METALTec industrial R&D group

The METALTec industrial R&D group was established in June 2020 with the objective of building a research community that catalyzes innovation in the metal fabrication sector in the digital era.

METALTec mainly focuses on:

  • improving manufacturing processes to increase productivity and agility
  • creating smarter, more complex and functional, and higher value-added products by advancing materials, processes and enabling digital technologies
  • reducing the environmental footprint associated with the manufacture of metal products

The METALTec industrial R&D group is a collaborative initiative that brings together member companies and various partners to share the costs and risks associated with R&D projects while providing access to NRC experts and facilities. METALTec activities are concentrated in the following technological areas:

  • Additive manufacturing for mass customization
  • Advanced mechatronic platforms for incremental manufacturing 
  • Manufacturing technologies for lightweighting applications
  • Surface engineering and coating for Industry 4.0
  • Corrosion and durability assessment in a multi-material context
  • Intelligent tooling
  • Modelling, simulation and optimization of manufacturing processes
  • High-fidelity modelling, simulation and optimization of manufacturing processes
  • Data engineering and analytics applied to manufacturing processes
  • Advanced sensing systems

The National Research Council of Canada is pleased to be at the heart of Canada's efforts to develop innovative products using advanced manufacturing processes and materials.

Discover what else our clients have to say about collaborating with us.

"Rio Tinto is proud to collaborate with the NRC for over 18 years through its industrial research and development initiatives to support the performance of Canadian companies in the manufacturing and commercialization of metal products. These collective efforts have helped secure our leadership position in the development of innovative methods and solutions to meet industry challenges."

Joseph Langlais
Project Manager, Regional Economic Development, Rio Tinto.
Read more testimonials

"The Advanced Manufacturing program team made sure they understood our needs and suggested a phased approach that reflects industry best practices. Excellent communication and easy access to experts helped us achieve our goals. The company manufactures approximately 300 refrigerated vans today and plans to double this number by 2021 thanks to the excellent market acceptance of the new technology chosen during this project. Manac, as a Canadian company, is proud to be able to count on the NRC as a centre of expertise that promotes innovation in Canada."

Rodrick Levesque
P.Eng, M.Sc, Director, Product Development Process, Manac

"The NRC's expertise and access to state-of-the-art measurement and characterization equipment have allowed us to increase our level of competence and understanding of the in-service behaviour of aluminium alloys for the automotive sector. The NRC provides us with an additional asset to respond quickly to customer needs and supports our activities to consolidate and develop our markets in this area."

Joseph Langlais
Project Manager, Regional Economic Development (RED), Rio Tinto
Jerome Fourmann
Manager, Technical Services, Rio Tinto

"The NRC has allowed us to validate and understand the effects of corrosion on dissimilar metal assemblies. Concrete results supported by clear explanations allowed us to develop new, lighter and less expensive designs while minimizing the risks raised at the beginning of the project."

David Croteau
P.Eng., Mechanical Product Expert, Prévost
What is METALTec?

METALTec is an industrial research and development group. It offers its member companies the latest developments in the manufacture of metal products for the transport sector. METALTec catalyzes innovation by creating a research community with participants from across the value chain, from raw material suppliers to major vehicle manufacturers.

Its objective: to bring solutions to common industry problems through pre-competitive research projects. The results of these projects will enhance the capabilities of partner companies in the manufacturing, assembly and durability assessment of advanced components and several materials with specially adapted properties.

METALTec now has 23 active industrial members, 7 partners and 7 academic collaborators who share the cost, risks and benefits of pre-competitive research projects estimated at $2.5M per year.

