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AEROMAG — Result In Brief

Project ID: 516152
Funded under: FP6-AEROSPACE
Country: Germany

High-performance magnesium alloys for aircraft parts

Among the main goals of aircraft manufacturers are reduced weight with increased performance. EU-funded researchers investigated the potential of magnesium alloys to achieve industry targets.
High-performance magnesium alloys for aircraft parts
Reduced weight with increased performance leads to lower operating and maintenance costs together with reduced fuel consumption, the latter of which translates to less emissions.

Magnesium is a metal with only 65 % of the density of commonly used aluminium alloys in the aircraft industry. It could be the key to low-weight, cost-efficient aircraft components of the future. However, its mechanical and technical characteristics must be improved.

European researchers set out to develop novel wrought magnesium structures (sheets and extrusions) with enhanced strength thanks to EU-funding of the ‘Aeronautical application of wrought magnesium’ (Aeromag) project.

Investigators developed new magnesium alloys and tested them together with existing ones. They studied forming techniques as well, using simulations and validation tests. Corrosion and flammability were addressed via special surface treatments.

The most promising alloys were selected for further investigations as wrought products (produced by rolling out into sheets). Compression curves and fatigue limits were evaluated for the selected alloys. Deformation behaviour of different alloys produced with different processes was also studied.

Investigators assessed the performance and specifications of numerous surface treatments for minimising corrosion and flammability. Finally, the team investigated several joining techniques to be used in forming aircraft components from the wrought magnesium alloys.

Exploitation of knowledge contributed by the Aeromag team regarding the use of low-weight and cost-effective magnesium alloys for aircraft parts should help reduce aircraft weight, increase operational capacity and decrease operating costs and fuel consumption leading to lower environmental impact.

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