AM-HP2 – High Pressure Diecasting Magnesium Alloy for Engine Blocks and Transmissions from Advanced Magnesium Technologies

The AM-HP2 magnesium alloy has similar high-temperature strength to AM-SC1 and has been specially tailored for use in the high pressure diecasting process. Like AM-SC1, the light-weight alloy significantly increases fuel-efficiency, environmental sustainability and vehicle agility and is suitable for the powertrain components of vehicles, such as engines, structural sumps and transmission housings.

AM-HP2 Magnesium Alloy for Engine Blocks and Transmission Housings

Die-casting is already the main manufacturing process for aluminium engine blocks in Europe and South-East Asia and is gaining momentum in North America. It is also the key process for manufacturing transmission housings and other similar powertrain components. Recognising this trend, Advanced Magnesium Technologies has developed AM-HP2 in collaboration with CAST. The new magnesium alloy exhibits excellent diecastability and has the required high-temperature mechanical properties for engine components (including engine blocks) and automatic transmission housings.

Why was Magnesium Alloy AM-HP2 Developed?

AM-HP2 has been specifically developed as a diecasting alloy for high temperature automotive powertrain applications, such as engine blocks, structural sumps and automatic transmission housings.  The alloy is based upon the successful sand casting alloy, AM-SC1, with a modified composition to make it suitable for the high pressure die casting process.

Commercial Opportunities AM-HP2 Magnesium Alloy with Auto Manufacturers

High pressure diecasting is a highly productive process for mass production of light alloy components.  While the casting integrity of sand casting and low pressure/gravity permanent mould castings is higher than high pressure diecasting, the latter technology is cheaper.  Thus, this process is gaining popularity among auto manufacturers in North America and is the predominant process in Europe and South East Asia for casting of aluminium engine blocks.  It is also the common process for powertrain components such as transmission housings.  There is a strong demand in the automotive industry for a suitable high pressure diecasting magnesium alloy for high volume powertrain applications.  Advanced Magnesium Technologies has recognised this trend and, based upon the success of its AM-SC1 alloy, worked with CAST on the development of a new diecasting alloy, AM-HP2. AM-HP2 exhibits good diecastability and the required high temperature mechanical properties for engine components (including engine blocks) and automatic transmission housings. It has similar creep properties to it's sister alloy, AM-SC1.

Advantages of AM-HP2 Magnesium over Other Alloys

A key advantage of AM-HP2 is that the alloy is more diecastable than competitor high temperature creep resistant magnesium alloys.  Thus, the alloy can be more readily cast into complex shapes with fewer rejects and a wider operating window.  The alloy also has better high temperature creep strength than its competitors and thus offers considerable advantage to engine designers seeking to obtain maximum performance for lowest weight and cost.

Current Status of AM-HP2 Magnesium Development

Pilot scale diecasting trials and laboratory testing of mechanical properties have demonstrated the suitability of AM-HP2 for mass produced powertrain components.  Advanced Magnesium Technologies is now planning industrial scale trials with potential automotive partners.

Source: Advanced Magnesium Technologies

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