Melt quality is crucial for both continuous and shape casting of light alloys. Gas, oxides and other inclusions in the melt usually deteriorate the quality of the casting products. Conventional refining techniques, such as filtration and rotary degassing, can refine the melt by removing the inclusions although they are costly and time-consuming. A new technology for liquid metal treatment through intensive melt shearing was developed recently to improve the melt quality prior to metal casting. The new technology uses a simple rotor-stator unit to provide intensive melt shearing, which disperses effectively the harmful inclusions into fine particles to enhance nucleation during the subsequent solidification processing. Experimental results have demonstrated that the high shear unit can be used for general melt treatment, physical grain refinement, degassing and preparation of metal matrix composites and semisolid slurries. In this paper we offer an overview of the high shear device and its application in processing light alloys.