The International Magnesium Association (IMA) recognized advances in magnesium technology, products and processes with the presentation of the 2015 Awards of Excellence during the 72nd Annual World Magnesium Conference held in Vancouver, Canada in May. The Awards of Excellence competition was open to all companies demonstrating outstanding examples of magnesium's use, as well as magnesium products and manufacturing technologies in three categories: Design, Process, and Application. The IMA Awards of Excellence highlight how the magnesium industry is continually working to improve the manufacturing process and companies that provide innovative and improved products made from lightweight magnesium.
The Design Category includes subcategories for Cast and Wrought Products and the competition seeks unique, novel and creative designs and product developments. The winning entries in this category demonstrate design and engineering that is a significant advance over current practice.
Design – Automotive Cast Product: GF Automotive Altenmarkt for Seat Frame
The 2015 Award of Excellence in the Design-Automotive Cast Product Category was presented to GF Automotive Altenmarkt in Austria for a seat frame. The frame is a one piece seat frame with high functional integration and assemblies. It includes a carrier unit for cushioning and integrated headrest, airbag and support for adjustment and heating mechanisms. The sheet metal construction is replaced with MgAl5Mn using a magnesium high-pressure die-casting process. The magnesium material utilized produces a weight reduction of 0.75 kg or 30% to the sheet metal part and one piece design.
Design – Commercial Cast Product: Chicago White Metal Casting for LED Dental Light Housing, Rear and Driver Castings
The Award of Excellence in the Design-Commercial Cast Product Category was presented to Chicago White Metal Casting in Bensenville, Illinois, USA for an LED dental light housing, rear and driver castings. The parts are an excellent example of magnesium’s ability to provide exceptional value given its low mass, heat dissipation, and finishing characteristics. It is also an example of magnesium making in-roads into a product and industry that does not typically utilize magnesium. This was A-dec Inc.’s first ever use of magnesium and it turned out to be highly successful.
The parts are die-cast in a 315T Frech Hot Chamber Machine, die trimmed, machined, vibratory deburred, conversion coated (RoHs compliant Trivalent Chromium), and powder painted. The 2 magnesium die castings make up the structural support for the LED light. The LED board mounts to the bosses on the “Rear” casting, whereas the “Driver” part connects the light to the pivoting connection point and supports the light head.
Manufacturing Objective: To design a highly cosmetic Magnesium part that meets strict weight, geometry, and heat dissipation requirements.
Benefits: Heat dissipation and low mass. The overhead light is constantly moved around and having reduced mass allows for easier movement and decreased structural support.
Design – Wrought Products: Gonda Metal Industry Co for Expansion Joint for Suspended Ceiling
The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 caused immense damage mainly in Tohoku Region. The collapse of suspended ceilings in buildings also became an issue that caused substantial damage. More than 200 suspended ceilings, including a gymnasium, collapsed injuring 72 people and killing 5 under the debris.
As a result, the government began to promote the earthquake-resistance measuring of buildings. One measure taken was to require lightweight, high strength and nonflammable material for ceiling parts compared to the conventional ones being used.
Gonda Metal was asked to develop a nonflammable material using magnesium alloy. In 2013, we succeeded in producing magnesium wrought sheet with 2% calcium using our Twin Roll Casting System (GTRC). With the assistance of Ashahisannko Co, we acquired the “Noncombustible Material Approval” from the Ministry of Lane, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism (MLIT). In addition the part also passed the Compression Test in 2014 and was adopted for ceiling reformation of gymnasiums in primary and junior high schools in Tokyo.
Application: Porsche AG for World’s First Automotive Magnesium Roof Outer Panel
- Worlds first class A Magnesium outer part in series production. Unique Selling Point (USP)
- First use of Magnesium sheet material in a Automotive outer part
- Optimization of driving dynamics because of weight reduction at the highest point of a car
- Significant weight reduction compared with traditional roofs made of Carbonfibre, Aluminium and Steel
- Reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
- Installing a global process chain for a class A part made of Magnesium wrought alloy AZ31
Product Using Part: Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991 Series)
Function of Part: Car roof outer panel, weight reduction
Alloy Used: MgAl3Zn hp (AZ31)
Process: AmLi Materials Technology CO., LTD for Low Temperature Forging Process and Practical Application of LZ91 Alloy
The ultra-low density (1.45•106g/m3) of LZ91 (Mg-9wt%Li-1wt%Zn) alloy will be the opportunity for structural application, like mobile electronic devices and transportation vehicles.
Under the collaboration among the billet-maker (Amli materials Co.), forging companies (Dragon Tech Co., Green Magnesium Co.) and end users (Hewlett Packard Co., Lenovo Co.), a low temperature forgeable Mg-Li alloy and process was developed successfully.
Product Using Part: Housing of laptop computer
Function of Part: Ultra-light high specific strength and high stiffness
Alloy Used: LZ91 (Mg-9wt%Li-1wt%Zn) plate