the lightweight parts being used increasingly in the transportation industry, including roofs, floors and structures for cars, trucks, trains and buses.
  • Extrusion is one of the most important aluminum forming processes; it produces profiles in a variety of shapes with excellent mechanical properties.
  • The Partnership for Innovation in Aluminum Extrusion will support innovation by accelerating the development of new products and meeting manufacturers' technical support needs to facilitate the use of extrusions and aluminum in ground transportation.
  • The Partnership combines the R&D skills of the NRC Research Centre and the Rio Tinto Alcan Arvida Research and Development Centre, both located in Saguenay.

Quotes

"This partnership between the National Research Council of Canada and Rio Tinto Alcan will strengthen not only local expertise in the aluminum industry, but also Canada's competitiveness on a global scale in this field. This is another fine example of cooperation between our government and industry to support innovative research and provide effective solutions."

The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

"Research and development are important tools to ensure the performance and use of extruded products with a high added value and to remain competitive in the industry. The development of new extrusion skills will help us find new vehicle lightweighting solutions in the ground transportation industry, such as cars, trains, trucks, recreational vehicles, coaches and city buses."

Étienne Jacques, Chief Operating Officer, Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal, North America

Related product

- Backgrounder

Additional links

- Aluminum Technology Centre

- Lightweighting of Ground Transportation Vehicles

- Rio Tinto Alcan

BACKGROUNDER

Aluminum Industry Partnership between the National Research Council of Canada and Rio Tinto Alcan

Partnership for Innovation in Aluminum Extrusion

The NRC Aluminum Technology Centre (ATC) in Saguenay and the Rio Tinto Alcan Arvida Research and Development Centre have joined forces in R&D. The partnership will be recognized by North American manufacturers as a useful strategic tool for delivering innovative and efficient lightweighting solutions, thanks to its expertise, cutting-edge equipment and network of experts.

This partnership will support innovation by accelerating the development of new products and meeting manufacturers' technical support needs to facilitate the use of extrusions and aluminum in ground transportation.

The partnership will enable Canadian industry to increase its capacity to produce aluminum parts at a competitive cost, increase product quality, durability and reliability, develop new products, comply with environmental standards and regulations and diversify the added value of products.

Aluminum extrusion market

Extrusion is one of the most important aluminum forming processes. This solid-state forming process produces profiles in a variety of shapes with excellent mechanical properties. Its versatility makes it a remarkable method that allows manufacturers to provide users with solutions perfectly adapted to their needs. The use of extrusion profiles can result in considerable savings compared to other manufacturing processes, and enables the aluminum industry to offer competitive solutions.

The process can be used for structural components of chassis, bumpers, supports and large-scale structural components, as well as roofs, floors and walls for cars, trucks, trains and buses.

Canadian manufacturers face major challenges in maintaining their growth. Product quality and performance requirements are very strict. Demand is increasing for high-performance extrusion profiles with greater section complexity, such as thin-walled multi-cavity profiles. These complex profiles are sought by users motivated by the growing need to lighten structures.

It is important that obstacles to the production of extrusions with a high added value be overcome - in this case, by a greater knowledge of process control, design and development to make way for the production of new products.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations Team
    National Research Council of Canada
    613-991-1431
    1-855-282-1637 (24/7)
    media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
    Twitter: @nrc_cnrc

    Claudine Gagnon
    Senior Media Relations Advisor
    Rio Tinto Alcan
    514-377-4914

    Scott French
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    (Federal Economic Development
    Initiative for Northern Ontario)
    613-943-6177