You are on page 1of 19

Columbia International Publishing

American Journal of Materials Science and Technology


(2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30
doi:10.7726/ajmst.2015.1002

Review

Magnesium and Its Alloys in Automotive Applications


A Review
D. Sameer Kumar1*, C. Tara Sasanka1**, K. Ravindra1 , K.N.S. Suman2
Received 18 January 2015; published online 31 January 2015
The author(s) 2015. Published with open access at www.uscip.us

Abstract
Magnesium is very attractive material as it has the combination of good strength, low weight and good
quality. The usage of magnesium and its alloys has considerably increased over the past ten years. In
structural applications, where weight plays a major role, magnesium is a good choice. Its recyclability
property also gives an edge. The use of magnesium and its alloys in automotive components was limited in
the early sixties and seventies but today the awareness on fuel savings and environmental protection through
reduced CO2 emissions makes this material attractive. This paper reviews the benefits due to Mg, its alloy
materials, manufacturing methods and applications in automotive sector. It also summarizes directions for
the development of new magnesium alloys based on properties.
Keywords: Magnesium; Magnesium alloys; Manufacturing methods of Magnesium; Automobile applications

1. Introduction
The name magnesium has originated from the greek word for a district in thessaly called Magnesia.
It was first discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808. And in metallic form by Antoine Bussy in
1831. Davy's first suggestion was magnium, but later it became magnesium (George et al. 2007,
information from http://metals.about.com ).
Magnesium is found to be the 8th most-abundant element in the earth's crust by mass, 9th abundant
element in the universe as a whole. It occupies the 4th position among the elements that contribute
earth mass as a whole followed by iron, oxygen and silicon. It is ranked 3rd most-abundant element
dissolved in seawater (George et al. 2007, Guillen 2008). Magnesium is also needed by the human
body as a mineral.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
*, ** Corresponding e-mail: tarasasankac@gmail.com ; me2meer@gmail.com
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, R.V.R. & J.C. College of Engineering (A) , Guntur , A.P.
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Andhra University College of Engineering (A),
Visakhapatnam, A.P.
12

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

Magnesium (Mg) is an alkaline earth metal having atomic number 12 with oxidation number +2.
The free element (metal) is not found naturally on earth, as it is highly reactive. Magnesium is a
light, strong and silvery-white metal that gives a white brilliant light when exposed to atmosphere.
Magnesium shows great potential as a substitute to conventional materials.One of the fundamental
advantages of magnesium is its density. Magnesium is similar or even better than aluminium and
many commercial steels in terms of strength. Properties of magnesium, aluminum and iron are
tabulated in table1.
Table 1 Properties of Mg, Al and Fe (Mutua et al. 2011, Mustafa 2008)
Property
Atomic number
Atomic weight
Crystal structure
Density at 20C (g/cm3)
Elastic modulus (GPa)
Melting point C
Boiling point C
Poissons ratio
Specific strength (kNm/kg)
Specific stiffness ( MNm/kg)
Coefficient of thermal expansion
20C 100C (106/C)
Tensile strength (MPa)

Magnesium
12
24.32
HCP
1.74
45
650
1105
0.35
35-260
21-29
25.2
240 (for AZ91D)

Aluminium
13
26.98
FCC
2.70
69
660
2520
0.33
7-200
25-38
23.6

Iron
26
58.7
BCC
7.86
207
1536
2862
0.33
30-50
28-30
11.7

320 (for A380)

350

Fig. 1. Comparison of Basic Properties of Mg, Al and Fe (Mustafa 2008)


From Fig.1 It can been seen that the specific stiffness of Al & Fe is higher than Mg in little fractions
but the specific strength of Mg is considerably higher than Al and Fe. Magnesium seems to be
13

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

superior in terms of properties but it is highly reactive. Extraction methods of Mg cost with respect
to other materials and corrosion have also been important concerns restricting the usage of
magnesium globally.
The cost of magnesium has been decreasing below the cost of the aluminium since 2004 as shown
in Fig 2. Magnesium melting cost is 2/3 compared to aluminium, while considering productivity
cost 25% higher casting productivity compared to aluminium pressure die casting, 300- 500%
compared to aluminium permanent mold casting, and 200% compared to polymer injection
molding.

