Improved ductility in extruded Al-Mg-Si alloys through texture and microstructure control

The use of aluminum alloys in automotive applications is increasing since this allows the weight of the vehicle to be decreased. This is beneficial for both internal combustion and battery powered vehicles, to increase fuel economy and increase vehicle range, respectively. However, in general, aluminum alloys are more difficult to form than steel and their performance during a vehicle crash may be challenging. Thus, it is necessary to understand the linkages between the production of the components and their performance.

Microstructure Engineering of Aluminum Extrusions for the Automotive Sector

The use of aluminum alloys in automotive applications is increasing since the weight of the vehicle can be decreased. This is beneficial for both internal combustion and battery powered vehicles, to increase fuel economy and increase vehicle range, respectively. However, in general, aluminum alloys are more difficult to form and their performance during a vehicle crash may be challenging. Thus, it is necessary to understand the linkages between the production of the components and their performance. In many cases, components can be made by extrusion followed by heat treatment.

Study Hot Cracking Susceptibility of Critical AA6111 Aluminum Alloys during Direct Chill Casting

AA6111 aluminum alloys possess a combination of excellent strength, good formability and good corrosion resistance that are widely use in the car panel manufacture. Direct chill (DC) casting process is typically employed for producing such alloy ingots. Despite its advantages, AA6111 alloys are considered as “hard-to-cast” alloy among 6xxx alloys because of high susceptibility to hot cracks. The present project will investigate the effect of chemical composition and grain refinement on hot crack susceptibility.

Smelting process exhaust gas cooling: energy and economic analysis

Aluminum smelting is a highly energy consuming industrial process. The process generates a large amount of the heat that leaves through the exhaust gas. The exhaust gas must be scrubbed of its contaminants before release to the atmosphere at the gas treatment unit exit. The scrubbing process is more effective if this gas is cooled before entering the gas treatment unit. The main objective of this project is to find a technical and economical method to cool the smelting process exhaust gas upstream of the gas treatment unit.

GIF Tools II – Advanced GeoPhysical Inversion II (Year Two)

Over the past 25 years researchers at the UBC Geophysical Inversion Facility (GIF) have generated forward modelling and inversion codes that deal with most types of data of interest to a consortium of mining companies. This proposal moves the research to applications in their corporate environments, and to advance the tools and understanding about how to use the research to date in an efficient manner to extract maximum information from their geophysical data. GIFtools, the computing software for carrying out advanced inversion, was developed for this purpose.

Waste heat recovery in aluminium smelters: technical and economic analysis (part II)

Aluminium smelters are energy intensive and not particularly energy efficient, as most of the energy required to produce aluminium is lost along the production line. This is the reason why it is mandatory to perform a detailed analysis of the thermal wastes produced in these factories. The main objective of this project is to investigate the solutions to recover the thermal wastes and to convert them into useful power.

Optimization tools for short-term hydropower generation management

Short-term hydropower optimization models are used on a daily basis to dispatch the available water for production between the turbines of the power plants that compose an hydropower system. Rio Tinto owns and operates power plants in the Saguenay Lac-St-Jean region of the province of Quebec and is currently lacking efficient tools to help the engineers in the daily decision making for the management of their hydropower system. The objective of this project is to develop tools to solve the short-term optimization model and therefore improve the water productivity of the hydropower system.

Waste heat recovery in aluminium smelters: technical and economic analysis

Aluminium smelter are energy intensive and not particularly energy efficient, as most of the energy required to produce aluminium is lost along the production line. This is the reason why it is mandatory to perform a detailed analysis of the thermal wastes produced in these factories. The main objective of this project is to investigate the solutions to recover the thermal wastes and to convert them into useful power.

Stochastic optimization of a hydroelectric production system for the aluminium industry

Rio Tinto operates aluminium plants in Saguenay that are powered by their hydroelectric system. An efficient management of water available in the system is primordial to ensure energy supply to the aluminium smelters. This quantity is uncertain since the exact inflows in the reservoirs are unknown when decisions are taken. Stochastic optimization is used to make decisions under uncertainty. Mid-term optimization models determine reservoir volumes while short-term models dispatch the available water as efficiently as possible between the power plants and turbines in the system.

Atmospheric Acid Emissions, Climate Change, and Coastal Salmon Stream Ecosystems in British Columbia - Year Two

Atmospheric acid emissions are increasing in north coastal British Columbia from increased metallurgical smelting, marine fossil fuel transport, and development of liquefied natural gas. Acid deposition can cause episodic acidification of streams when acidic compounds are flushed into streams after snowmelt and precipitation events over hours to weeks. Many salmon-bearing coastal streams are likely sensitive to episodic acidification, but these events are poorly quantified in western Canada.

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