Visitors to Aluminium 2022 can discover award-winning MQP’s Optifine 5:1 125 grain refiner, which delivers a ground-breaking 125% relative efficiency and is made with low carbon aluminium.

The top industry show takes place in Dusseldorf from 27-29th September.

At stand 6A01, the MQP team will be showcasing the benefits of its premium grain refiner in the production of high-quality aluminium alloys providing unique properties such as high tensile strength, high surface quality, typically used in automotive applications.

With Optifine 5:1 125 excellent melt quality can be achieved together with ultra-low addition rates, meaning casthouses need up to 90% less grain refiner.

John Courtenay, MQP chairman, said: “Optimised grain refiner usage is crucial to preventing unwanted razor streaks, cracks and defects in aluminium alloys and we are proudly the leader in the development, manufacture and application process of high efficiency grain refiners on the world stage.

“Our Optifine product range has been developed over 10 years of working with casthouses to improve operational productivity together with five years of fundamental research into nucleation conducted at Brunel University. Optifine is now used in 42 major casthouses worldwide in the production of over three million tonnes of alloys a year. Whether you are producing alloys for chassis for EV or aerospace, spaceframes, automotive body sheets, beverage cans, foil or litho stock or extrusion billet, we have a grain refiner for all operations.

“At the show, we are keen to show technical and procurement managers the benefits of Optifine 5:1 125, which is making its mark globally and is currently in trials with three of the major groups.”

MQP, which won Most Innovative Company at the international BizX Awards 2022, has delivered the ground-breaking efficiency of Optifine through research into fundamental mechanism of nucleation with BCAST at Brunel University London.

As part of this research the role of zirconium was investigated. Zirconium is increasingly being added to melts to produce aluminium alloys that provide unique properties such as high tensile strength – typically higher than 400MPa (UTS) – together with enhanced recyclability, machinability and corrosion resistance. However, the research showed that zirconium has a poisoning effect on grain refiner and using state-of-the-art electron microscopy, MQP saw a need for an ultra-potent 5:1 grain refiner to overcome the Zr poisoning effect.

“This led to the development of our Optifine 5:1 125 grain refiner, which has 85% more active nuclei than the typical standard low efficiency grain refiner and delivers the target grain size, 150µm, at an addition rate of 1kg/t compared to the >4kg/t required when using standard grain refiner,” said John.

“Ultimately, it helps casthouses successfully cast high strength zirconium containing 6000 and 7000 alloys for automotive without the zirconium ‘poisoning’ problem.

“We recently made another breakthrough and established the methodology to boost Optifine 5:1’s minimum efficiency rate of 85% up to 125%, the only grain refiner on the market to deliver this impressive rate. Delivering an unprecedented 40% higher efficiency and performance than the closest competitor on the market, using Optifine 5:1 also significantly higher cost savings, welcome news for plants getting back to business.

“It is a premium product, but there is a rapid rate of return, and its high efficiency makes it appealing to companies striving to meet the COP26 agenda. It is also made with low carbon aluminium to meet the demands of a modern and progressive industry.”

At stand 6A01 at Aluminium 2022, branded with MQP’s distinctive ‘Aluminium Lady’ with a new look, visitors will also be about to discover the new and improved Optifeeder, which accurately measures the length of rods going through a system and immediately alerts operators when they need to change the coil.

“Typically, if a casthouse is adding 1kg/t of standard grain refiner, the addition of Optifine could be as low as 0.2kg/t and some rod feeders will not run at such low speeds. Our Optifeeder is designed to deliver grain refiner rod at speeds from as low as 4cm/min, ensuring grain refiner is constantly added and that no melt is left un-grain refined. This is invaluable in limiting waste and we look forward to revealing more on this in the near future.”

MQP operates through a network of consultants and distributors with representatives and offices in all parts of the aluminium world, from Australasia to South Africa, Europe to the Americas.