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Sumitomo Electric, Univ of Toyama develop magnesium alloy for die casting with superior heat resistance

Sumitomo Electric Industries and the University of Toyama have developed a high heat-resistant magnesium alloy for die casting applications. In die casting, a molten metal is injected into a die under high pressure and quickly cooled and solidified into the final part. Owing to its high productivity, die casting is widely used for manufacturing aluminum automotive parts.

One important way the automotive industry is seeking to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles is by reducing their weight. Due to their low castability and heat resistance, high component production cost, and low recyclability, conventional magnesium alloys cannot be used as substitutes for aluminum alloys.

Ingots of die-cast magnesium alloy.

Sumitomo Electric conducted joint research with Prof. Seiji Saikawa of the faculty of engineering, the University of Toyama, and succeeded in developing a new heat-resistant magnesium alloy free of the above shortcomings.

The newly developed magnesium alloy has the following features:

  • Superior heat resistance (compressive creep characteristics and tensile strength at 150-200 ˚C). Compressive creep is the tendency of parts to deform over time when they are fastened with bolts or other means and placed under a constant compressive stress. Since deformation of a metal usually increases with a rise in temperature, a material with high compressive creep characteristics would gradually reduce the tightening force of the bolts.

  • Little change in composition from re-melting and re-casting, which makes the alloy recyclable.

  • No-use of costly rare-earth elements.

Sumitomo Electric will establish a new alloy ingot production system to introduce alloy products into the market.


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