Australia’s CSIRO have developed an industrial scale pilot plant for the production of near net shape, or close to production thickness, low cost magnesium sheet. They hope to make the technology fully production ready over the next 12 months.
They are currently in discussions with a number of interested parties with regards to a technology transfer agreement or becoming an international partner for their technology.
The coil line for the magnesium sheet plant has been successfully installed and the first 60kg coils have been sent to a Japanese customer for rolling and forming trials.
The CSIRO have already produced sheet with thicknesses between 2.3 and 5mm in alloys such as AZ31, AZ61, AM60 and AZ91. These have been rolled down to 0.5 to 0.6mm thicknesses using a unique finish-rolling schedule developed by the CSIRO specifically for new cast magnesium sheet.
The use of magnesium sheet has to date been hindered high cost and lack of availability. However, once these barriers have been overcome, the door will be opened for a new generation of stronger, lighter cars, printers, cameras, computers and other consumer items.
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