2012 October – U.S. automotive experts focus on high temperature alloys

Magnesium-based applications for the automotive sector were a highlight of a North American user seminar, conducted by the International Magnesium Association (IMA). The high temperature alloys of Magontec were of particular interest.

Magontec executives Steve Erickson and Doug Rourke gave three presentations at the Conference including a presentation detailing current information on the application of magnesium alloys in the powertrain.

The magnesium alloy AE44 was introduced in 2005 for automotive applications. It contains rare earth (RE) metals and has excellent castability and ductility at high temperatures. Furthermore, it has good corrosion protection properties. There are a number of AE44 variations including AE44-4, which contains four different REs, and AE44-2 that includes just cerium and lanthanum, the most productive and cost-effective of the RE metals.

About 75 engineers and managers from the automotive industry discussed the latest developments in magnesium alloys. Among these were potential applications for commercial vehicles, such as brake calipers and powertrain mountings for heavy trucks. For every kilogram of weight reduction there is an extra kilo load capacity, which enhances the efficiency of transportation.

As a part of the global debate on the impact of greenhouse gases, the advantages of magnesium have become a focus for the global automotive industry. Magontec is able to make a significant contribution to this debate through its association with the Qinghai Salt Lake Magnesium project, which on completion will be the Worlds greenest magnesium production facility. As Magontec’s Qinghai alloy cast house project comes on stream in China in 2014 – 2015, the availability of environmentally and technically superiority magnesium alloys is likely to increase significantly.

Existing anti-dumping regulations in the U.S. market against pure magnesium from China were identified by various speakers as an obstacle to the development of a competitive magnesium die casting industry in the United States.

Magontec was one of six sponsors of the seminar organized by the IMA at Ypsilanti / Michigan, just outside the automobile metropolis of Detroit.

Photo: motor carriers of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, die casters: Meridian United States.

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