Fig. 2. Comparison graph between Mg and Al Price (Mining Intellegence & Technology 2012)
This metal is now obtained mainly by electrolysis of magnesium salts obtained from brine. But an
understanding of the extraction methods is needed for the safe handling of magnesium. The
primary sources for the production of magnesium are magnesite [ MgCO3 ] , dolomite [
MgCO3*CaCO3 ] , bischofite[ MgCl2 * 6H2O ] , carnallite [ MgCl2 * KCl * 6H2O ] , serpentine [ 3MgO *
2SiO * 2H2O ] , olivine [ (Mg, Fe)2SiO4 ] and sea water [ Mg2+(aq) ].
The commercial production of electrolytic magnesium has begun in Germany in 1886 and is the
only country to produce this way until 1916. The production of magnesium for flares and tracer
bullets is used in the US, Britain, France, Canada and Russia for their military applications. The
worldwide production of magnesium dropped off between the world wars. Germany's production
increased to 20,000 tons by 1938, accounting for 60% of global production and the US started 15
new magnesium production facilities by 1943 a capacity of over 265,000 tons has been produced
(http://metals.about.com/). In 2006, the production reached 726.000 metric tonnes in the world.
Presently China is the leading supplier of magnesium to the world, Fig 3.
The usage of magnesium is shown in Fig 4. Magnesium is considered to be a good choice material in
the areas of defense and aerospace engineering for aircraft and missile components, aircraft engine
mounts, control hinges, fuel tanks, wings. In automotive sector magnesium is used for wheels,
housings, transmission cases, engine blocks, steering wheels and columns, seat frames, electronic
14

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

goods like laptops, televisions, cell phones and in many more areas (http://www.intlmag.org/).
Magnesium can be used as a primary source if the limitations are overcome.

Malaysia
1%

Russia Serbia
<1%
9%

South
korea
<1%

Ukraine
1%
USA
7%
Brazil
2%

Kazahksta
n
2%
Israel
3%

Magnesium Supply

China
74%

Fig. 3. Production supply of Magnesium in the world


Fig 3: Source: "Magnesium Metal: Global Industry Markets & Outlook 2012", Roskill Information Services Ltd.

Magnesium usage
11%

Alloying with
Aluminum

6%

As a Structral Metal
43%

40%

Iron and Steel


Processing
Electrochemical and
for other usage

Fig. 4. Magnesium Usage in different areas


Fig 4: Source: http://americanmagna.com/magnesium-uses/

15

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

2. Alloying of Magnesium
The magnesium-alloy development started in the early days of 1945(Mara 2011). Research has
been conducted on the manufacture of various products by different combination of alloys and its
suitability and association of one element over the other. Magnesium contains hexagonal lattice
structure which resist the plastic deformation hence majority of Mg alloys are casted. Wrought
alloys came into existence in 2003.
Casting methods for magnesium are popular and the appropriate amounts of additives improve the
strength, castability, workability, corrosion resistance and weldability of these alloys in a wellbalanced way (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_alloy). Table 2 lists various alloying
elements that can be added to magnesium to improve the properties as per ASTM standards
(Avedesian and Baker 1999 and Polmear 1994).
ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) names the Magnesium alloys with two letters
defining the elements, with numbers denoting the percentage and an additional digit to indicate
intermediate properties. For example, AZ 91 Mg alloy contain aluminum (Al) and zinc (Zn) in 9%,
1% respectively in total and the rest by pure magnesium. (Avedesian and Baker 1999)
Table 2 An ASTM code for magnesiums alloying elements (Siobhan Fleming 2012).
Letter
A
B
C
D
E
F
H

Alloying Element
Aluminum
Bismuth
Copper
Cadmium
Rare Earths
Iron
Thorium

Letter
L
M
N
P
Q
R
S

Alloying Element
Lithium
Manganese
Nickel
Lead
Silver
Chromium
Silicon

2.1 Alloying of Magnesium with Aluminum


Aluminum improves the corrosion properties of the magnesium alloy and approximate by 1 to 9%
is added. These are called Mg-Al zlloys. The effect of alloying with different amounts of aluminum
on the microstructure of Mg-Al alloys is observed to be the decrease in the grain size and increase
in the micro hardness (Shi et al. 2006, Zheng et al. 2006).
2.2 Alloying of Magnesium Zinc
Zinc in magnesium alloy results in enhancement of tensile properties. Zinc is added up to 1%.
Above 1%, zinc in magnesium causes Hot shortness and decreases the weldability property
(Avedesian and Baker 1999). The micro structural analysis indicates the observed stability of
different phases in Mg-Zn alloys (Palacios et. al 2007). Use of Mg-Zn alloys in medical applications
as bio degradable materials is one of the research areas (Shaoxiang et al. 2010).
16

