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Metal Casting Technologies : March 2008
www.metals.rala.com.au 36 TECHNOLOGY FEATURE The Light Metals Flagship team has developed the technology to pilot plant scale, capable of producing demonstration castings of up to 4 kilograms (kg) in weight. The partnership will develop a larger casting machine, capable of producing commercial castings of up to 15 kg in weight. Member of the project team, Richard Colebatch from T- MagTM explained, "We're currently in middle of building a large machine...which will commence casting towards the end of April the first samples that can be sent off for testing." Colebatch told MCT magazine that the company has a licence from the CSIRO to utilise this technology which will provide a significantly higher yield rate than current methods of gravity casting magnesium. "Alloy Technologies wanted to gain an edge in the marketplace and by being first adopters of this technology we are hoping to get that edge," said Colebatch. "It's not going to be a quick road to success, but we believe that magnesium is the way of the future for producing lighter vehicles." According to the CSIRO, the T-MagTM process is high-yield (yields are typically 95 per cent), uses much less alloy than existing casting processes, and offers significant savings in recycling and energy consumption. SEEKING INDUSTRY PARTNERS Just released, information from the CSIRO provides results of a revolutionary heat treatment process for high pressure die casting (HPDC) of aluminium. The CSIRO-led Light Metals Flagship is now seeking partners for a published case study. "Following our success with evaluations conducted on HPDC parts up to more than 30kg, we would like to hear from OEM or Tier 1 suppliers who would be interested in submitting a component for heat treatment, and jointly publishing the results as a case study," said metallurgist Dr Roger Lumley of the Light Metals Flagship. Car components with doubled mechanical strength, higher fatigue resistance and improved energy absorption are some of the results possible with the use of this new process. "Components treated with the new process do not show Image shows the low pressure die casting process used by New Castalloy to produce aluminium wheels.