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Magnesium News 2018, June - Japan (March-April)
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June 2018

Japan - Magnesium Newsletter (March/April)

The Japan Magnesium Association

“The L’Oréal - UNESCO Award For Women in Science - International Rising Talents 2018”, Winner from Japan!

(Source: PR TIMES, March 8, 2018)

The world biggest cosmetics company L’Oréal group (Headquarter in Paris, France) and UNESCO announced the 15 award winners of “the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science - International Rising Talents 2018”, scholarship category which recognizes promising young female scientists.

From Japan, outstanding achievements and eminent potentiality of Dr. Yukiko Ogawa, researcher of National Institute for Materials Science, were rated high.  The awards ceremony was held in Paris on March 21th.  She successfully developed Magnesium shape memory alloy whose shape returns to its original shape even if it is deformed, as well as enabling higher processability and strength than conventional magnesium alloy.  Shape memory characteristic on magnesium is the world’s first discovery, which means this shape memory alloy is absolutely lightest.  Therefore 3 potential applications are widely expected: 1) Environmental friendly Automobile with low mileage by weight saving; 2) Aerospace material which requires lightweight for cost reduction; 3) Medical stent for blood vessel stenosis treatment.

Dr. Ogawa achieved a great feat to get not only “the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science 2017” which L’Oréal Japan promoted but also “International rising award” this time, which is resulting in receiving a high evaluation from inside and outside Japan.

TANIDA Ltd. achieved automation system to make sand-casting mold for magnesium aircraft parts

(Source: Hokkoku Shimbun, March 16, 2018)

TANIDA Ltd. has developed the technology to sand cast complicated shape using light and strong magnesium alloy, collaborating with National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology(AIST) and Industrial Research Institute of Ishikawa (IRII).  Automation technology to make mold for casting is the world’s first ever.  Since the demand for magnesium parts necessary for aircraft’s weight saving is expected to increase, company gears up to proceed to practical use.

Company has been manufacturing aviation parts by high sand-casting technology.  AIST established the process technology to make sand casting mold for cast iron by 3D printer, which IRII introduced to company, through support system of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Company modified AIST technology and applied “fireproofing” treatment on sand mold surface, which avoids burning even when molten magnesium touches.  Developed integrated technology enables manufacturing period shorten to less than half of conventional way, i.e. two and a half months.  Defect rate also improved significantly while it usually reached at 70 to 80 %.  Major companies are taking a great interest in TANIDA’s cast parts such as next generation jet engine parts and so on.  Kouichi Komai, company president said, “The shape of aircraft parts is so complicated that this technology could contribute to manufacture them.”

Fujikura Rubber Ltd. delivered Magnesium Air battery to Sony Life insurance Co., Ltd.

(Source: Rare Metal News, April 1, 2018)

Magnesium Air battery for emergency, accelerates to be deployed for emergency backup for office and local government.  "WattSatt (280Wh capacity)” was released by Fujikura Rubber Ltd. and totally 96 batteries have been installed at both headquarter and branches of Sony Life insurance Co., Ltd. by this month.  Tokyo Tatemono Co., Ltd. also has been installing them for their own building since last year.

Using Oxygen in the air as positive electrode and Magnesium alloy as negative one, Magnesium Air battery is a primary battery starting to generate just by pouring salt water.  Due to no noise while generating, it is useful for calm night.  2 types for disaster rescue are ongoing to develop, large size 1kWh capacity and small compact size for home use 30Wh.  On the other hand, The Furukawa Battery Co., Ltd. is selling well magnesium battery “MgBOX” with 5 days long life, made of paper frame which is easy to dispose and slim size placeable in bookshelf.  Future target will be plug-socket type with high output and large capacity, aiming connectable to personal computer.

Animal Ortho Japan introduced wheelchair for dog “AOJ cart”

(Source: BIGLOBE News, April 1, 2018)

Animal Ortho Japan division of Matsumoto Gishi Seisakusho, who provides prosthesis, orthosis and rehabilitation apparatus, exhibited “AOJ cart” as well as “socks for walk” at “Interpets 2018.”

