BAOSTEEL Australia

Project ID: BA14027

Project Title: Next Generation Magnesium alloy Extrusions: Realising new property space

  • Prof Nick Birbilis, Monash University
  • Prof Chris Davies, Monash University
  • Prof Jian-Feng Nie, Monash University
  • Dr Xiaobo Chen, Monash University
  • Dr Shiwei Xu, Baosteel Research Intitute

Demand for lightweight structural metals has accelerated rapidly this decade, along with the expectation that new materials can be designed in shorter timeframes to match the mass-market pull. Cost and property comparisons with steel and aluminium have delayed the market penetration of magnesium alloys to date. Modern applications have also highlighted deficiencies in the ‘property space’ of magnesium alloys, restricting their use and exploitation. However, it is possible to modify and expand the property space of magnesium alloys without decreasing valuable properties, allowing the lower density of magnesium to be exploited for lighter and ‘greener’ applications.

Extruded products represent an important portion of the magnesium market. This project addresses the problem by producing magnesium extrusions targeting two specific property space gaps: (i) alloys with moderate strength and high ductility; and (ii) alloys with appreciable strength and practical ductility. Such properties, when balanced with fatigue and heat resistance, corrosion performance and cost, represent the greatest potential for meeting the needs of the hungry lightweight structural metals market. Fundamental physical metallurgy dictating the microstructure-property relationship will be pursued for specific alloys that offer high strength, moderate ductility, and a medium to high speed extrusion rate for a low cost.