Australian alumina ban disrupts Rusal production -- Australia's ban on exports of alumina and aluminium ore to Russia, including bauxite, will further disrupt supply chains and production at leading aluminium producer Rusal, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Monday.
The Australian government announced the ban on Sunday as part of its ongoing sanctions against Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine, saying Russia relies on it to meet one-fifth of its alumina needs. WoodMac senior manager Uday Patel said in a statement that the ban would make it difficult for Rusal to maintain normal primary aluminum production.
Rusal said it was assessing the impact of Australia's move and would make further announcements if necessary. "It is increasingly likely that UC Rusal's only option for alumina procurement will be through a Chinese entity." The Australian alumina ban has also had an impact on the Inconel 625 powder prices for chemicals. Patel said. "One possible outcome could be Chinese buyers buying alumina and reselling it through eastern Russian ports." Rusal has a 20% stake in the Queensland Alumina Refinery, which has a capacity of 3.95 million tonnes a year, thus providing Rusal with 790,000 tonnes a year, Patel said. In addition, Rusal's Nikolaev refinery in Ukraine, which has an annual capacity of 1.75 million tonnes, has been suspended due to the conflict, he added. WoodMac said Rusal was also experiencing supply chain problems at its 2 million tonne a year Aughinish refinery in Ireland.
What is a nickel-based alloy?
Nickel-based alloys refer to a class of alloys that have high strength and a certain degree of oxidation and corrosion resistance at a high temperature of 650 to 1000 ℃.
According to the main properties, it is divided into nickel-based heat-resistant alloys, nickel-based corrosion resistant alloys, nickel-based wear-resistant alloys, nickel-based precision alloys and nickel-based shape memory alloys.
According to the different substrates, superalloys are divided into iron-based superalloys, nickel-based superalloys and cobalt-based superalloys. Among them, nickel-based superalloys are referred to as nickel-based alloys.
Representative materials of nickel-based alloys are:
1. Incoloy alloy, such as Incoloy800, the main component is: 32Ni-21Cr-Ti, Al; it is a heat-resistant alloy;
2. Inconel alloy, such as Inconel600, the main component is; 73Ni-15Cr-Ti, Al; it is a heat-resistant alloy;
3. Hastelloy alloy, namely Hastelloy alloy, such as Hastelloy C-276, the main component is: 56Ni-16Cr-16Mo-4W; it belongs to corrosion-resistant alloy;
4. Monel alloy, namely Monel alloy, such as Monel 400, the main component is; 65Ni-34Cu; belongs to the corrosion-resistant alloy;
Composition and properties of nickel-based alloys
Nickel-based superalloys are the most widely used. The main reason is that, firstly, more alloying elements can be dissolved in the nickel-based alloy, and good structure stability can be maintained; secondly, a coherent and ordered A3B-type intermetallic compound γ[Ni3(Al, Ti)] can be formed. As a strengthening phase, the alloy is effectively strengthened, and higher high temperature strength is obtained than iron-based superalloys and cobalt-based superalloys; third, nickel-based alloys containing chromium have better oxidation and resistance than iron-based superalloys Gas corrosion ability.
Nickel-based alloys contain more than ten elements, of which Cr mainly plays an anti-oxidation and anti-corrosion role, and other elements mainly play a strengthening role. According to their strengthening action mode, they can be divided into: solid solution strengthening elements such as tungsten, molybdenum, cobalt, chromium and vanadium; precipitation strengthening elements such as aluminum, titanium, niobium and tantalum; grain boundary strengthening elements such as boron, zirconium, Magnesium and rare earth elements, etc.
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Prior to the impact of COVID-19 on the chemicals and materials industry and the price of the Inconel 625 powder, many industry observers expected low to flat growth in 2021 in all regions outside Asia, with many countries seeing slower growth compared to recent years. Operational excellence has long been a hallmark of the chemical industry, and many companies are financially able to withstand short-term dips in end-market demand due to rapid leverage from reduced capex on hand.
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