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
Producing electricity during flight
20.09.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene
19.09.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2017 | Life Sciences
21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine