GTIP participants

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UC RUSAL, the aluminium and alumina producer, and the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), have announced participants for this year's Global Technology and Innovation Project (GTIP).

GTIP is a scheme designed to promote innovative and sustainable applications for aluminium products. Over the next three years, UC RUSAL and IAI will award $2m to research projects that can demonstrate sustainable use of aluminium in the areas of transport, construction and packaging.

The committee, comprised of UC RUSAL, IAI and Yale University’s professor Thomas Graedel, selected Curtin University in Australia, Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University and Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys to receive funding for their projects involving the application of aluminium in transport. The grants will be provided in 2009 and UC RUSCAL expects prototypes to be available in the next two years.

Curtin University, which is to receive a grant of $180,000, will carry out research into the use of aluminium for hydrogen storage.

Preliminary experiments have shown that AlH3 nanoparticles washed in salt can be synthesised using the mechanochemical technique. The panel believes that the project shows potential in enabling the development of hydrogen-fuelled cars that will reduce the impact of transport on the environment.

The Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys has been awarded $160,000 for research into a cost-effective and thermally stable aluminium alloy for the automotive industry. The new alloy is hoped to replace the 6000 series and provide a reduction in harmful emissions by eliminating the homogenisation and thermal hardening process used for wrought semi-finished products.

Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University in Russia will work towards the development of knitted composite structures based on aluminium fibre.

In contrast to carbon composites, the new technology is expected to increase shear resistance and reduce the weight of structural parts used in the automotive industry. The project will receive $500,000 in funding with research predicted to take up to three years.

Artem Volynets, director, UC RUSAL Corporate Strategy, said: ‘We are looking forward to seeing the tangible results from these sponsored research projects for the entire industry.

'UC RUSAL believes in the tremendous potential of the proposed innovations and practical applications that will be developed. These projects are important as they help to uncover the huge environmental potential of the metal and will drive the sustainable growth of the aluminum industry.'