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Rio Tinto’s ACF aluminium technology goes commercial

STAS and Rio Tinto have agreed to commercialise an advanced compact filtration technology (ACF) for aluminium cast houses.

The ACF technology, developed by Rio Tinto, will now be manufactured and sold under licence by equipment manufacturer STAS worldwide.

The filtration technology was developed in the early 2000s at Rio Tinto’s Arvida Research and Development Centre (ARDC), located in Quebec, Canada. The ACF technology is an optimal filtration solution that can eliminate more than 90% of inclusions in liquid aluminium, according to the company. It is used to manufacture products intended for critical applications, such as high value added aluminium sheets and plates used to produce cans.

Rio Tinto partnered with STAS to design and manufacture the first prototypes of the ACF technology for its Grande-Baie (pictured) and Laterrière smelters, in Canada, where it has been used successfully for more than a decade. “Commercialising the technology will now maximise the value gained from it, and support its ongoing development and evolution,” the company said.

Louis Bouchard, Executive President of STAS, said: “We believe the ACF technology has enormous commercial potential for the global aluminium industry and we are convinced that this partnership will maximise the value it can deliver.”

Claude Dupuis, Casting Technology Director at ARDC, added: “Thanks to the unique expertise of our researchers, the ARDC has a strong track record of creating innovative technologies that have been widely adopted and become industry standards. We look forward to continuing our long-term collaboration with STAS and other equipment manufacturers in the region.”