Rusal will Reboot Aluminum Program after First-Quarter Gains


Rusal, the Russian aluminum company, plans to continue building its newest Siberian plant after generating a significant amount of revenue upon the introduction of better aluminum prices.

The company has consistently made $434 million in profit this year, nearly three times as much as it did in 2016, reinforcing its status as second-biggest aluminum production enterprise in the world. The improvement is mainly due to more sales and raised prices of the versatile metal. Its supply may struggle to appease demand in the next quarter, however.

Riding on its success, Rusal declared it would restart operations at its smelting plant in Taishet, which the board of directors has agreed to finance. Rusal has received a total of $38.5 million from them, a modest but sufficient amount for the job.

The company sees this as a great triumph, as the Taishet smelter construction began ten years ago but couldn’t be finished due to lack of funds and aluminum price reduction.

With Rusal’s two smelters in Siberia, En+, the Russian energy giant, expects Rusal to grow its production capacity one million tonnes more by 2022. En+’s profits before taxes and interest in 2016 was $2.3 billion, of which $1.5 billion Rusal contributed to. En+’s alternate companies contributed to the remaining $822 million.

Rusal experienced a more than 5% increase in demand annually, hiking it up to fifteen tonnes in the first quarter of 2017. Worldwide aluminum supply increased by almost 8% to just short of fifteen tonnes, indicating the aluminum market is where it should be.

Taking into account price raises and demand increases, the aluminum industry will likely experience continued success in the years to come.



The US Encourages Europe and Britain to Criticize China’s Aluminum Imports


The United States’ aluminum market heads are asking those of the European Union and Britain to help stop China’s problematic taxes in the industry, which have begun to affect jobs in North America.

China is suspected of breaking the World Trade Organization’s rules by illegally financing prominent market sectors, particularly the aluminum market. Despite the country’s claim that it respects the policies of the World Trade Organization, the US has begun to investigate whether its imported products are negatively affecting its safety.

Theresa May, Britain’s Prime Minister, has received a letter from the aluminum industry encouraging her to take action, insisting that the country’s future will be more secure if it does its part to reinforce the World Trade Organization. Office representatives have not yet responded.

Industry leaders in Belgium and Russia are also participating in the discussion, realizing the urgency of the issue as China produces more aluminum than any other country worldwide, contributing to half of the globe’s total production. It contributed to a mere tenth of the world’s aluminum manufacturing in 2001. Meanwhile, the number of European aluminum plants has decreased by more than one-third from 2002 to 2015, and a Kentucky plant suffered financial losses in the first quarter of 2016.

China has begun to incur bigger charges for energy usage than Europe and the US, while Europe seeks to continue its smelting for the purpose of providing jobs to factory workers and maintaining high market value. The former simply isn’t beneficial for international business.

An upcoming meeting in Brussels among EU trade leaders will decide how the World Trade Organization will handle China’s aluminum debacle and could put new policies into place.


Black Aluminum Wheels a Possibility for Alcoa

Image: Today’s Trucking

Alcoa will soon be introducing black aluminum wheels to the vehicle industry, a Dura-Bright model designed for trucks. If it piques the interest of enough consumers, it’ll be here to stay.

Older generations tend to lean towards the typical silver metals like chrome and steel for their car wheels, but this generation’s young adults are open to new things. Looking to the latter fact, Alcoa has developed their popular Dura-Bright Evo wheel in a sleek black tone. When the sample wheels were displayed at a truck show, many people saw them and grew curious.

This new wheel is created by treating the aluminum with absorptive black material that blends with the first couple layers of the metal. Cutting the wheel open would reveal a tiny layer of the black substance encircling regular silver aluminum. It functions the same way the standard Dura-Bright wheel that came before it does, meaning the only difference between the two is the resulting visual effect.

One benefit aluminum offers that steel doesn’t is its ability to maintain shape and quality. Steel often needs maintenance to prevent scratches and molecular decay. Alcoa’s online questionnaire leaves out steel and only the two versions of its Dura-Bright wheels. Results vary depending on age group, as expected.

Alcoa’s plan may not work out, but it’s too early to tell. The company could have a great deal of luck if the younger generation takes an interest in stylizing their cars.