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

2.3 Alloying of Magnesium Rare Earths


There has been progress in using the rare earth materials in the development of magnesium alloys.
The advantage of these additions is to allow the materials to work at elevated temperatures which
are a fundamental requirement in Automobile engineering. Rare earth additive in the past were La,
Nd, Pr, but now 15 elements from LA to Lu can be individually added as an alloy material. Baikov
Institute of Metallurgy has applied almost all the materials in alloying and found the micro
structural abilities with properties (Rokhlin 1998).
Table 3 The Effects of various alloying elements in Magnesium (http://www.intlmag.org,
Avedesian and Baker 1999, Friedrich and Mordike 2006 and Siobhan 2012)
Alloying Element
Aluminum
Beryllium
Calcium
Cerium
Copper
Nickel
Rare Earth Metals
Silicon
Zinc

Properties
Hardness
Strength
Ductility
Oxidation
Oxidation
Corrosion resistance
Yield strength
Strength
Ductility
Yield and Ultimate Strength
Ductility and Corrosion resistance
High temperature creep
Corrosion resistance
Strength
Corrosion resistance
Corrosion resistance

Effect
Increases
Decreases
Decreases
Decreases
Increases
Decreases
Increases
Decreases
Increases
Decreases
Increases
Increases
Increases

Table 3 summarizes the effects of alloying elements in magnesium. The combination of alloy
elements like Al-Zn , Al-Zn-Mn , Al-Cu, RE-Zr , Zr-Y , Zn-Zr- RE and many more were tried with
magnesium and successfully proven to be of advantage (Tarek 2009 and Luo, Pekguleryuz 1994).
Statistics were showing that AZ series of alloys are the most commonly used and AZ 91 alloys are
popular magnesium alloys with good room temperature strength and ductility (Fig 5). AZ91E
shows good corrosion resistance (Fig 6) and weldabilty among AZ91 series alloys (Avedesian and
Baker 1999, Bruce, Paul 2007, http://mg.tripod.com/ asm_prop.htm). The properties of some
Magnesium alloys are given in Table 4.

17

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

Fig. 5. No of articles with terms AZ91, AZ31

Fig. 6. Corrosion Tests with 10, 20 Days of Exposure (Bruce, Paul 2007)
Magnesium alloys can be categorized into two groups Viz. cast alloys and wrought alloys based on
the process of operations. The tensile and other mechanical properties of the cast alloys are
determined on separately poured test bars conforming to standard ASTM procedures while in
wrought alloys, the mechanical properties of wrought magnesium alloys are determined on
specimens cut from the actual manufactures - extrusions, forgings, or rolled products.

18

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

Table 4 Magnesium alloys and their properties (Sameer, Suman 2014)

S.N
o

Materi
al

Densit
y
(g/cm
3)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

AZ91
AM60
AM50
AZ31
ZE41
EZ33
ZE63
ZC63

1.81
1.79
1.77
1.771
1.84
1.8
1.87
1.87

Therma
l
Conduct
ivity
(W/mK
)

UTS
(Mp
a)

YTS
(Mp
a)

72.7
62
65
96
113
99.5
109
122

230
241
228
260
205
200
295
240

150
131
124
200
140
140
190
125

Fatigu
e
Streng
th
(Mpa)
97
80
75
90
63
40
79
93

Impa
ct
(J)

Hardn
ess
(BHN)

%
Elongati
on in 50
mm

Speci
fic
Heat
(J/gC)

2.7
2.8
2.5
4.3
1.4
0.68
2.3
1.25

63
65
60
49
62
50
75
60

3
13
15
15
3.5
3.1
7
4.5

0.8
1
1.02
1
1
1.04
0.96
1

Coeff .
of
Therma
l
Expansi
on
(m/mC)
26
26
26
26
26
26.4
27
26

The selection of suitable alloy type depends on how the product will be made (cast or wrought), the
strength required, and the conditions of work environment. Some of the cast and wrought
magnesium alloys are given in table 5 and different manufacturing methods of magnesium metal
matrix composites are explained in later section.
Table 5 Magnesium Wrought vs Cast alloys
Wrought Magnesium alloys

Cast Magnesium Alloys

AZ91,AM50,AM60,ZK51,ZK61,ZE41,ZC63,HK

ZK60,M1A,HK31,HM21,ZE41,ZC71,

31,HZ32,QE22,QH21,WE54,WE43,

Elektron 675, AZ31 ,AZ61,AZ80,

Elektron 21, AZ63, AZ81.

3 Processing Methods
A wide variety of processing methods and technologies has been developed for Mg MMCs (Metal
Matrix Composites). Mg MMC is divided into three main groups based on temperature of processing
as shown in Fig 7.
(i) Solid State Processing
(ii) Vapor Processing
(iii) Liquid Processing
Plenty of literature is available on these methods (Jayaraman et al. 2012, Clyne, Withers 1993,
Hartaj et al. 2011) and this section briefly describes the various processes.

