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 CAST Magnesium Research

Below is the list of current research activities being conducted on magnesium-related topics by the CRC for Alloy and Solidification Technology (CAST). Click on the project of interest to find out more details. Hopefully, we will be able to supply more details of the projects as they come to hand.


Project 930104
The effect of casting parameters on the development of microstructure and mechanical properties of high pressure die cast magnesium

Project Leader: Morris Murray
Project Team: Winston Sequeira, Morris Murray, Gordon Dunlop

Objectives

To determine the relationship between casting parameters, microstructure development and mechanical properties of AZ91.

Expected Benefits


Project 930406
Enhanced corrosion resistant magnesium alloys

Project Leader: Andrej Atrens
Project Team: Guang-Ling Song, Jason Nairn, David St. John

Objectives

To develop a magnesium alloy with enhanced corrosion resistance.

Expected Benefits


Project 930408
Development of microstructures in as-cast and heat treated magnesium alloy AZ91

Project Leader: Peter Humble
Project Team: Stephen Celotto

Objectives

To provide a deeper understanding of the physical metallurgy and age hardeing response of Mg alloy AZ91.

Expected Benefits

  • An improved microstructural understanding of the alloy AZ91.
  • Development of optimised compositions and heat treatments for AZ91.
  • Assistance in the development of a strategy for further improvement of Mg alloys for automotive applications.

Project 930409
High temperature mechanical properties of magnesium alloys

Project Leader: Gordon Dunlop
Project Team: Matthew Dargusch, Carlos Caceres

Objectives

To determine high temperature creep properties of AZ91 as a function of microstructure and die casting parameters, to establish the role of microstructure in the mechanism of creep for cast AZ91 and to compare creep properties of ZS61, ZSE610 and AZ91.

Expected Benefits

  • Knowledge of microstructural parameters and die casting conditions that affect the creep properties of AZ91.
  • Knowledge of the mechanism of creep for AZ91.
  • Comparitive creep properties for AZ91, ZS61 and ZSE610.

Project 941104
HDC casting of magnesium

Project Leader: Cheryl Richards
Project Team: Stephen Peck, Nigel Ricketts

Objectives

To develop the operational practices required for the commercial production of high purity magnesium and a range of magnesium alloys via the horizontal direct chill casting route.

Expected Benefits

The potential advantages of ingot produced by HDC casting encompasses improvements in the cost of production and product quality. Some specific areas are outlined below:
  • Process Simplicity - low labour requirements, lower cover gas consumption and simple metal distribution to the moulds.
  • Product Quality - no shrinkage pipe, free of dross and consistent ingot mass.
  • Flexibility - ingot mass can be altered within broad limits by alterting sawn length and a simple mould change can be used to alter product shape.

Project 940211
The use of SF6 for protecting molten magnesium

Project Leader: Nigel Ricketts
Project Team: Simon Cashion, Peter Hayes

Objectives

To gain a fundamental understanding of the mechanism by which sulphur hexafluoride gas mixtures protect molten magnesium from oxidation. This involves identification of the surface film produced on molten magnesium by using specialised surface analysis techniques. The composition and physical behaviour of the surface film will be investigated for a range of gas compositions.

Expected Benefits

Once the surface compounds have been identified, this information may be used to predict the behaviour of SF6 cover gas mixtures under a range of operating conditions encountered during primary magnesium production and alloy preparation, including:
  • melting and re-melting of magnesium.
  • turbulent conditions, eg. in ingot casting.
  • the effect of moisture in the cover gas.
  • the presence of halide compounds such as flux and electrolyte.

Project 940213
Semi-solid casting of light alloys using an UBE squeeze casting machine

Project Leader: Zhan Chen
Project Team: Stephen Peck, Cameron Davidson

Objectives

To determine the conditions for semi-solid casting of AA601 and AZ91 using an UBE squeeze casting machine for production of high integrity castings.

Expected Benefits

Potential for production of castings with improved mechanical properties when compared with other casting techniques
Project 940215
Grain refinement of magnesium alloy billets for thixoforming

Project Leader: David St.John
Project Team: Tony Hseu

Objectives

To understand the machanism of grain refinement in magnesium and aluminium alloys.

Expected Benefits

  • Knowledge of the effect of cooling rate on the development of microstructure.
  • Knowledge of the effect of grain refining addition on the development of microstructure.

Project 950216
Solidification and cavity fill of AZ91D in HPDC

Project Leader: Morris Murray
Project Team: Teresa Kittel

Objectives

To gain an understanding of the solidification processes and the way in which molten metal fills the die cavity in the high pressure die casting of magnesium alloys, through microstructural analysis and empirical modelling.

Expected Benefits

Improvements in the quality of high pressure cast magnesium alloy components through improved kowledge of AZ91D specific die casting properties.
Project 951401
CAST Design and Prototyping Service

Project Leader: Brad Cowley
Project Team: Robert D'Alessandro, Morris Murray, Greg Redden, Periklis Christodolou, Tony Riek, Geoff Wakeley, Bruce Lanham

Objectives

Provide a collaborative service to industry for optimising the design of light metal components using the state-of-the-art design techniques, as a means of reducing costs and improving productivity. By using case studies, develop design procedures and manufacturing methods for prototype tools for casting of light metal components.

Expected Benefits

Assisitng industry to exploit market opportunities and achievements as outlined in the Light Metals Industry Development Strategy.
  • Reduced lead time for prototype components and tooling.
  • Application of casting processes to low-volume component manufacture.

Project 960217
Mobile magnesium melter

Project Leader: Brad Cowley
Project Team: Kevin Bousfield, Chris Sherri

Objectives

To provide a mobile magnesium melting and dosing furnace facility, fully supported by engineering and technical services, to enable the die casting industry to fully utilise the facility for prototype, production trials and/or demonstration purposes. The facility will also be used to support research programs and for industry training purposes.

Expected Benefits

  • Availability of the facility is expected to be of economic benefit to the die casting sector. This will eventuate from both an expected customer demand for magnesiumc astings and an increased ability to react to that demand eg. prototyping.
  • An increased industry appreciation of the level of technology and service required for casting of magnesium is anticipated from this project.
  • Support for student and other R&D programs and training for industry technologists is planned within the project.

Project 960218
Comparison of mechanical performance between magnesium sand castings and magnesium pressure die castings

Project Leader: Morris Murray
Project Team: Mark Spataro

Objectives

Evaluate and develop a relationship between the mechanical performance of magnesium sand cast and pressure die cast components. Model the mechanical performance using finite element methods.

Expected Benefits

  • Enhanced value analysis assessment of new components at an earlier stage within the product development cycle.
  • Effective use of sand castings as mechanical prototypes for production components.
  • Design procedures and rules for sand cast prototypes.

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