will introduce a new magnesium sheet technology at the Society of Automotive
Engineers Congress in Detroit, MI April 20 to 23. NanoMag is a new
technology for fine-grain high-strength magnesium sheet with nanometer microstructures
for automotive, aerospace and other applications.
makes the sheet by injecting magnesium alloys in a liquid state into a large
cavity in an injection molding machine. The plate is then rolled and heat
treated to achieve its final shape and mechanical properties.
process, developed in conjunction with the Department of Material Science &
Engineering at the University
of Michigan and under the
sponsorship of the National Science Foundation, offers numerous advantages in
material integrity and cost savings over any other product now available," says
Steve LeBeau, Thixomat's CEO. NanoMag is a subsidiary of Thixomat.
The key to
the NanoMag technology is its ability to create fine-grained strengthening of
magnesium alloys at low cost through a process called the Thixomat Thermal Mechanical
Process, or TTMP. The net result is a magnesium sheet with properties similar
to steel and with a comparable strength-to-density ratio as that of steel but
at one quarter the weight.
be used as a base material to the manufacture of fuel cells and electronic
products. LeBeau believes the process also will gain wide acceptance in the
biomedical industry for temporary connecting pins and plates since magnesium
dissolves in the body with no adverse effects.
"We've learned that the density and
strength of NanoMag material is more like human bone than virtually any other
currently popular implant materials," says LeBeau. Because of this, he sees the
possibility of the use of the process for biodegradable implants for hard