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Magnesium News 2017, March
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March 2017

Japan - Magnesium Newsletter (December)

The Japan Magnesium Association
http://magnesium.or.jp/

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Mitsubishi Shindoh Co., Ltd jointly developed magnesium-bearing copper alloy.

(Source: The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, 23th December 2016)

In conjunction with Mitsubishi Shindoh Co., Ltd, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation developed “MSP8” magnesium-bearing copper alloy used for large current automotive terminals and bus bars (Connecting conductor).
Making full use of accumulated technology of both alloying copper with molten magnesium and work-hardening, Mitsubishi Materials successfully accomplished to coexist both high-voltage-and-large-current-resistant conductivity and stress resistance (reduced susceptibility to springs collapsing) at high temperature.

As eco-car such as hybrid car and electrical vehicle were becoming popular, it is intended to capture
rising demand for automotive electric devices requiring conductivity mentioned above.  MSP8 has
high electric conductivity i.e. roughly 80% that of pure copper, which reduces susceptibility to
springs collapsing so-called “stress relaxation” at high temperature and enhances reliability to
maintain the strong connecting strength between male and female terminals while conductive parts
transmitted electric signals.  At the same time, it also realizes high precision dimension required to
conductive parts by offering superior press formability and material strength.

Toshiba, Panasonic and Fujitsu Laptop releases update

Toshiba – Released mobile “Dynabook V82” after long absence, equipping technology beyond common technology after branch shrine.

(Source: The Nikkei, 6th January 2017)

Toshiba released “V series” the highest-end model after a long absence, 2 in 1 type mobile laptop consisted of keyboard and LCD display, which is able to turn 360 degrees, like tablet.  The greatest feature is high level battery performance.  17 hours are available by one time full charge. And faster charge is available, for example it is possible to work for 3.5 hours and 11 hours by 15 min and 60 min charge respectively.

While component mounted area is 14%, smaller than that of “Dynabook KIRA” series released in 2014, an improved housing design enabled to make inner main parts guard against loads from outside.  This is the compilation of techniques Toshiba has been developed internally for 31 years.  Housing material is magnesium alloy and an improved surface treatment, which avoids hand-fat on surface to look outstanding.

Panasonic - world lightest high performance 12 inch tablet PC at 3:2 aspect ratio.

(Source: MyNavi News, 12th January 2017)

On January12th, Panasonic released a world lightest 12 inch detachable tablet type “Let’s note XZ6” laptop for 2017 spring model.  Expected February 17th on sale.  Pricing is open and expected approximately 250,000 yen.  It is 12 inch detachable tablet type mobile PC combined with separate keyboard base.  Tablet’s weight is roughly 550g and whole weight is approximately only 1kg even keyboard attached condition, which achieved the world lightest among Core-i-processer mounted detachable ones.  Main body is used magnesium alloy.

While former 12.1 inch Let’s note SZ6 series adopted plastic front chassis, 0.45 mm thickness magnesium alloy is adopted to enhance strength. Strength is secured by 0.4 mm thickness magnesium alloy upper cover and both highly stiff housing and touch-panel with pinched by both 3-layers-structure pinched low strength board and LCD parts.

13.3 inch 777 g. the world lightest mobile PC from Fujitsu “Lifebook UH”.

(Source: MyNavi News, 17th January 2017)

On January 17th, Fujitsu released 13.3 inch light weight mobile PC “Lifebook UH”series 2017 spring model.  Planned February 16th on sale.  Two models i.e. “UH90/B1” with 256GB storage and ”UH75/B1” with 128GB storage, are lined up which enabled world lightest 777g.  Open price and expected 190,000 yen in store.
This is brand-new model after 2 years absence on UH series since “Lifebook UH55/T” released in January 2015.  Focusing on weight saving, weight was improved down to 777 g (UH75/B1) which means roughly half of previous UH55/T (1.5 kg) through slimmed LCD display parts and structure optimization of battery space.

Material is magnesium alloy.  Both keyboard and bottom cover are produced by magnesium thin wall casting.  UH75 top cover adopted lightweight and rugged magnesium-lithium alloy.

Hitachi Maxell, Ltd – brightly luminous LED lantern generated only by water and salt.

(Source: MyNavi News, 11th January 2017, The Nikkei, 19th January 2017)

On January 11th, Hitachi Maxell, Ltd released LED lantern “Mizusion” generated by water and salt.  January 25th on sale.  Pricing is open.

