magnesium alloys may emerge from a joint research and development program
between Thixomat Technologies of Ann Arbor, MI, and Dead Sea Magnesium of
The goal of
the program is to develop alloys with improved performance and processability
for use in aircraft, aerospace, military, biomedical and sporting goods
"This is an
exciting venture that will expand the limits of magnesium alloys, delivering a
new range of materials with more robust properties and improved processability;
all at a competitive cost point," says Stephen LeBeau, a metallurgist who is
the president of Thixomat.
Thixomat was formed more than 20 years ago to
commercialize a liquid magnesium molding technology called Thixomolding developed
by Dow Chemical. More than 400 machines were sold using the technology, mostly
patents on the technology expired, Thixomat has looked for new revenue sources.
One venture is called nanoMAG, which has developed high-strength lightweight
material has the strength of steel, but at only one-fourth the weight," says
LeBeau. The technology was developed at the University of Michigan.
The goal of
the new joint venture with Dead Sea Magnesium is to develop proprietary alloys
that can leverage the processing potential of the nanoMAG and Thixomolding
million project has received financial support from the Israeli-US Binational
Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.
project was announced at Medical Design and Manufacturing West, held this week
in Anaheim, CA.