At the origin of the creation of REGAL in 2003, the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi brought together its researchers working in the field of aluminum at the University Center for Aluminum Research (CURAL). It concentrates on its own beyond 35 years of expertise ranging from research on raw materials to processes of transformation of aluminum through that dedicated to the production of this gray metal. In particular, it favors a multidisciplinary approach for the resolution, within an applied framework, of problems with industrial impact which are most often motivated by fundamental or practical developments.
In 2005, the construction of the Building Rio Tinto Alcan – CURAL Laboratory will have enabled the installation of a large fleet of state-of-the-art equipment dedicated to research on aluminum. It includes a pilot plant for the development of new technologies for the treatment of red sludge, a multi-functional foundry, a high-performance computing unit, six laboratories specifically dedicated to the characterization of thermo-physical, thermo-chemical and thermomechanical properties of materials at very high temperatures, microstructures by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, coating development, fabrication and firing of carbon anodes, study of the friction / kneading process and as well as numerous test benches for studying the different aspects of the Hall-Héroult process. Combined with an internationally recognized expertise, UQAC is a unique place in North America for research in the field of aluminum production and processing.