Aluminium scandium is a new type of aluminum alloy that combines the properties of aluminium with those of the rare earth element scandium. Scandium has a unique grain refinement effect on aluminum alloys, which improves their strength, inhibits recrystallization and strengthens the weld seam.
The additives in this scandium based master alloy have been carefully selected to provide a wide range of properties. These include high strength, toughness and corrosion resistance at high temperatures. They are ideal for aerospace structural components, nuclear energy and defense industries cutting-edge fields.
Adding scandium to an aluminum alloy can also reduce the grain growth that occurs in the heat-affected zone of welded aluminum components. This increases the alloy’s strength and reduces the grain size, making it stronger at higher temperatures.
However, the use of scandium containing alloys in industrial applications has so far been limited. This is due to the high price of scandium and its limited availability.
Recently, the discovery of deposits of scandium oxide in Thortveitite in Australia has sparked interest in new uses for this rare metal. This new supply source could have a major impact on the worldwide market for these alloys.
Scandium is a silvery-white metallic transition metal and is classified as a rare earth element (REE) together with yttrium (Y) and 15 lanthanides. It has a high affinity to aluminium and can significantly increase its strength at high temperatures.
It has an excellent chemical and mechanical properties, and is very light weight. It is a promising material for use in fuel cells, lasers and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).