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Rio Tinto and Comptech partner to deliver next generation of EV and 5G giga-casting aluminum alloys

Rio Tinto and Comptech are partnering to bring a new generation of aluminum alloys to the market for use in advanced technologies such as electric vehicles and 5G antennas.

Rio Tinto’s metallurgical experts have designed the alloys for the semi-solid Rheocasting process offered by Comptech, to meet the requirements of producing large, specialized single piece designs, known as giga-casting.

Rheocasting is a melt preparation process for semi-solid casting of components in high-pressure die-casting machines. The process was invented in Sweden and further developed by Comptech to achieve a stable, reliable and cheap process for high-quality parts.

The alloys offer high-strength, electrical and thermal conductivity properties, while Rheocasting allows fast, low-cost production of advanced lightweight designs. The products 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. 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.

—Comptech Group CEO and owner Per Jansson

Rheocasting allows the production of low-cost aluminum components with high strength, extremely low porosity and a broad range of possible alloys. Comptech has seen a breakthrough in uptake of the process over recent years, with orders for high volume deliveries to the automotive industry as well as supplying equipment supported with technical expertise.

The Rheocasting process is suited to giga-castings for electric vehicles, where a single large aluminum part is produced to reduce the number of components, weight and assembly time and cost significantly. It also offers significant advantages in the production of 5G antennas, where a single large aluminum housing can deliver high thermal conductivity and sealing features with reduced manufacturing, installation and maintenance cost.


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