Victoria's Deakin University and Melbourne-based tech company Clean TeQ Holdings have teamed up with the United States' Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC) to research the role of a rare metal in the production and use of aviation components.

Scandium, a silver-white hard metal found in rare earth and uranium compounds, was discovered in 1878 and is extracted in only a few locations around the world.  Although its use in aerospace parts is currently very small, it is believed to have potential in increasing the strength of aluminium even in minute quantities.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchage (ASX), Clean TeQ Holdings announced its alliance with Deakin University and UAC to identify the optimum content in alloy components.

Deakin University's Institute for Frontier Materials is widely considered to be one of Australia's leading metal research organisations and focusses on developing material for use in science and engineering.

Clean TeQ Holdings has a strong history in air and water purification technologies and strategic metal recovery, and has significant knowledge of scandium extraction technologies.

John Carr, Clean TeQ's General Manager said UAC has "a unique understanding of the end users' requirements while Deakin's expertise is invaluable in identifying optimal metal compositions to meet those requirements."

Deakin Metallurgist, Dr Thomas Dorin, said that the Institute's "range of experimental apparatus and research skill sets provides the ideal environment for the successful development of the next generation of aeronautic aluminium-scandium alloys."

Melbourne is Australia's leader in advanced manufacturing and one of the few places in the world that covers the entire manufacturing spectrum, from research and engineering to design and production. Victoria has a range of both metropolitan and regional technological research and manufacturing precincts with a history of producing cutting edge products and innovations.