AOJ cart is a wheelchair for pet with a disease such as chest waist herniated intervertebral disk. 

4 types are provided; 2 wheel type, 4 wheel type, long cart type and cart type for care assist.  Its frame is made by Ultra lightweight magnesium alloy.  Original cap is also available to customize.

According to staff, the more increases who lives together with pet inside house, the more happens breaking-bone accident on slippy flooring.  In order to adjust to the exact individual size, company is preparing apply sheet to fill in.

JAGUAR released new model with 2 litter 4 cylinders engine added on F-TYPE

(Source: YAHOO News, April 12, 2018)

JAGUAR’s sports car “F-TYPE" boasts tremendous popularity among all models, with long nosed and short decked proportion and 575 horsepower performance at highest grade.  2018 new model started order receiving in end of September, 2017 and its lineup is significantly expanded, for instance, as being added 2 litter 4 cylinders indium petrol engine (Maximum output 300 horsepower) which was mounted in compact SUV “E-PACE” as well, with proprietary engineering design and manufacturing.

Dimension is as follows, Overall length 4,480mm, Overall width 1,925mm, Overall height 1,310mm and Wheelbase 2,620mm.  The lighter magnesium construction of the newly developed Performance seats saves over 8kg of weight and provides comfortable foot space.  Vehicle weight is 1,670 kg.

Domestic Magnesium Market - February, 2018

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


Based on Ministry of Finance’s Import/Export Statistics released in February 2018, magnesium metal import fell below 2,000 tons level for two consecutive month to 1,655.7 tons, 11.5% increase on month-to-month basis, showing a slight recovery (24.3% decrease from the same month of previous year).  Magnesium powder was 280.6 tons, 41.6% decrease on month-to-month basis (84.6% increase).  Other products was 162.9 tons, 30.9% increase on month-to-month basis (26.3% decrease).  The grand total was 2,099.3 tons, 4.7% decrease on month-to-month basis (18.0% decrease).  As a result, monthly total import managed to keep 2,000 tons level, which slight upswing of magnesium metal from last month contributed to.

The metal is consisted of 4 categories as follows: a) 1,178.2 tons of pure magnesium, 20.9% increase on month-to-month basis (32.5% decrease) showing recovery even though import from both Turkey and Israel became 0 ton; b) 426.4 tons of die-casting alloys, 9.0% decrease on month-to-month basis (1.3% decrease); c) 4.4 tons of high purity magnesium (188.5% increase) recovered from 0 ton previous month; d) 46.8 tons of casting alloy, 9.0% increase on month-to-month basis (571.6% increase) which UK continued to contribute to.

As for the average import price of magnesium metal in February, pure magnesium fell to 260.2 JPY/kg, 9.1 JPY or 3.4% decrease on month-to-month basis.  Comparing Chinese price in February to January, 8.1 JPY or 3.0% decreased.  Magnesium alloys was 316.6 JPY/kg, 9.8 JPY/kg or 3.2% increase on month-to-month basis.

As for the total amount of import from January to February 2018, magnesium metal in total was 3,141.2 tons (41.2% decrease from same period of previous year), falling down to almost half.  Looking at the breakdown of magnesium metal, pure magnesium metal was 2,152.3 tons (50.3% decrease), high purity magnesium metal was 4.4 tons (75.2 % decrease).  Die-casting alloys was 894.8 tons (8.5% decrease).  Casting alloys was 89.7 tons (433.0% increase). Magnesium powder was 673.1 tons (13.3% increase), other products was 398.8 tons (22.0% decrease).  As a result, the grand total of import from January to February was 4,213.1 tons, 34.6% decrease comparing to same period of previous year.


The magnesium export in February consisted of 3 kg of pure magnesium, 99.7% decrease on month-to-month basis, all shipped to USA, 15.1 tons of magnesium alloys entirely to Taiwan, 41.2% decrease on month-to-month basis (1,410.4% increase), Magnesium powder was 1.3 tons (21.9% increase).  Other products was 7.1 tons, 13.7% increase on month-to-month basis (207.9% increase) including 0.8 tons and 6.0 tons to China and Vietnam respectively.

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