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MAGFORMING — Result In Brief

Project ID: 30852
Funded under: FP6-AEROSPACE
Country: Israel

Magnesium trumps aluminium

A team of aeronautics-focused experts succeeded in manufacturing aluminium-made parts out of magnesium alloys. Project results offer potential for lighter and more environmentally friendly aircraft.
Magnesium trumps aluminium
Research has shown that products currently manufactured by forming processes of aluminium can be produced with upgraded processes of magnesium. Although the automotive industry has achieved many significant advances using wrought magnesium shapes, little attention has been given to the material as applicable to aeronautics.

The 'Development of new magnesium forming technologies for the aeronautics industry' (Magforming) project set out to advance plastic processing technologies for wrought magnesium alloys and demonstrate their industrial feasibility for aeronautical applications. The consortium fabricated seven prototypes, one for each of the technologies or so-called technology demonstrators (TDs).

Project partners chose TDs according to feasibility and potential for meeting aeronautic requirements as well as in terms of economic advantages. TDs were manufactured by forging technology, super plastic forming technology, pad forming technology and deep drawing technology. Semi-finished material was investigated to gain a better understanding of the material prior to the forming processes and to uncover which special parameters facilitate simulation and production processes.

Testing and examination enabled the Magforming team to conclude that forging specific structures from magnesium alloy is indeed feasible: fewer stages and less energy are needed for its manufacture. They also determined that cost can be reduced by cutting down on the number of process steps via the integration of several processes.

The project achieved its main goals with the successful manufacture of structural parts boasting acceptable parameters and reasonable cost considerations.

High-strength magnesium alloy is, in terms of mechanical properties and working environment requirements, equal to certain aluminium alloys, and is thus indicated for use in aircraft parts.

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