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Magnesium News 2017, February
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February 2017

Japan - Magnesium Newsletter (October)

The Japan Magnesium Association

Nikon released large diameter telephoto zoom lens “AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR"

(Source: MyNavi News, 19th Oct 2016)

On October 19th, Nikon Imaging Japan, Inc. released FX-format compatible telephoto zoom lens “AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR.”  In stores on November 11.  The price will be 332,500 yen (Tax not included).

Telephoto zoom covering focal-length range from 70 to 200 mm achieved approximately 110 gram lighter than existing model “AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II.”

Macrw Co., Ltd. developed lightest quad-cane

(Source: Rare Metal News, 24th Oct 2016)

Macrw Co., Ltd. developed lightest quad-cane “Ulkimate”, which was jointly developed with Kiyota & Co., Ltd who was developing and selling assistive products (Minato Ward, Tokyo), as a subsidized program by Kawasaki-Shi. This newly developed cane was launched in December, 2016 and the target is 10,000 pieces annual sales. This product was made of both AZ61 cold-drawn tubes and AZ91D diecast parts processed by proprietary bending and direct-welding technologies. It saved weight and performed high rigidity which endured more than 300 kg weight. 

Length and weight by size are as follows, Size S: 61-75 cm and 362 grams per piece. Size M: 71-85 cm and 375 grams per piece. 

Yamaha Motor won the 51th Oyamada Medal award of the Japan Institute of Light Metals.

(Source: Diecast Shimbun, 30th October, 2016)

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd’s Motorcycle technology won the 51th Oyamada Medal award of the Japan Institute of Light Metals.  Combination between magnesium diecast wheel and world lightest Aluminum fuel tank was evaluated as a pioneer of lightweight technology aiming material replacement. Further application for Automotive would be expected in the future.

The title was “World-one technology development in motorcycle weight saving” by Toru Kitsunai, Tsuyoshi Kubo and Takaharu Suzuki (Yamaha Motor), Housei Asano (UACJ) and Kazuhiro Takahashi (Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation)

New model was named “YZF-R1” which achieved 200 horsepower-max-output and weighed ultralight 200kg.  Approximately 20,000 bikes were sold since 2015, which meant approximately 500 tons of light metal materials were consumed, which expected to extend to another big size models in the future.

Progressed existing diecasting technology realizing both lightweight and cost reduction over CF aluminum diecast frame (2002) and CF magnesium diecast frame (2008), world biggest magnesium diecast wheel succeeded world first mass-production of 17 inch magnesium wheel whose rim-width was more than 6 inch, processed by high vacuum diecasting method. Front and rear wheel set, 0.9 kg lighter than existing aluminum wheel, contributed to improve driving performance. In addition, 3 layers surface treatment achieved higher corrosion resistance.

National Institute for Materials Science, developed rust-preventive coating material for

(Source: Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, 8th November,2016 / Light Metal Bulletin, 11th November, 2016)

Masanobu Naito, group leader of Adhesive Materials Group, Structural Materials Science Field, National Institute for Materials Science, developed rust-preventive coating material for multi-material such as magnesium, steel and aluminum. 

The group succeeded to bond hydrophobic poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) layer on metal surface, which enabled to protect magnesium which was quite easy to corrode and to avoid corrosion even dipped in salt water.  Long term durability test was ongoing and practical use within 3 years was expected for application on Automotive and so on.

PMMA was able to prevent oxidation-reaction on metal surface since it didn’t permeate water through. However PMMA did not completely prevent corrosion due to fine small crevice. Then low molecular dopamine was combined with PMMA. Two hydroxyl groups of dopamine was united with metal, which performed high adhesiveness and avoided expanding rust against further scratch. Commodity plastic PMMA is cost effective and showed high transparency even with 0.5 µm thickness. Since PMMA was also applicable for copper, aluminum and steel besides magnesium, further application to automotive multi-material was expected.

Nissin Electric Co., Ltd added to equip 650 ton cold chamber diecast machine for Automotive parts expansion

(Source: Sokeizai-tsushin, 1st November, 2016)

Nissin electric Co., Ltd added a 650 ton cold chamber diecast machine to expand postprocessless diecast technology focusing Automotive parts which required weight-saving technology R&D, cooperating with some magnesium consortium, which led to decision to add another machine onto existing 500 ton machine being equipped last year.

They were supposed to implement marketing effort to dig more automotive application.

Domestic Magnesium Market - September, 2016

(Source: September issue of Import/Export Statistics (customs clearance basis) of METI. Compiled by The Japan Magnesium Association.)

Based on Import/Export Statistics of September 2016, magnesium metal import was 3,116.2 tons (36.1% increase from the same month previous year), magnesium powder 286.0 tons (30.2% decrease), and other products 64.4 tons (54.4% decrease). The grand total was 3,466.6 tons (22.3% increase).

The metal category consisted of 4 products as follows: a) 2,570.6 tons of pure magnesium (43.3% increase) showing favorable increase; b) 537.9 tons of die-casting alloys (10.8% increase); c) 0.2 tons of high purity magnesium (96.4% decrease); d) 7.5 tons of casting alloy (10.8% increase). 

The average import price of magnesium metal levelled off at 219.1 yen, 0.4 yen/kg or 0.2% decrease on month-to-month basis, while the average import price of pure magnesium recovered in August but fell again in September.  The price of magnesium alloys was 263.7 yen per kg with a stable upward tendency since July, 3.2 yen per kg or 1.2% slight increase on month-to-month basis. The price of magnesium alloys imported from China was 270.0 yen per kg, resulted in 10 yen per kg increased. However, the average was lower due to the magnesium alloys imported from Korea whose average was 92.4 yen per kg with almost 20 tons.

As for the total amount of import from January to September 2016, magnesium metal was 20,911.1 tons (12.0% decrease, from the same period of previous year), magnesium powder was 2,882.6 tons (10.8% decrease) and other products were 1,805.7 tons (14.1% increase). As a result, the grand total amount of import from January to September was 25,599.4 tons, 10.4% decrease comparing to same period previous year.

In September 2016, export of magnesium consisted of 1.0 tons of pure magnesium, 44.8 tons of magnesium alloys (58.8% decrease from the same period of previous year) and 0.2 tons of magnesium powder and granules which entirely headed for Korea (33.3% decrease). Other products were 6.8 tons (769.5% increase), all of which was the export to China.

As for the total amount of export from January to September 2016, pure magnesium metal was 3.1 tons (23,776.2% increase), magnesium alloy metal was 361.4 tons (64.5% decrease), magnesium powder was 5.5 tons (48.9% increase) and other products were 22.4 tons (0.5% increase).

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