19

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

Solid State
processing

Fabrication
process

Vapor
Processing

Powder
Metallurgy
Diifusion
Bonding
Physical vapor
deposition
Squeeze
infiltration

Liquid
processing

Stir Casting

Melt Deposition
Technique

Fig. 7. Classification of Mg-MMC Manufacturing Process


3.1 Solid State Processing :
The two major solid state processes are powder metallurgy (PM) and the diffusion bonding process.
3.1.1

Powder Metallurgy

Magnesium and other reinforcement elements are powdered, mixed, pressed and sintered at a
temperature under controlled atmosphere. It has potential of high volume fraction of reinforcement
but this is a costly process. This technique is not ideal for mass production. A variety of magnesium
matrix composites like Al203/AZ91, SiC/AZ91, TiO2/AZ91, ZrO2/AZ91, SiC/QE22, and B4C/AZ80
have been fabricated through powder metallurgy (Jayaraman et al. 2012).
3.1.2

Diffusion Bonding

Diffusion Bonding is a solid state technique in which the matrix is in the form of foils and
reinforcement as fibres. The fibres are arranged in a particular order and pressed at elevated
temperature such that the finished laminate is multi layered with improved shear strength. A
number of products like flat plates to curved engine plates have been fabricated using this process
but by this process it is difficult to produce large complex parts (Hartaj et al. 2011). Some of the
materials like AZ91/Al7075, AZ31/AA2024 are prepared by this process.
3.2 Vapor Processing
CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition), PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) vapor processing involves the
deposition of thin films by condensation of vaporized desired material on work piece surface.
Vapor deposition is a primary process where the matrix is deposited from the vapor phase on to
20

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

individual reinforcement of ingredients. This process is very slow but there is no mechanical
disturbance at the interface region as it is purely a chemical process (Hartaj et al. 2011). This
method has been widely adapted to Mg-Al-Zn alloys for surface coatings to improve corrosion
resistance (Hartaj et al. 2011, Taski 2012).
3.3 Liquid Processing
The major methods of liquid processing are squeeze casting, stir casting and Disintegrated Melt
Deposition Technique and its schematics are shown in Fig 8 (a,b,c).
3.3.1

Squeeze Casting

The Squeeze casting concepts are developed in 1800 but came into use since 1940. In this Process
the reinforcements are placed in the casting mold and the molten Mg alloy is poured and solidified
under high pressure. This process can also be applicable for high percentage of volume fractions
but slow cooling is required to accommodate the solidification process. Hu explained the principle,
process, controlling parameters of Mg alloys prepared by squeeze casting process. (Hu 1998).
3.3.2

Stir Casting

Stir Casting is a very popular liquid state process for composite fabrications in which the matrix
metal is heated to the liquidus temperature and reinforcement particles are introduced and
distributed into molten matrix phase by mechanical / ultrasonic stirrer to overcome poor
wetability of matrix and reinforcement phase (Anish et al. 2012). The melt is cooled down to room
temperature to the get final solid product. This process bears 30% vol of reinforcement in the
matrix phase. If this process is carried out in a Semi Solid condition then it is called Rheo Casting.
3.3.3

Melt Deposition Technique

This process can be used in two ways either by producing droplet stream by molten bath (Osprey
process) or by continuous feeding of cold metal into a zone of rapid heat injection (Thermal spray
process). The Disintegrated Melt Deposition (DMD) Process is a combination of dispersion and
spray Process. Two jets of gas are passed for the preparation of the final product from the molten
metal. The product thus formed can be sent to hot extrusion for further processing (Po-Chou 2010).

21

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

(a)

(b)

(c)
Fig. 8. Processing of Mg alloys
(a) Squeeze Casting (b) Stir casting (c) DMD Technique

Table 6 provides the summary of Mg-MMC fabrication processes. In addition to the above methods
discussed, Friction Stir Welding (FSW) also shows great significance for the processing of Mg alloys
now (Tomas Kupec 2012). Even though there are different methods of fabrication, the selection of
effective process will have a good impact on micro structure, properties and cost analysis of the
product.

22

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

Table 6 Summary of Mg-MMC fabrication Processes.


Route
Powder
metallurgy

Cost
Medium

Diffused
Bonding

High

Squeeze
Casting

Medium

Stir Casting

Low

Melt
Deposition
Technique

Low/
medium

Application
Used to produce small
objects bolts, pistons,
valves etc.
Used to make sheets,
blades, vane shafts etc.

