A newly formed alliance called ALTec Industrial research R&D Group is consolidating research efforts in the Canadian aluminium sector to develop innovative aluminium products for ground transportation vehicles. As a cost-effective and sustainable material, aluminum is increasingly being used to manufacture components for lightweight vehicles which reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and meet increasingly stringent fuel consumption requirements.
“By 2020, the world aluminum market in the transportation sector alone is forecasted to represent more than 65 billion US dollars,” says Michel Dumoulin, General Manager of Automotive and Surface Transportation at the National Research Council of Canada. “Canadian businesses include aluminum in the design of their vehicles, but we saw a gap in knowledge transfer and this is where ALTec comes in.”
ALTec has already 23 members and partners which will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and Canada’s most advanced expertise in aluminium forming, assembling, corrosion control, and performance validation. A major partner, the ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation du Québec, has contributed $450,000 through the Advanced Materials Research and Innovation Hub known as PRIMA.
“This alliance helps strengthen collaborative innovation in the field of advanced materials to enrich Quebec’s research expertise and increase the competitiveness of companies,” said Benoit Balmana, General Director of the Advanced Materials Research and Innovation Hub.
“Rio Tinto is proud to contribute $125,000 to this partnership. Our commitment to research and development for innovative applications in the automotive sector ensures that the low-carbon footprint aluminium produced in Canada continues to be the material of choice for world class automakers,” added Frédéric Laroche, Director of the Arvida Research and Development Center at Rio Tinto Aluminium. “ALTec generates positive results and contributes to the economic development of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.”
Common industry challenges can be transformed into tangible research and development projects—ALTec has launched ten so far and there will be more—that could lead to game-changing discoveries.