METALTec projects
  • Active SPR tool using spring washers
  • Additively manufactured die casting tooling life
  • Aluminium phobic tooling by laser surface texturing for high‑pressure vacuum die casting (HPVDC)
  • Binder‑based additive manufacturing of aluminium - Development of fast and safe process parameters
  • Cyber‑physical platform for cobotic finishing of complex metallic parts
  • Data‑driven process controls for hot stamping of friction‑stir‑welded tailored blanks
  • Development of an artificial intelligence framework for the characterization of aluminium components
  • Development of a design‑support tool and accelerated structural integrity qualification procedure for corrosion‑resistance assessment of multi‑materials assemblies incorporating high‑strength aluminium alloys
  • Durable structural adhesive‑bonding initiative for aluminium components
  • Evaluation of stress‑corrosion cracking behavior of AA7075 B‑pillars exposed to in‑services conditions
  • Incremental manufacturing platform for structural aluminium
  • Industry 4.0 toolbox for lightweight structural aluminium die castings
  • Investigation of alternative warm‑ and hot‑forming processes with 6XXX/7XXX alloys combined to welding processes to produce body sub‑assemblies
  • Laser welding high productivity 4.0 initiative
  • Manufacturing process simulation of laser powder bed additive manufacturing
  • Micro‑electrochemical investigation of aluminium alloy / surface‑finish / conversion coating combinations to explain their propensity to cosmetic corrosion
  • Multiphysics topology optimization with application in aluminium forming
  • Optimization of the thermal management of the tools used for aluminium forming with additive manufacturing
  • Robotic GMAW welding of HPVDC parts and undercut post‑weld inspection
  • SurfLock bonding: Adhesive and fastener‑free multi‑material joining
  • Titanium‑based master alloys and grain refiners
  • Variable extrusion of aluminium alloys: Experimental approach, development of virtual predictive tools and process optimization
Our members
  • Aluminium Valley Society
  • AluQuébec
  • Centre québécois de recherche et de développement de l'aluminium (CQRDA)
  • Metal Transformation Research and Innovation Consortium (CRITM)
  • Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation du Québec
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen)
  • PRIMA Québec
  • Rio Tinto
  • TRANS-AL Network
  • Vehicle Technology Centre
  • 5N Plus
  • AGT Robotics
  • Alstom
  • AMT Die Casting
  • AP&C Advanced Powders and Coatings
  • BRP
  • Bühler AG
  • Clemex Technologies
  • Cosma International of America
  • Dajcor Aluminum
  • DANA Canada
  • Ford Motor
  • Hydro-Québec
  • Laserax
  • Manac
  • Meridian Lightweight Technologies
  • Nova Bus
  • Novelis
  • Polycontrols Technologies
  • Precitec
  • Prevost Division Group Volvo Canada
  • Raufoss Automotive Components
  • Rio Tinto (Aluminium and Iron and titanium Divisions)
  • SAMCO Machinery
  • Shiloh Industries
  • STAS
  • Trumpf
  • TWB Company
  • Verbom
Academic Collaborators
  • Centre technologique en aérospatiale
  • École de technologie supérieure
  • McGill University
  • Polytechnique Montréal
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Université du Québec à Rimouski
  • Université Laval
  • University of Waterloo
Why join METALTec?
  • Gain access to unique technologies and confidential R&D results
  • Be part of cutting-edge R&D projects at an affordable cost
  • Make use of skills and expertise that align with your priorities
  • Control, minimize and share the risks associated with new technology development
  • Obtain comprehensive, reliable results you can adapt to your needs
  • Expand your technical capabilities and become more competitive with improved quality, cost and turnaround times
How it works?

All members first sign a standard agreement and pay an annual membership fee that is fully invested in research projects. They get confidential results, a non-exclusive licence on the intellectual property generated and excellent networking opportunities!

R&D activities are developed according to the priorities of METALTec industrial members based on shared problems and common areas of interest. Members analyze and evaluate all proposals submitted to the group so that the most promising projects can be launched within the available research budget.

Projects are defined by members twice a year, and the NRC is responsible for preparing proposals. The NRC may also work to obtain co-funding for the benefit of its members and thus conclude funding agreements with third-party organizations such as Natural Resources Canada, the Metal Transformation Research and Innovation Consortium (CRITM), the Centre québécois de recherche et de développement de l'aluminium (CQRDA), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), through its academic collaborators.

Results are delivered to members on an ongoing basis at biannual technology transfer group meetings and technical sessions held via videoconference. The documents inherent to the projects are uploaded to an online platform which only members can access.

In addition, members actively participate in R&D project steering committees, software user meetings, technical webinars, mini-conferences and promotional presentations on technologies.

Contact us

The METALTec industrial R&D group is currently open. For more information on how to become a member, please contact:

David Prud'homme, Business Development Officer
Telephone: 438-270-9933
LinkedIn: David Prud'homme

Targeted industries

Manufacturers, suppliers and processors of raw materials; equipment manufacturers; companies in the secondary sector; original equipment, components and parts manufacturers operating in the transportation and advanced manufacturing sectors; vehicle manufacturers.

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