Magnesium will become the material of choice as designers strive to improve energy efficiency in transportation.
Magnesium and its alloys are being considered for structural applications in every type of vehicle because of their favorable combination of tensile strength, elastic modulus, and low density, according to ASM International, the materials information society.
In the article “Magnesium in the 21st Century,” Robert E. Brown of the Magnesium Assistance Group Inc., Prattville, Ala., describes magnesium alloys as having high strength-to-weight ratios and relatively good electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as high damping capacity.
“Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and the third most plentiful element dissolved in seawater,” Brown said. “Because magnesium is found in seawater, it is available in almost limitless quantities: A cubic mile of seawater contains six million tons of magnesium metal.”
Magnesium as a structural material has been “up and down” during the 20th Century, Brown explained. “As the world supply increases and a new legion of energized researchers and scientists address the many aspects of the most abundant structural metal, magnesium will again rebound to new heights. The present trend indicates that China will be a major contributor to this development.”
Two major magnesium alloy systems are available. The first includes alloys that contain 2 to 10% aluminum, combined with minor additions of zinc and manganese. These alloys are widely available at moderate cost, and their mechanical properties are good at temperatures up to 95 to 120°C (200 to 250°F). However, above these temperatures properties deteriorate rapidly.
The second group consists of magnesium alloyed with elements such as rare earths, zinc, thorium, silver, and silicon (but not aluminum), all containing a small but effective zirconium content that imparts a fine-grain structure (and thus improved mechanical properties). These alloys generally possess better elevated-temperature properties, but they are more expensive because of their more costly elemental additions and specialized manufacturing technology.
Aluminum metal, which is not easy to get from its ores, has become a 30 million ton per year business, while magnesium has struggled to reach about 800,000 tons per year. “Realistically, world production must grow to over one million metric tons per year if it is to be seriously considered for widespread applications,” Brown said.
The largest amounts of magnesium will continue to be for aluminum alloying, but Brown expects that it will continue to be needed for desulfurization of steel “if the price is competitive.” Interest in magnesium is growing in technologies such as thixomolding, extrusions, sheet, and forgings. “Magnesium can also provide huge provide huge structural and economic advantages in automotive and aerospace applications, based on life cycle analysis,’ Brown said.
“Magnesium in the 21st Century,” a complete description of the current state of the magnesium industry and future opportunities, can be accessed and downloaded free of charge at www.asminternational.org/amp.
To access the article directly: http://asmcommunity.asminternational.org/static/Static%20Files/IP/Magazine/AMP/V167/I01/amp16701p31.pdf?authtoken=4311dfd366c81aa2e197c5b22c31baec3e4204c3
ASM International is Everything Material, the Ohio-based society serving the materials science and engineering community. With 36,000 members worldwide. ASM provides authoritative information and knowledge on materials and processes from the structural to the nanoscale. For details, visit www.asminternational.org.
Rego Giovanetti | Newswise Science News
ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records
16.01.2018 | Institut für Solarenergieforschung GmbH
A water-based, rechargeable battery
09.01.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering