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Understanding Magnesium Alloy Casting

14 February 2020

Manufacturing industries have been performing metal casting to process metal parts and products. Casting utilises the use of a machine that can pour hot liquid metal into a mould or a container. This mould usually has a modified shape so that the metal liquid can take its form and shape. Both the liquid metal and the mould are cooled first before extracting the final metal product or the casting.

Characteristics of Magnesium Alloy

One of the alloys that can be used in casting is magnesium. Magnesium alloys are comprised of magnesium and other metals such as aluminium, zinc, manganese, silicon, copper, zirconium, and others. The hexagonal lattice structure of magnesium alloys hugely affects their fundamental properties. This specific structure gives magnesium alloys a complicated plastic deformation, making these alloys suitable to be converted as cast alloys.

Casting magnesium alloys are maximised in different industries. One of the industries that benefit the most with magnesium alloy casting is the automobile industry. High-performance vehicles often use cast magnesium alloys on their parts.

Casting with Magnesium Alloy

Magnesium alloys that are used in casting are mostly precipitation-hardened. Three methods of casting are usually used for magnesium alloy.

  • Sand casting:One of the most popular types of casting is sand casting. It allows manufacturers to produce products at a very low cast. A special technique is required when sand casting magnesium alloy in green-sand moulds because the magnesium element reacts negatively with moisture in the sand. To avoid any reaction with the sand, inhibitors like sulphur, boric acid, and others are mixed with the damp sand. Moreover, the gas bubbles are forced out of the casting by adding an extra high column of molten metal.
  • Permanent mould casting:Reusable moulds or permanent moulds are frequently used when performing permanent mould casting. Since filling the mould is significant in this metal casting process, some elements like gravity, grass pressure, or vacuum are used. In making magnesium alloy casting, manufacturers would adopt aluminium moulds since the solidification shrinkage of aluminium is somehow similar to that of magnesium.
  • Die casting: Die casting is a process that forces molten metal under high pressure into mould cavities. This type of casting process is recommended for producing small to medium-sized parts. With magnesium alloys, a pressure cold-chamber can be used in die casting. The rapid solidification of the fluid metal due to its contact with the cold die normally results in the casting of dense structure. The dimensional accuracy and consistency of these castings are extraordinary.

Advantages of Magnesium Alloy Casting

The properties of magnesium alloy make it suitable for many types of products. This type of alloy has great stiffness and strength-to-weight ratios. It also has outstanding electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference shielding properties that are useful in interfering signals in rooms.

To date, magnesium alloy is way more cost-effective than other materials. It also has high electrical and thermal conductivity. For industrial use, materials made out of magnesium alloy can withstand high operating temperatures and can hold good surface finishes. Another great advantage of magnesium alloy is that they are fully recyclable. Meaning, used products out of magnesium alloy can be processed again for another product.

Magnesium alloy casting is truly beneficial for industries, most especially with car components. If you are looking for a magnesium alloy casting supplier, you are free to contact us at C.H. Tooling and Engineering. We specialise in the casting of magnesium and even aluminium components for race cars, motorcycles, and even aircraft.

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