Comments
high volume fractions of particulate are
possible (better properties) , powders are
expensive ,not for near-net-shape parts.
lower temperatures than hot pressing
but not capable of complex parts ,slow,
expensive fiber damage can occur

Widely
used
in
automotive
industry
like connecting rods.
Basic process for Mg
MMCs,
used
in
Automotive
&
Aerospace Industry
Used
to
produce
structural shapes such
as rods, beams etc

lower porosity ,expensive , molds needed,


large capacity presses needed
Applicable for mass production, low
volume fractions up to 30%
Uniform distribution, high strengths

4 Automotive Applications
Consumers preference for vehicle performance is increasing day by day. Fuel economy and air
pollution are the deciding factors to select the vehicle. In the research aspects these are achieved by
using alternate fuels, power train enhancements, aerodynamic modifications and weight reduction
methodologies. Among these, weight reduction of a vehicle by alternate materials is the simplest
and cost effective solution (Sameer, Suman 2014).
Most of the castings in automotive industry are of steel/cast iron but when they look for alternate
metals, Aluminum is considered the best option with good strength and cost when compared with
magnesium and the usage of aluminum has grown more than 80% in the past 10 years. Most of
aluminum and its alloys are used in car parts like cylinder heads, pistons, radiators, cars body and
wheel rims. It was been reported that one kilogram of aluminum has the capability to eliminate
20kg of CO2 emissions when replaced by a heavier metal, over the lifetime of the vehicle (Musfirah,
Jaharah 2012).
Magnesium is a powerful weight saving option its density is 36% to aluminum, 74% lighter than
zinc and 79% lighter than steel (Aghion 2004). Based on the several studies the weight distribution
in a vehicle is shown in Fig 9. The weight reduction using magnesium when compared with Al/Fe
alloys was shown in Fig 10.

23

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

Body
Weight

5% 2%
10%
28%

Power Train
Component
s
Chasis

27%
28%

Interior

Fig. 9. Vehicle Mass Distribution (Avedesian and Baker 1999, Kevorkijan 2014)

Fig. 10. Vehicle mass Reduction using Mg (Mustafa 2008)


As can be seen from Fig 10, almost all areas of a vehicle replaced by Mg and its alloys contributed a
weight reduction of 20-70%. Material alteration can be done in a vehicle in the three major areas
like body, power train and chassis components. Body is the major contributor of total weight and
also the first choice of structural material. There have been plenty of opportunities for researchers
to use interior, exterior and seat frames made of Mg alloy materials. The power train is also
another important element in a vehicle where the transmission and engine systems are linked to
work together by various mechanical couplings. Creep resistant alloys like rare earth added Mg
alloys have a good potential to work in this area. The chassis components are highly individual and
show diverse characteristics. Wheels are the first replaced materials with Mg (Gaines et al. 1996). A
variety of cast products are available to serve the purpose. The detailed areas of applications in
motor components are given in Table 7 and also in Fig 11.
24

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

Table 7 Magnesium alloys applications in car components (Gaines et al. 1996, Mustafa 2008)
Engine
and
Transmission

Parts Engine Block , Gear Box, Crank Case , Oil Pump Housing , Cylinder Head
Cover, Transfer Case , Covers , Cams, Bed Plate , Engine Cradle , Clutch
and Engine parts
Interior Parts
Steering Wheel Covers , Seat Components , Instrument Panel , Brake and
Clutch Pedal , Air Bag Retainer , Door Inner
Chassis Components
Wheels , Suspension Arms , Engine Cradle , Rear Support , Taligate ,
Bumper , Brake System , Fuel Storage System
Body Components
Cast Components , Radiator Support , Sheet Components , Extruded
Components , Exterior and Interior Components , Seats , Instruments
and Controls
Magnesium was used in racing cars in the early 1920s but Volkswagen Beetle used 20 Kg of
magnesium in 1970. The usage of magnesium in automotive applications is expanding day by day as
structural light weight material. Volkswagen group is leading the other companies like Mercedes
Benz, BMW, Ford and Jaguar. Now around 14Kgs of Mg are using in Audi A4 & A6 models. AM50 &
AM60 alloys are extensively used in interior parts of a car. General Motors (GM) used 26 kg of Mg
alloy in savana & express vans (http://www.magnesium-elektron.com/). AZ91D Mg alloys are
popular and offer 20-25% weight saving over Aluminum in transmission casings.

