Magnesium Sheet Technology is 200% Stronger than Conventional Material, Company Says

July 16, 2010

2 Min Read
Magnesium Sheet Technology is 200% Stronger than Conventional Material, Company Says

Strong and tough, the magnesium sheet developed by nanoMag is suited for biomedical applications.

NanoMag (Ann Arbor, MI) has introduced a magnesium sheet technology that it claims is 200% stronger and offers improved toughness compared with conventional magnesium. The material also boasts the strength of carbon steel sheet at a quarter of the weight, according to the company.

Magnesium-alloy sheet has traditionally been cost prohibitive, difficult to process, and limited in its availability, nanoMag says. However, the company's process enables reasonable-cost, low-volume manufacturing, thanks to its isotropic fine-grained strengthening technique.

Dubbed the Thixomolding thermal mechanical process (TTMP) and developed in collaboration with the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), the fabrication method yields ultrafine-grain nanocrystalline magnesium sheet; the nanocrystalline structure is created in situ in a bulk form. Using its Thixomolding technology, the company then produces a sheet bar, which is subsequently subjected to a secondary thermomechanical heat processing step. 

"A key factor is the precise control of the microstructure, which increases the yield strength of the original Thixomolded stock by more than 200% to more than 250 MPa along with 10% elongation," the company states. "The result is an advanced magnesium sheet/plate with a superior strength-to-weight ratio than competitive materials."

Although developed as a result of a contract with the Department of Defense for the creation of a lightweight composite military vehicle armor, the magnesium sheet is optimized for any application requiring a lightweight material. The company has targeted the medical device market as a viable market for the material as well, noting that the sheet could benefit ligament repair by improving fastening systems using magnesium resorbable implants.

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