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5 Major Magnesium Alloy Component Myths Debunked

Updated: May 27, 2021

5 Major Magnesium Alloy Component Myths Debunked

Myth #1: Magnesium is Too Expensive

The magnesium engineered materials are priced by the Kilogram and purchased. Their material content in engineered part designs is based on the volumes used in the part. Magnesium becomes cost-competitive due to its low density, excellent strength, stiffness, and energy absorption characteristics when reasonable material cost estimates are based on comparisons of "equal volume" of any structural metal, Mag has the highest strength-to-weight ratio.

Thinwall of Magnesium Die Casting

Magnesium usually allows housing walls to be cast to 0.08 in. (2 mm), cast as thin as 0.03 in. (mm 0.76) with some walls. Compared to reinforced plastics, higher stiffness, lower component weights, and material costs are the effects.

Automated hot-chamber die-casting technology, used exclusively by Exclusive Magnesium, offers quicker cycle times (30 percent higher than the production of aluminum), plus 2x longer die life, which leads to significantly higher saving for components with higher volumes.

Myth #2: Magnesium Catches fire immediately

The high safety precautions in foundries with trained personnel are one thing, but what about the use of magnesium components in practice? The all-clear can also be given here, as the high hazard potential relates mainly to magnesium alloy products with pure magnesium in the form of powder or ribbons used for photographic and pyrotechnic purposes as well as high school chemistry experiments. It is therefore true that finely divided magnesium is highly combustive, but solid magnesium parts will not burn until heated above the melting point. Therefore magnesium alloys are widely used in jet engines, in the structures of military and civilian helicopters, and hundreds of auto components

Myth #3: Magnesium Corrodes Too Easily

The corrosive effects of flux contamination is restricted almost entirely with the new hot-chamber Magnesium die casting processing. New high-purity Magnesium alloys have much higher levels of corrosion resistance as cast for Magnesium components, with many components widely used without any kind of protective coating.

A variety of inexpensive chemical treatments widely used for magnesium parts can improve resistance to atmospheric corrosion.

As in the case of a product made of mild steel, standard caveats will naturally be followed when magnesium components are used in the assembly of parts.

Myth #4: Magnesium is Difficult to Machine and Finish

Magnesium has established a long record of being the simplest metal to be machined. It needs less power than other materials, resulting in quicker speeds, heavier cuts, better finishing of the surface, and longer tool life.

Also, in the hot-chamber die casting process, the use of "fluxless melting" of Mg alloy produces castings with superior soundness and smoother as-cast surface finishes, resulting in less machining and finishing required.

Complex features can often be die-cast to net-shape specifications, eliminating all post-casting machining. When especially tight specs require further machining, hot chamber dies cast Mg parts can be machined at less cost than can any other metal.

Machining Magnesium parts requires no special equipment, only adherence to accepted good housekeeping machining department practices. And Mg castings are highly receptive to a wide variety of coatings.

Myth #5: Yield rates of Magnesium are only 50%

It is often believed that the yield rate for products manufactured from Magnesium is low. The yield rate is the success rate of producing a “good” product that is consumable. Which indicates that, certain people believe that the number of magnesium products that are consumable for every 100 units manufactured is very low. However, the technology used for manufacturing the goods ensures that the yield rate and efficiency for magnesium products is high.

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