GM Pioneers Use of Lightweight Magnesium Sheet Metal - Ford Inside News Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
2b2
Mercury C557
 
2b2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: N NW of Atlantis (Reno)
Posts: 17,852
Blog Entries: 5
GM Pioneers Use of Lightweight Magnesium Sheet Metal

GM Pioneers Use of Lightweight Magnesium Sheet Metal - Media.GM.com
Double-digit fuel economy gains possible with more substitution for steel and aluminum

2012-10-23

DETROIT – General Motors is testing an industry-first thermal-forming process and proprietary corrosion resistance treatment for lightweight magnesium sheet metal that will allow increased use of the high-strength alternative to steel and aluminum.

GM wants to expand its use of low-mass parts on vehicles around the world and will pursue licensing opportunities related to this breakthrough technology. The goal is for suppliers to be able to use the process to provide significant amounts of magnesium sheet that will trim pounds from vehicle mass.

The use of magnesium, which weighs 33 percent less than aluminum, 60 percent less than titanium, and 75 percent less than steel, will help customers save money at the gas pump, as will more efficient conventional engines and electric powertrains.

Until now, automakers have struggled to make reliably strong and non-corroding magnesium sheet metal panels using traditional panel forming methods. GM’s patented process turns up the heat on magnesium to 450 degrees Celsius (842 degrees Fahrenheit), allowing the material to be molded into precise, rigid shapes.

Using this process, GM developed a production-ready magnesium rear deck lid inner panel that withstood 77,000 robotic slams and 250-kilogram impact drops without any issues.

Die-cast magnesium has been used in a variety of parts ranging from steering wheels to engine cradles, but GM is the first to use thermal-formed magnesium sheet metal in structural applications, and it expects magnesium sheet applications to grow with additional materials and process improvements targeted at reducing cost.

“This innovative use of magnesium is just one example of how GM is leveraging breakthrough technologies that will benefit our customers around the globe,” said Jon Lauckner, GM chief technology officer and vice president of Global Research & Development. “Using high-strength lightweight materials such as magnesium and aluminum is one of the most effective ways to improve vehicle fuel economy and driving performance.”

GM R&D recently announced an industry-first welding technology for aluminum, which is expected to enable more use of the metal on future vehicles.

The United States Automotive Materials Partnership estimates that by 2020, 350 pounds of magnesium will replace 500 pounds of steel and 130 pounds of aluminum per vehicle, an overall weight reduction of 15 percent. This weight savings would lead to a fuel savings of 9 percent to 12 percent.

On the production ready rear deck lid inner panel, GM can remove 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight compared to an aluminum deck lid inner panel.

“Every gram of weight reduction matters when it comes to improving fuel economy,” said Greg Warden, GM executive director for global vehicle body engineering. “Being able to replace heavier metals with one of the lightest will help us deliver better fuel economy to customers around the world while also still providing the safety and durability they expect.”

Automakers also have struggled to make magnesium corrosion resistant. GM’s proprietary treatment for thermal-formed magnesium resisted 10 consecutive weeks of 24-hour environmental tests involving salt spray, 100 percent humidity and extreme temperatures.

“Like all of our advanced material vehicle parts, we subjected the magnesium trunk lid to the most severe strength and corrosion tests we know of, and it passed with flying colors,” said Jon Carter, GM R&D metals researcher. “We expect it to perform extremely well even in the harshest environments.”
2b2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 08:18 AM
Ford Kuga
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,645
Re: GM Pioneers Use of Lightweight Magnesium Sheet Metal

Isn't magnesium flamable, and tough to put out once it ignites? Will we be seeing awesome sparks whenever it sideswipes another car?

The early bird gets the worm..but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Logans Run is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
2b2
Mercury C557
 
2b2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: N NW of Atlantis (Reno)
Posts: 17,852
Blog Entries: 5
Re: GM Pioneers Use of Lightweight Magnesium Sheet Metal

^ two things from reading about this elsewhere
- it's a magnesium/aluminum alloy...don't know it's fire potential
- there apparently was a major crash at LeMans in the 50's of a Mercedes racecar with magnesium parts
2b2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Tags
lightweight, magnesium, metal, pioneers, sheet

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Inside News Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome