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NRC and Rio Tinto Alcan join in aluminium extrusion research partnership


Montreal, QC – Rio Tinto Alcan has announced a new research program in aluminium extrusion with the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada. The five-year partnership will bring together the aluminium transformation expertise of Rio Tinto Alcan and the NRC while meeting the needs of each, including the development of new skills and technical support within the industry in Quebec and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

“One of the goals of the partnership is to design new aluminium components in an effort to make ground-transportation vehicles – such as cars, trains, trucks, RVs, buses and vans — lighter. By working upstream of industry needs, we continue to develop new extrusion skills,” said Étienne Jacques, chief operating officer, Rio Tinto Alcan – Primary Metal North America. “For many years now, research and development has been key for us; it is a way to gain a competitive edge within the industry, and to boost the performance and widespread use of high-value-added extruded products.”

The total value of the agreement is an estimated $3.25 million, with Rio Tinto Alcan’s participation being valued at close to $1.4 million. The project’s research and development work will be conducted jointly by Rio Tinto Alcan and the NRC, mainly at the NRC-Saguenay research facilities and Rio Tinto Alcan’s Arvida Research & Development Centre (ARDC). This collaboration relies on synergy between the two organizations, as well as existing expertise and equipment, which will allow for the establishment of an aluminium extrusion centre of excellence.