Fig. 11. Examples of Components made by Magnesium alloys (Mustafa 2008)


From Table 8, AZ91 seems to be a good material for alloy wheels (Cizek et al 2002,
http://iweb.tms.org/Communities/FTAttachments/Mg%20Alloys%20for%20Automotive.pdf). The
same was also proved by MADM methods (Sameer , Suman, 2014). AM 50A & AM60B are more
ductile and used in seats, wheels, instrument panels, cylinder head covers and so on. AS41 used in
crank case and in transmission housings because of better fluidity (Siobhan 2012). ZE41 and AC63
is low pressure die casting alloys used in engine blocks. AZ31B by the extrusion process is widely
25

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

used in the preparations of bumper support beams, valve covers, electric motor frames and oil pans
(Mutua et al. 2011). Fig 12 shows different combinations of alloys with respect to properties that
can be applied in the automotive area.
Table 8 Mg alloy components used by various companies (Cizek et al 2002)
Company
Ford

General
Motors
Daimler-Benz
Alfa-Romeo
Porsche AG

Part
Clutch Housing

Model
Ranger

Alloy
AZ91B

Steering Column

Aerostar

AZ91D

Transfer Case
Valve cover , Air Cleaner ,
Clutch Housing
Clutch pedal, brake pedal,
steering column brackets
Seat frames
Miscellaneous
components
(45Kg)
Wheels (7.44 kg each)

Bronco
Corvette

AZ91D
AZ91HP

Worlds mobile,
Pontiac, Buick
500 SL
GTV

AZ91D

944 Turbo

AZ91D

AM20/50
AZ91B

Fig. 12. Future directions of Magnesium alloy development for automotive applications (Blawert, et
al. 2004, Parviz et al. 2012 and Mordike et al. 2001)
The low creep properties, high corrosion and working at elevated temperature restricted more use
of Mg in automotive applications. Creep phenomenon and the suitability of various Mg alloys is
26

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30

analyzed with respect to power train applications (Mihriban et al. 2012, Blawert, et al. 2004).
Research is being carried out to increase the fatigue resistance of wheels and to improve the
corrosion behavior of various Mg alloys. Teflon coatings are applied to improve the corrosion
resistance (Mustafa 2008). Some work is being done to replace cast products with wrought Mg
Products (Gaines et al. 1996). Steel panels are replaced by magnesium panels (Shin 2011). Kim et. al
discussed recent developments in magnesium alloys, research activities their successful
applications in Hyundai and Kia Motor Corporation(Jae and Han 2008). Research has been started
in developing the magnesium alloys for high temperature applications (Tarek 2009, Luo 1994).
The researchers contribution in the usage of Mg alloy products are significantly increasing with the
well-known fact that lowering car weight by 100 kg makes it possible to save 0.5 liters of petrol per
100 km (Dobrzanski 2007,Andure 20112). In other words for every 10% of weight reduction, fuel
economy increases by 6% for cars, and 8% for light trucks (Mutua et al. 2011). The automakers are
thinking of using 40-100Kg of Mg alloys in a car and the amount of Mg alloys and its usage is going
to increase by 300% in near future to accommodate the weight reduction and to save fuel (Mustafa
2008).

5 Conclusions
This article overview the properties, Processing methods, advantages and limitations of magnesium
alloys along with automotive applications. It has been revealed by the research that the adaption of
Mg alloys as substitution to aluminum and iron alloys has more advantages. The cast magnesium
alloys usage is good enough with excellent properties while research on the use of wrought
magnesium is continuing. Mg-Al-Zn alloys offer both strength and ductility at room temperatures
with greater flexibility in many applications.
Magnesium alloys provides an opportunity to researchers to work in a broad area where there is a
lot of scope to do. With the global awareness on environmental protection, Magnesium alloys usage
in automotive industry has been considerably increased to reduce the CO2 emissions, and weight
reduction of the vehicle thereby increasing the fuel economy. Weight reduction using magnesium in
vehicles is interesting and proven with good results. However plenty of research is further needed
to use cost effective methods on Mg processing, alloys development, improvement of mechanical
and corrosion resistance properties to meet the future goals of reduction of mass and the amount of
greenhouse gasses emitted.

References
Aghion. E., B. Bronfin., H. Friedrich., & Z. Rubinovich. (2004). The Environmental Impact Of New Magnesium
Alloys On The Transportation Industry. Magnesium Technology Edited by Alan A. Luo TMS (The Minerals,
Metals & Materials Society), pp: 167-172.
Andure M.W. (2012). Advance Automobile Material for Light Weight Future A Review . International
Conference on Benchmarks in Engineering Science and Technology, ICBEST 2012 Proceedings published
by International Journal of Computer Applications (IJCA), pp.15-22.
Anish. R., G. Robert Singh., & M. siva pragash. (2012). Techniques for Metal Processing- A Survey.
International conference on modeling, optimization and computing (ICMOC2012), Proceedia
Engineering, 38, 3846-3854.
27