Magnesium alloy power-bar, air and salt water perform each role as cathode, anode and electrolyte respectively.  Firstly putting salt into the box and then just pouring water are required to start generating to lighten.  Gained illuminance is 2,000 lux and 10 lux at 0 meter and 1 meter away respectively. Approximately 80 hours continues to work and is usable repeatedly by replacing to new power-bar.

Approximately 10 years storage is guaranteed, which is useful in case of unexpected disaster and blackout emergency.   Portable size enables easy carrying for outdoor activity.   The size is 95mm W × 95 mm D × 215mm H and weighs 350g.

Three Steel giants and Osaka University developed Linear Friction Welding(LFW) technology for Medium-High Carbon Steel

(Source: The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, 30th January 2017)

Three Steel giants including Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and Dr. Hidetoshi Fujii of Joining and Welding Research Institute, Osaka University established Linear Friction Welding(LFW) technology by hot joining Medium-High Carbon Steel thin plate each other.

The process of reciprocating motion at max 50 times per second and 1-2 mm vibration width after connecting sheets each other in the horizontal direction, enabled joining just in a couple of seconds.  They succeeded 2 mm thin plate to join which performs strength higher than existing welding method.

This is one of the themes at Innovative Structural Materials Association(ISMA) who carries out new material development to save weight of transportation equipment such as automobile in collaboration with industry and university.

The joining time requires just only a couple of seconds, which contributes to save process time significantly.  Since preliminary technology had been established, further practical application will be expected with a scale-up equipment.  It will be able to apply for different metals between such as Steel, Aluminum and Magnesium, eyeing “multi-material” which leads to saving weight by “the right man in the right place” among several metals.

Domestic Magnesium Market - November, 2016

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

Import
Based on Import/Export Statistics of November 2016, magnesium metal import was 4,058.4 tons 47.5% significant increase month-to-month basis (45.9% increase from the same month previous year), magnesium powder 312.4 tons 16.9% decrease month-to-month basis (4.0% decrease), and other products 287.2 tons 52.7% increase (44.3% increase), resulting in grand total of 4,658.0 tons 40.4% significant increase month-to-month basis (40.9% increase).

The metal category consisted of 4 products as follows; (a) 3,474.3 tons of pure magnesium 53.6% significant increase month-to-month basis (54.7% increase), although import from Turkey fell to 0 tons again.  (b) 576.3 tons of die-casting alloys 19.0% increase month-to-month basis (10.2% increase) including 37.8 tons import from Korea for third consecutive months.  (c) 0.5 tons of high purity magnesium (91.2% decrease) after 4 months absence.  (d) 7.3 tons of casting alloy 25.8% increase month-to-month basis (6.9% increase).  

Reflecting the increase of Chinese average price of pure magnesium in November, the average import price of magnesium metal was 216.2 yen per kg, an increase of 15.7 yen per kg or 7.0% on month-to-month basis. 
The price of magnesium alloys remained the same level at 276.8 yen per kg, slight increase of 1.8 yen per kg or 0.6% on month-to-month basis.  The import of low price magnesium alloys from Korea continued since August (219.8 yen per kg in November) while the average price of Chinese magnesium alloys in November was 280.8 yen per kg.  As a whole, it remained stable as well as in October.

As for the total amount of import from January to November 2016, magnesium metal was 27,721.5 tons (5.4% decrease, from the same period of previous year), magnesium powder was 3,571.1 tons (7.6% decrease) and other products were 2,284.4 tons (6.2% increase).  As a result, the grand total amount of import from January to November was 33,577.0 tons, recovered to just 4.9% decrease level comparing to same period previous year.

Export
In November 2016, export of magnesium consisted of 5.2 tons of pure magnesium to Taiwan following small amount export to USA in October.  Magnesium alloys were 79.6 tons entirely exported to USA (107.4% increase from the same period of previous year).  Magnesium powder and granules were 0 tons.  Other products were 12.9 tons (177.7% increase), thus the grand total was 97.7 tons (132.9% increase).

As for the total amount of export from January to November 2016, pure magnesium metal was 8.3 tons (63,646.2% increase), magnesium alloy metal was 470.1 tons (56.4% decrease), magnesium powder was 9.5 tons (13.6% increase) and other products were 42.3 tons (44.8% increase). The grand total was 530.2 tons 52.4% decrease from the same period of previous year.

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