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Magnesium Sheet Metal with Excellent Room Temperature Formability

—A New Light Weight Metal as Formable as Aluminum Sheet Metal with 1.5 Times Higher Strength, Potentially Suitable for Use in Reducing Vehicle Weight—

2017.06.15
(2017.06.16 Update)


National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
Nagaoka University of Technology

A research team at NIMS and Nagaoka University of Technology developed high strength magnesium sheet metal that has excellent formability comparable to that of the aluminum sheet metal currently used in body panels of some automobiles. The alloy uses only common metals, and is expect to be a low-cost light weight sheet metal for automotive applications.

(“A heat-treatable Mg–Al–Ca–Mn–Zn sheet alloy with good room temperature formability”; M. Z. Bian, T. T. Sasaki, B. C. Suh, T. Nakata, S. Kamado, K .Hono; Scripta Materialia Vol. 138, page 151, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.scriptamat.2017.05.034)

Abstract

  1. A research team led by Senior Researcher Taisuke Sasaki at NIMS and Professor Shigeharu Kamado at Nagaoka University of Technology developed magnesium sheet metal that has excellent room temperature formability as good as that of the aluminum alloy sheet metal currently used in body panels for automobiles. The magnesium alloy becomes stronger than the aluminum alloy after a heat treatment required for paint baking.
  2. Magnesium alloys are roughly 75% lighter than steels and 33% lighter than aluminum alloys and their usage as structural materials in automotive bodies is expected to be effective in weight reduction for better fuel efficiency. However, virtually no magnesium alloys are used in automotive bodies because of their high processing cost originating from the poor formability and low strength of magnesium sheet metals.
  3. The research team recently developed a new age-hardenable magnesium alloy: Mg-1.1Al-0.3Ca-0.2Mn-0.3Zn (numbers indicate constituent elements by atomic percentage), named AXMZ1000. The newly developed alloy has excellent room temperature formability comparable to that of medium strength aluminum alloys that are used in some automobile bodies. In addition, the new alloy is 1.5 to 2.0 times stronger than the aluminum alloy. The excellent formability was achieved by adding very small amounts of zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn), which led to the formation of fine grain structures, and the high strength was accomplished by adding aluminum (Al) and calcium (Ca), which induced the strengthening of the alloy by the formation of atomic clusters.
  4. The newly developed alloy is composed of only common metals, so the material cost is not expensive. Also, it can be rolled into sheets using simple processes and heat treatments commonly used for aluminum alloys. The newly developed alloy overcomes the long-standing issues for magnesium alloys—namely, low strength and poor room temperature formability. As the processing cost of the new material is expected to be low, there is good potential for practical applications in automotive bodies or casing of notebook computers and cell phones for their weight reduction.
  5. This study was conducted as a part of the JST Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program (ALCA).
  6. This study was published in Scripta Materialia on-line at 9:00 am on June 16, 2017, Japan Time.

"Comparison of newly developed and conventional magnesium alloy sheets after they were subjected to Erichsen tests." Image

Comparison of newly developed and conventional magnesium alloy sheets after they were subjected to Erichsen tests.




Contacts

(Regarding this research)
Taisuke Sasaki
Senior Researcher, Magnetic Materials Analysis Group
Research Center for Magnetic and Spintronic Materials (RCMSM), National Institute for Materials Science
Tel: +81-29-859-2466
E-Mail: SASAKI.Taisuke=nims.go.jp
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Shigeharu Kamado
Executive Director and Vice President
Nagaoka University of Technology
Tel: +81-258-47-9710
E-Mail: kamado=mech.nagaokaut.ac.jp
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(For general inquiries)
Public Relations Office
National Institute for Materials Science
Tel: +81-29-859-2026
Fax: +81-29-859-2017
E-Mail: pressrelease=ml.nims.go.jp
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Division of Institutional Strategies
Nagaoka University of Technology
Tel: +81-258-47-9209
Fax: +81-258-47-9010
E-Mail: skoho=jcom.nagaokaut.ac.jp
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National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
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