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30
Avedesian. M. M. ., & H. Baker.(1999). Magnesium & Magnesium alloys. ASM International.
Blawert.C., N. Hort ., & K.U. Kainer (2004) . AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS OF MAGNESIUM AND ITS ALLOYS.
Trans. Indian Inst. Met., Vol.57, No. 4, pp. 397-408.
Bruce Gwynne., & Paul Lyon. (2007). Magnesium Alloys in Aerospace Applications, Past Concerns, Current
Solutions. Triennial International Aircraft Fire & Cabin Safety Research Conference, October 29 November 1.
http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/2007conference/files/Materials_Fire_Safety/WedAM/GwynneMagnesium/G
wynneMagnesiumPres.pdf
Cizek. L. et al. (2002) . Mechanical Properties of the model casting magenseium alloy AZ91. 11th international
scientific conference Achievements in Mechanical and materials engineering, AMME, pp 47 50.
http://www.journalamme.org/papers_amme02/1112.pdf
Clyne TW., & Withers PJ. (1993). An introduction to metal matrix composites, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511623080
Dobrzanski. L. A. (2007). Structure and properties of magnesium cast alloys. Journal of Materials Processing
Technology. 192193, 567574.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2007.04.045
Friedrich. H.E., & B.L. Mordike. (2006) . Magnesium Technology metallurgy, design data and application.
Springer-verlag, Berlin Heidelberg.
Gaines. L., R. Cuenca., F. Stodolsky., & S. Wu. (1996). Potential Automotive Uses of Wrought Magnesium Alloys.
Automotive Technology Development Conference, October 28 - November 1.
http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/101.pdf
George J. Simandl., Hagen Schultes., Jana Simandl., & Suzanne Paradis. (2007) . Magnesium - Raw Materials,
Metal Extraction and Economics - Global Picture . Proceedings of the Ninth Biennial SGA Meeting, Dublin,
pp: 827-830.
Guillen Abasolo D. (2008) . Magnesium The Weight Saving Option . Report in Student Papers from FISITA
2008.
http://www.fisita.com/students/congress/sc08papers/f2008sc031.pdf
Hartaj Singh., Sarabjit, Nrip Jit., & Anand K Tyagi. (2011). An Overview Of Metal Matrix Composite: Processing
And Sic Based Mechanical Properties, Journal of Engineering Research and Studies, Vol. II, Issue IV,
October-December, pp.72-78.
Hu. H. (1998) . Squeeze casting of magnesium alloys and their composites. Journal of Materials Science ,
Volume 33, Issue 6 , pp. 1579-1589
http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1017567821209
Hyun-Woo Shin. (2012). A feasibility study to replace steel made hood panels by magnesium alloy made hood
panels . International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing , Volume 13, Issue 11, pp.20112016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12541-012-0265-2
Jae Joong Kim., & Do Suck Han. (2008) . Recent Development and Applications of Magnesium Alloys in the
Hyundai and Kia Motors Corporation. Materials Transactions, Vol. 49, No. 5, pp. 894 -897.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2320/matertrans.MC200731
Jayaraman Jayakumar., & B. K. Raghunath., & T. H. Rao. (2012) . Recent Development and Challenges in
Synthesis of Magnesium Matrix Nano Composites- A Review. International Journal of Latest Research in
Science and Technology, Vol.1, Issue 2, pp.164-171 .
Kevorkijan. V. . (2005). Economic Benefits of the substitution of traditional Cast Iron and Steel by Aluminium
and Magnesium Based materials in automotive segment . Metalurgija Journal of Metallurgy, Yugoslav
Association of Metallurgical Engineers, MJoM, pp. 251-258.
Luo. A, & M. O. Pekguleryuz . (1994). Cast magnesium alloys for elevated temperature applications. Journal of
Materials Science, Volume 29, Issue 20, pp. 5259-5271.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01171534
28

