Magnesium: A Super Metal for Car Manufacturers

 As it is known, magnesium alloys models were improved by EPFL researchers. Engineers are constantly looking for durable and lightweight materials for cars. Such alloys significantly increase the fuel efficiency of cars without compromising safety. The main goal is to create details with high specific strength (like welded tubes). Simply put, specific strength indicates how much load a detail of a certain weight can withstand. For the production of cars, magnesium alloys will probably be used soon, which will thus lead to a decrease in both weight and fuel consumption, but this will happen if engineers can develop the technology for industrial processing of one of the most widely accessible metal elements on earth. 

Magnesium is one of the most amazing metals known to people. This is an alkali metal that is strong but lightweight, which makes it useful in the manufacture of cars, aircraft, and electronic devices. It is non-magnetic and has a high thermal conductivity. Under normal conditions in air, it is covered with an oxide membrane. When heated above 600 ° C, it burns with the release of a large amount of heat and light. Experts who are familiar with the characteristics of an innovative product say that it will revolutionize the car industry. Frames of bicycles and motorcycles, car platforms, and almost all other metal parts designed to withstand heavy loads will become much lighter, stronger, more durable, and, at the same time, no more expensive than existing analogs. 

According to EPFL researchers, some scientists have managed to incorporate nanostructures into the alloy in the process of the widely used hot rolling technology. This makes it possible to introduce new technology without the re-equipment of production lines. Recently, moving in this direction, researchers have created a new low-cost alloy based on magnesium, calcium, and aluminum, which can become an alternative for lightweight and high-temperature elements in cars.  

New technologies allow scientists and engineers to predict and even diagnose the advantages and disadvantages of newly created alloys, which can accelerate the pace of development of these projects and innovations. A physical analysis method called X-ray fluorescence (XRF) directly identifies almost all chemical elements in powdered, liquid, and solid materials. This analysis is fast, safe, and non-destructive to the environment. It has high reproducibility of results and data accuracy. This method is universal as it is based on quick and easy sample preparation. The method was widely used in the car industry and research. This analysis method has great potential, is useful in very complex analysis of various environmental objects, as well as in the quality control of manufactured products and the analysis of finished products and raw materials. 

The modern industry makes ever-increasing demands on materials with regard to their strength, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. The use of magnesium alloys is one of the most promising areas; therefore, research related to the search for new properties of magnesium and the possibilities of its application don’t stop. Currently, the use of magnesium-based alloys in the creation of a variety of car parts allows achieving a reduction in their weight by almost 30% and increasing the tensile strength to 300 MPa, but, according to scientists, this is far from the limit for this unique metal. 


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