A UK aluminium specialist has brought on board a new technical manager to take its mission to improve metal quality across global manufacturing to the next level. Metallurgist Dr Shervin Tabrizi has joined MQP, which produces grain refiner for casthouses producing aluminium billets and slabs for manufacturing sectors including foil, extrusions, aerospace and automotive.

In the aluminium industry, grain refiner is integral to the process to enable the highly-efficient metal to solidify without cracking and control microstructure. This, ultimately, reduces waste and the energy burden on the environment.

Shervin’s key role will be to optimise productivity, manage quality assurance, ensure exceptional customer service and provide specialist support including scientific research and analysis to the business. He will also work with technical managers at casthouses worldwide to optimise grain refinement – significantly reducing costs and radically reducing defects in finished products.

Shervin (left) with MQP CEO Richard Courtenay

Starting out as a quality assurance engineer for Cylinder Sazi in Tehran, Shervin joins family-owned MQP – based in Solihull in the Midlands – from Constellium, a global leader in high value aluminium products and solutions, primarily for the aerospace, automotive and packaging markets. Prior to that, he was a development technologist for Bridgnorth Aluminium, putting him in good stead to understand the pressures and challenges for casthouses.

“I’ve spent a decade working in research and development and management within companies spanning the whole supply chain, including in manufacturing, so see the totally different sides of the spectrum,” said Shervin, who gained his PhD in Materials Science at Cardiff University and works as a research fellow for the University of Birmingham, working on research including the effect of boron in recrystallisation and the forging process.

“I know the pressure on casthouses to keep costs and waste down, all while meeting strict quality control criteria, and through MQP’s innovation in grain refinement, we are able to address these challenges. I particularly like that MQP is a family-run firm with the support of partner and a huge industry player, STNM, giving MQP stability and opportunity for research and development. I look forward to being part of the team and finding ways to innovate further.”

As part of his new role, Shervin will develop and promote the benefits of MQP’s products, including its high efficiency grain refiner, Optifine. Grain refiners are used as standard in the aluminium production process as a way to eliminate cracking, waste and poor quality material, which, ultimately, results in substandard products. By significantly improving melt quality, Optifine can cut defects in cast product by up to 70%, and, crucially, pledges to consistently ensure the same high quality for every batch, something that has traditionally proved a daily challenge for casthouses.

As casthouses only need to use a third of the amount of standard TiBAI grain refiners typically used, it can also bring costs down by half. It results in less coil changes, less transportation around the casthouse and lower warehouse inventory.

John Courtenay, chairman of MQP, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Shervin as we enter a period of expansion after 20 years of business.

“He brings to the table vast expertise in material characterisation, process improvement, data analysis and management, as well as innovative new ideas and perspectives in what promises to be a new era for aluminium production. We particularly look forward to exploring how we can showcase Optifine together.”

Produced by STNM in a state-of-the-art facility in Asia, Optifine is now achieving exceptional results in the production of over three million tonnes of aluminium alloys annually in 34 major casthouses worldwide, and is increasing its market share in China and Asia.

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