Deakin University, Clean TeQ and Universal Alloy Corporation to collaborate on scandium for aerospace

A collaboration between Clean TeQ Holdings, the US’s Universal Alloy Corporation and Deakin University will explore the uses of aluminium/scandium for lightweight aerospace parts.

The alliance was announced in an ASX statement from Clean TeQ this morning. A stated objective is to identify the optimum content of scandium in alloy components. Scandium is a metal with a tiny worldwide level of production, though which is believed to have great potential to increase the strength of aluminium parts, even when present in quantities lower than one per cent in an alloy.

Clean TeQ, which owns the Syerston Project in NSW, is seeking to promote a higher take-up of the metal within aerospace.

Research on the project will be split between Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials at Waurn Ponds and UAC’s Canton, Georgia site.

“The beneficial effects of scandium in aluminium alloys are well-known: scandium provides outstanding strength, ductility, heat stability and corrosion-resistance,” said Clean TeQ’s metals general manager.

The use of scandium is rare, and is mostly limited to in high-intensity lights.

According to an article in Investing News from November, the market for the metal was around 15 tonnes for 2014.

“The principal scandium producing countries today are China, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan,” said the article.

“However, a number of junior mining companies in Australia are aiming to develop scandium deposits in New South Wales, including Scandium International Mining (TSX:SCY), Clean TeQ Holdings (ASX:CLQ) and Platina Resources (ASX:PGM).”