Magnesium Advances in Australia

Australian researchers at institutions such as the CSIRO have successfully developed a new magnesium alloy that will enable magnesium to be used in applications such as motor vehicle engines and panels and range of consumer goods.

The use of magnesium in passenger cars has been desirable due to its combination of light weight, strength and recyclability. These properties lead to cheaper production, more efficient vehicles with reduced emissions and lower running costs.

As reported earlier, Australian Magnesium Corp., in conjunction with CSIRO and the Cooperative Reserch Centre for Cast Metals Manufacturing have developed a new magnesium alloy AMC-SC1 which has been designed specifically for engine blocks. This alloy can be cast using conventional techniques.

CSIRO researchers are said to be close to producing low cost thin sheet under production conditions. This means that, not only will engine blocks be able to be produced in magnesium, but body panels, seat profiles and other components will also be able to be made from magnesium. This will result in further weight reductions and efficiency gains in automobiles.

To date, pilot plant trials have successfully produced as-cast magnesium sheet using a number of magnesium alloys. They have produced sheets in commercial quantities that are 600mm wide and of good quality.

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