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Content archived on 2024-04-30

Safe and economic machining of magnesium castings


Objectives and content
Magnesium is the lightest metal to be used in
construction and therefore offers the greatest potential
for weight reduction. For this reason especially the
automotive industry has an upcoming interest in the use
of magnesium alloys in order to reduce the fuel
consumption of vehicles. A changing of the material
spectrum from iron- and aluminium-based materials to
magnesium is therefore strongly supported.
When machining magnesium several difficulties and even
dangers are likely to occur keeping many potential users
from making magnesium the material of their choice:
a low quality of the workpiece surface due to adhesive
effects between tool and workpiece
an insufficient accuracy in geometry and shape due to
high thermal expansion of the workpiece
the danger of chip ignition
safety hazards when using unsuitable cooling
The aim of the proposal is to introduce safe and high
efficient processing of magnesium castings, especially
regarding the machining process using adapted tools,
cooling lubricants and a high speed cutting (HSC) linear
direct driven machining centre with integrated safety
devices. The following advantages can be directly
attributed to the project:
general design rules for magnesium components when
turning the workpiece material from cast iron and
aluminium to magnesium leading to an increased use of
magnesium workpieces. A reduction of fuel consumption of
at least 22,5 million l/year (worth: approx. 17 million
ECU) and a reduction of an equivalent C02-emission in
Europe by of 4.8*108 t especially due to the SF6
replacement in casting is possible.
increase of the machined volume of workpiece material
per tool life of up to factor 50 when machining magnesium
with diamond-coated tools and a reduction of tool costs
per workpiece by factor 25.
adapted cooling lubricants with doubled life-time
leading to a reduction of costs for deposition of up to
2,4 million ECU per year.
the first high speed machine tool with linear direct
drives will be built, that has integrated safety devices
and allows not only high efficient, but also safe
machining of magnesium and related materials.
The consortium comprises CR-FIAT as one of the biggest
European manufacturer of cars, Renault Automation as a
builder of machine tools, two competent manufacturers of
cooling lubricants, Fuchs Lubricantes and elf
mineralolwerke, Plansee Tizit as well known manufacturer
of cemented carbide tools CemeCon as innovative
manufacturer of tool coatings and only European builder
of diamond coating units, Jyskan Metalli as caster being
experienced in processing magnesium, the Institut fur
Fertigungstechnik und Spanende Werkzeugmaschinen,
University of Hannover, (Institute for Production
Engineering and Machine Tools, IFW), which has a strong
reputation in the research area and Natal as SME and
supplier for the automotive industry.
Brite/Euram III Industrial Research (IR) areas covered by
the proposal are 1.1.7.M (development of new and improved
production systems) and 1.1.1.S (adaptation and
application of new technologies to reduce costs
through-put times and energy consumption while increasing
safety and productivity).

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Strada Torino 50

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Total cost
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Participants (7)