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30
Manoj Gupta., & Nai Mui Ling Sharon. (2011). Magnesium, Magnesium Alloys, and Magnesium Composites .
John Wiley & Sons .
Mara Josefa Freira Gndara . (2011) . Recent growing demand for magnesium in the automotive industry.
Materials and technology, 45 (6), 633637.
Mihriban. O. Pekguleryuz ., & A. Arslan Kaya. (2004). Creep Resistant Magnesium Alloys for Powertrain
Applications . Proceedings of the 6th International Conference Magnesium Alloys and Their Applications,
Weinheim, pp. 74-93
http://personnel.mcgill.ca/files/mihriban.pekguleryuz/kayaadv.pdf
Mordike. B.L. ., & T. Ebert. (2001). Magnesium : Properties applications potential. Materials Science and
Engineering, A302, 3745.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0921-5093(00)01351-4
Musfirah A.H., & Jaharah A.G. (2012). Magnesium and Aluminum Alloys in Automotive Industry. Journal of
Applied Sciences Research, 8(9), 4865-4875.
Mustafa Kemal Kulekci . (2008) . Magnesium and its alloys applications in automotive industry. Int J Adv
Manuf Technol , 39: 851865
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00170-007-1279-2
Mutua James ., J. M. Kihiu ., G. O. Rading ., & J. K. Kimotho . (2011) . Use of magnesium alloys in optimizing the
weight of automobile: Current trends and opportunities, Sustainable Research and Innovation
Proceedings, Vol 3, Article 49.;
http://elearning.jkuat.ac.ke/journals/ojs/index.php/sri/article/view/49
Palacios Lazcano. et al., (2007). Micro structural study of Mg-Zn alloys prepared by mechanical alloying.
Revista Mexicana De fisica, Vol 53, No 5, pp. 72-77.
Parviz Asadi. , Kamel Kazemi-Choobi ., & Amin Elhami. (2012). Welding of Magnesium Alloys, New Features
on Magnesium Alloys. Dr. Waldemar A. Monteiro (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0668-5, InTech, DOI:
10.5772/47849.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/47849
Po-Chou Lin., Song-Jeng Huang., & Pin-Sen Hong. (2010). Formation Of Magnesium Metal Matrix Composites
Al2o3p/Az91d and their Mechanical Properties after Heat Treatment. Acta Metallurgica Slovaca, Vol. 16,
No.4, pp. 237-245.
Polmear. I. J. (1994) . Magnesium Alloys and Applications. Materials Science and Technology, vol.10, pp. 1-16.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/mst.1994.10.1.1
Rokhlin. L. L. . (1998). Advanced Magnesium Alloys with Rare-Earth Metal Additions . Advanced Light Alloys
and Composites , Volume 59, pp. 443-448
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-9068-6_58
Sameer Kumar. D. , & K.N.S. Suman . (2014) . Selection of Magnesium Alloy by MADM Methods for Automobile
Wheels . International Journal of Engineering and Manufacturing, vol 4 , 2, 31-41 . DOI:
10.5815/ijem.2014.02.03 .
http://dx.doi.org/10.5815/ijem.2014.02.03
Shaoxiang Zhang. et al.., (2010). Research on an MgZn alloy as a degradable biomaterial. Acta Biomaterialia ,
Volume 6, Issue 2, Pp. 626640.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2009.06.028
Shi Z,. G Song,. & A Atrens. (2006) . Corrosion resistance of anodized single-phase Mg alloy. Surface & Coatings
Technology, 201, 492503.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2005.11.081
Siobhan Fleming. (2012) . An Overview of Magnesium based Alloys for Aerospace and Automotive
Applications, A Project Report in M.E (Mechanical Engineering), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Hartford, CT.
http://www.ewp.rpi.edu/hartford/~ernesto/SPR/Fleming-FinalReport.pdf
Taski. T. . (2012) . Surface layers on the Mg-Al-Zn alloys coated using the CVD and PVD methods . Journal of
Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering (JAMME), Vol 53, Issue 2, pp: 89-96.
29

D.Sameer Kumar, C.Tarasasanka, K.Ravindra, and K.N.S.Suman /


American Journal of Materials Science and Technology (2015) Vol. 4 No. 1 pp. 12-30
Tarek Abu Leil. (2009). Development of New Magnesium Alloys for High Temperature Applications. Doctoral
Thesis approved by the Faculty of Natural and Materials Sciences, Clausthal University of Technology.
http://www.gbv.de/dms/clausthal/E_DISS/2010/db109602.pdf
Zheng Wei-chao., LI Shuang-shou., TANG Bin., & ZENG Da-ben. (2006) . Microstructure and properties of MgAl binary alloys . China Foundry, Vol.3, No.4, 270-274.
http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/Mining/Geoscience/IndustrialMinerals/Documents/Magnesium.pdf

Information from Web:


Information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_alloy
Information from http://www.intlmag.org/
Information from http://metals.about.com/od/properties/a/Metal-Profile-Magnesium.htm
Information from http://www.keytometals.com/page.aspx?ID=CheckArticle&site=ktn&NM=246
Information from http://www.magnesium-elektron.com/markets-applications.asp?ID=7
Information from http://mg.tripod.com/asm_prop.htm
Information from http://iweb.tms.org/Communities/FTAttachments/Mg%20Alloys%20for%20
Automotive.pdf

30