Oct 5 2010
South Korean steelmaker POSCO, the world’s third-largest steel producer, and Magnesium Flachprodukte GmbH (MgF), a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG, intend to cooperate in the production and supply of magnesium sheet.
The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support each other in the event of supply bottlenecks. The aim is to guarantee security of supply for the auto industry. Automotive OEMs are the most important customers for magnesium sheet.
“The purchasing departments of many auto manufacturers also stipulate such second-source arrangements for steel and other automotive materials,” said Dr. Hans-Peter Vogt, Managing Director of Magnesium Flachprodukte GmbH. Vogt signed the MoU together with Sang-Ho Cho, Senior Vice President at POSCO. “An agreement of this nature is particularly important for magnesium sheet. POSCO and MgF are world leaders in the production of magnesium flat products,” added Cho.
POSCO and MgF both produce magnesium sheets on innovative casting-rolling mills, POSCO’s near Gwangyang in South Korea, and MgF’s in Freiberg in the German state of Saxony. At both companies, this strategy significantly reduces the cost of producing magnesium sheets. Casting-rolling technology uses lower-cost input materials and greatly reduces the number of production steps compared with conventional magnesium sheet production.
Magnesium weighs only around a quarter as much as steel and is 35 percent lighter than aluminum. In the past, however, it has only been used in the form of castings, e.g. for chassis applications. For large-area body parts, where the light material could save a lot more weight, affordable magnesium sheets are required. As part of the InCar project for automotive innovations, ThyssenKrupp recently demonstrated that a car roof made of magnesium is an impressive 62 percent lighter than a current conventional steel solution. Related to the part, CO2 emissions during driving would be reduced by more than half.