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The high-purity magnesium alloys have physical and chemical characteristics that are superior to those of aluminum or zinc alloys. As a result, die casters can produce higher quality products — faster, easier, and for less money than ever before.
Some specific advantages:
Strength — Because its tensile yield strength is equal to that of aluminum alloys, magnesium has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any commonly available material.
Lightweight — Despite its strength, magnesium is the lightest of all structural materials, weighing only two-thirds as much as aluminum and only one-fourth as much as zinc or steel. In high speed moving parts, magnesium’s low density also results in lower inertia and increased system performance.
Extended Die Life — Magnesium’s low affinity for iron and lower heat of fusion results in less thermal fatigue and extended die life. Experience has demonstrated that in some parts, die life may be three to five times longer than that experienced with aluminum. This becomes important when making a price comparison between the tooling cost of aluminum and magnesium.
Castability and Dimensional Stability — Magnesium offers high ductility, excellent dimensional stability, and can be cast to finished tolerances, often with zero draft holes and very thin (1 mm) walls. Since its shrinkage rates are consistent and predictable, and distortion is kept to a minimum, it is possible to achieve near-net-shape manufactured components.
High Thermal Conductivity — Magnesium disperses heat quickly, making it ideal for electronic enclosures, heat sinks and other items where heat must be dissipated from electronic devices.
Damping Capacity — Magnesium has an excellent capacity to absorb energy, greatly reducing noise and vibration. This ability to absorb energy also results in a good combination of high-impact strength and dent resistance.
Higher Production Rates — Magnesium’s low heat content per unit volume yields faster solidification and cooling, resulting in production rates 50-100% higher than similar aluminum die castings.
Machinability — While many magnesium castings require no machining or finishing at all, magnesium is recognized as the easiest of all structural metals to machine, requiring far less time and energy than aluminum.
Finishing — Although many castings require no finishing, a wide variety of finishes are available for decorative or corrosion-resistant purposes. Some of these are: solvent based paints, powder resin coatings, E-coat, electroless nickel plating, chromate coatings, anodization, and phosphate.
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