Rio Tinto, Comptech produce aluminum alloys for EVs, 5G antennas

Electric car. (Reference image by The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek, Wikimedia Commons).

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) and supplier of equipment for aluminum semi-solid castings Comptech, announced that they are partnering to deliver a new generation of aluminum alloys for use in advanced technologies such as electric vehicles and 5G antennas.

In a press release, the companies explained that Rio was in charge of designing the alloys for the semi-solid rheocasting process offered by Comptech. The goal was to meet the requirements of producing large, specialized single-piece designs, known as giga-casting.

Rheocasting allows for the manufacturing of low-cost aluminum components with high strength, extremely low porosity and a broad range of possible alloys. Comptech says that the process is ideally suited to giga-castings for electric vehicles, where a single large aluminum part is produced to significantly reduce the number of components, weight and assembly time and cost. 

When it comes to 5G antennas, the mechanism allows for the use of a single large aluminum housing that can deliver high thermal conductivity and sealing features with reduced manufacturing, installation and maintenance costs.

Rio Tinto and Comptech said the alloys are currently undergoing qualification with automakers in Europe.

“We are in the capacity ramp up for the next generation of advanced technologies across sectors such as automotive and communications, and our customers, both foundries and OEMs will need the development of more advanced parts,” Comptech Group CEO, Per Jansson, said in a media statement. “This partnership positions us to offer customers the combined advantages of our casting process expertise and Rio Tinto’s technical strength and preferred alloys suite.”

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