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International Conference on Magnesium - A great success

Three weeks before its opening, the 8th international Magnesium conference has gained considerable momentum: With 318 registrants from 31 countries, the long term DGM series has clearly affirmed its prime position in the materials world.

This is all the more remarkable in view of the economic restrictions to which the related industries might be exposed currently.

A particular focus is put on wrought Magnesium alloys that will be of increased significance in future developments. Further strategic challenges for the extended use of magnesium materials refer to their corrosion behaviour and hence the development of reliable surface coatings.

Limiting the emission of green house gases as well as the reduction of fuel consumption are urgent topics that need to be solved in the near future especially in transportation industries. Besides more efficient processes and smart design, the use of light weight materials is one way to address these problems. Despite the fact that there is always a competition among various material groups such as light metals, steels and polymers for a use in relevant light-weight structures depending on economical aspects, materials and component requirements, magnesium alloys still offer a promising potential. With regard to their intrinsic characteristics like low density, promising mechanical properties and their high recyclability, magnesium alloys found more implementations in relevant applications. A further increase in its use is expected.

For more than fifteen years in­creasing activities in research and applications have been observed all over the world. This led to the development of new alloys and their use in interior, structure and the power train of automobiles. Moreover, magnesium wrought alloys are finding more applications in 3C industries. New alloys and optimised processes are also creating new ideas and stimulating competition for advanced developments to substitute traditional materials. The implementation of new cast alloys and the increased use of wrought alloys are clear indications for the sustainable research and development of the past. Nevertheless, high pressure die casting is still the predominant technology to manufacture components. In recent years, the interest in advanced casting processes using semi solid technologies like thixomolding and rheo-casting has increased. New available equipment opens a broader use of this technology promising improved mechanical properties of magnesium cast products. The use of wrought alloys is still limited due to a lack of knowledge on the improvement of the property profile of wrought alloys.

Still there is a limitation of the availability of economical processes and alloys for the universal use for extrusions, sheets and forgings. But with regard to new developments in alloys and processes like continuous casting and strip or twin-roller casting new opportunities for the enhanced use of wrought alloys will open. In addition solutions to improve the corrosion behaviour and surface properties of magnesium alloys were found.

The optimisation of the primary magnesium production and development of secondary recycling alloys will lead to a sustainable growth in magnesium use in respect to issues of the life cycle assessment of magnesium materials.

Petra von der Bey | idw
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