Aluminum, Wood, or Vinyl? Choosing the Right Siding for your Home


For a long time, aluminum siding was thought to be of lower quality than others, particularly wood siding. The truth is, every siding material has its pros and cons, and it’s important for every homeowner to choose the material that works best in their situation.

North Americans, for example, experience many drastic changes in temperature and precipitation, with both hot, humid summers and frigid, snowy winters. This wide range often calls for wood siding, which is both aesthetically pleasing and durable, assuming it’s taken care of.

Unfortunately, maintaining wood siding can be a nuisance, as it takes years of treatment to protect it against insects, mould, and natural decay. If you choose wood trim for your home, be prepared to reseal and repaint it every few years.

If you don’t want to go to all the trouble of caring for wood siding, consider using aluminum instead. This tough metal only needs to be repainted every fifteen years to maintain its sleek look. Of course, aluminum is subject to scratches and indentations, which often keep homeowners from selecting it for their homes. In the light of this discovery, more options have become available.

Vinyl siding is stronger and longer-lasting than aluminum, and for these reasons, it can be a great choice for many homeowners. It requires frequent cleaning because it attracts dirt, but all it takes to look like new again is a garden hose and a bit of patience. Vinyl can also be installed in several different colours and keep any cracks securely closed.

Clearly, vinyl wins the siding battle, right? Well, not quite. Aluminum is preferable for homes situated in very cold climates, because unlike vinyl, it won’t crack and let in moisture when it experiences drastic temperature changes. Aluminum is also a widely-used metal that can easily be recycled.

Developers create new vinyl and aluminum siding each year, so you’ll never run out of options. Take the time to learn about which products are available to you, and make sure to choose something that looks good, keeps your home insulated, and withstands the test of time.


Aluminum Experts create Metallic Art by Hand

Image: Cycle World

In 2014, a Californian engineer named Robert Steffano envisioned making a motorcycle without a shell, tastefully exposing all the elements required to run a high-quality two-wheeled vehicle. This Ducati would be called the 969 Cafe Roadster, paying homage to the racer bikes used in the fifties and sixties.

Although Steffano had all the parts he needed, he lacked the skills required to complete specialized details on the bike’s frame. Fortunately, he teamed up with Evan Wilcox, an experienced jeweler who knew the ins and outs of working with aluminum, the primary metal used in making vehicles.

Wilcox had previously attended the LA Art Center College of Design for photography, but he soon found he preferred more physical creative tasks. He turned away from photography and used his newfound knowledge of shapes and shadows to shape aluminum, a flexible metal that works with rather than against the artist.

Because aluminum cannot be easily made geometric, fighting being molded into corners and straight edges, the results are mainly curved and cohesive. This sort of structure can be seen in older Ferraris and certain motorcycle gas tanks.

With a bit of convincing, Wilcox agreed to work with Steffano on the Ducati. The model needed aluminum styling, as any other metal would have been too difficult and wouldn’t have produced the desired outcome. The gentle twists and turns of aluminum would perfectly showcase the bike’s build. While the two communicated during their collaboration, they knew when to step back and let their partner do what he was good at.

In the end, Wilcox made nine parts, including the fuel tank, pipes, engine, and chassis required to power the bike. Both he and Steffano were able to effectively apply their skills to meet the bike’s needs. They even made sure all motorcycle road rules were followed so the 969 Cafe Roadster could be ridden without risk of legal repercussions.

The two craftsmen are considering future projects similar to this one, but nothing is certain. They’ll continue to use their hands and minds to build, disregarding digital design. It’s evident that their creations come from the heart.


U.S. Aluminum Import Investigation Begins

Image: Getty

U.S. President Donald Trump has officially requested an investigation into how the country’s security is affected by its aluminum imports. Depending on the results of said investigation, new taxes and guidelines could be put into place for international aluminum trade between the US and its trading partners, the most prominent one being China.

The drastic drop in the production of this versatile metal is what prompted the opening of the investigation, seeking a solution for a high demand in the industry. If larger weaponry is required for tasks of war in the near future, the lack of aluminum would certainly pose a problem.

Not only is aluminum used for heavy duty combat machines, but it is also used in the construction of most commercial cars and planes. The US may affect its long-held partnership with China if it makes the same claims it made towards China’s steel exports.

Should the outcome hurt one or both nations, President Trump and his associates have proven that they are indeed keeping the promises they made during the election in regards to trade.


Billion Dollar Aluminum Plant to be Built in South Shore, Kentucky

Image: Kentucky Today

Braidy Industries, a newcomer in the aluminum market, has been granted nearly ten million dollars of tax incentives for the construction of a 1.3 billion dollar manufacturing building in South Shore, Kentucky. This building, to be up and running by 2020, will be dedicated to refining aluminum for several types of cars and planes.

If the company successfully completes its goals in its future location, it can hold onto its current piece of investment with the grant. The placement of the plant also offers several new jobs for South Shore residents, helping to negate the area’s recent job loss. Discontinuing the operation of Ohio River’s steel mill was particularly damaging to the area’s economic status.

The future aluminum plant will measure more than two million square feet, complete with a food court, day care centre, and exercise gym. Its placement in Greenup County will provide the region with around 1,500 manual labour jobs in total, with salaries as high as $70k. It plans to refine 370,000 tonnes of aluminum annually.

With a team of professional aluminum workers, international businesspersons, and alloy chemists, Braidy Industries strives to not only aid in the area’s economic crisis, but also create higher aluminum standards worldwide.

Through creating new jobs in the area and attracting potential aerospace and automotive customers, the future plant will greatly benefit eastern Kentucky and incite global competition.


Ford’s Aluminum Recycling Strategy

Image: Ford

While North Americans can recycle household items with ease, Ford is going above and beyond to be more resourceful, making an effort to repurpose discarded pieces of aluminum.

The car manufacturer’s new strategy has been implemented in Buffalo, Dearborn, and Kentucky, saving enough aluminum each month to construct tens of thousands of F-Series car frames. The result is a drastic decrease in energy usage and unusable waste, as well as an upgrade in the truck model created from the recycled material.

A mere 10% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum is used in the recycling of old aluminum. With such a noticeable gain in sustainability, nearly three-quarters of processed aluminum is used again and again.

To maintain its efficiency, the system’s setup includes a giant vacuum and a series of tubes that carry materials across the building. The leftover aluminum is cut into small, rectangular pieces and sent to one of four piles depending on the metal’s grade. Amazingly, the system sorts out grades and transports pieces without any human aid.

Ford’s ingenious recycling method sets an example for production of the future as companies find the balance between meeting consumers’ needs and being kinder to the environment.


92-Year-Old Retired Montreal CEO Passes Away

Image: Montreal Gazette

Maison Alcan creator David Culver has passed away at 92 years of age in his Westmount home. Culver is survived by his children Mark, Andrew, Diane, and Michael, and predeceased in 2014 by his wife Mary (Powell) Culver.

Born in Winnipeg on December 5th, 1924, Culver migrated to Montreal with his parents and was raised within the city’s Golden Square Mile. He attended McGill university and graduated in 1947, alongside receiving an MBA from Harvard University. Two years later, he was hired at an aluminum production plant as a worker until he became CEO in 1979. When he wasn’t hard at work, he would go golfing at a club in Georgia or visit his summer home in La Malbaie.

One of David Culver’s greatest achievements outside of work was Maison Alcan, a vintage-meets-modern structure in Montreal that was deemed Alcan’s main location. The construction of the building gave Culver a strong tie to Montreal despite his birthplace, having wanted to create something that paid homage to the city’s timeless style.

The CEO was also renowned for his prominent leadership qualities and undying loyalty to both Alcan and Canada. He stuck through the mass disappearance of other companies’ headquarters in Montreal, remaining at Maison Alcan against all odds. Through events like these, he proved his commitment to his company and his country, and was admired for it.

To document his experiences, David Culver was aided in writing a series of memoirs, entitled Expect Miracles: Recollections of a Lucky Life. The book was published and released in 2014, containing Culver’s explanations about his company and its determination to stay in Montreal. He described the importance of connecting with the community Alcan was situated in, making sure to understand and appreciate everything it offered. In 2014, twenty-five years after Culver’s retirement as CEO, Alcan was taken over by Rio Tinto, a large UK-Australian mining corporation.

Culver’s mother had a strong interest in French-Canadian customs, language, and history, a fascination that was passed on to him at a young age and remained true for the rest of his life. He particularly enjoyed Montreal’s multiculturalism. Friends and loved ones have also noted that Culver was truly family-centric despite his business endeavours.