Progress Toward a Magnesium-Intensive Engine: The USAMP Magnesium Powertrain Cast Components Project 2004-01-0654
The US Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) and the US Department of Energy launched the Magnesium Powertrain Cast Components Project in 2001 to determine the feasibility and desirability of producing a magnesium-intensive engine; a V6 engine with a magnesium block, bedplate, oil pan, and front cover. In 2003 the Project reached mid-point and accomplished a successful Decision Gate Review for entry into the second half (Phase II) of the Project. Three tasks, comprising Phase I were completed: (1) evaluation of the most promising low-cost, creep-resistant magnesium alloys, (2) design of the engine components using the properties of the optimized alloys and creation of cost model to assess the cost/benefit of the magnesium-intensive engine, and (3) identification and prioritization of scientific research areas deemed by the project team to be critical for the use of magnesium in powertrain applications. Phase II of the Project also comprises three goals: (4) casting and dynamometer-testing of the magnesium components in assembled powertrains, (5) developing a powertrain magnesium alloy design database and common alloy specification for magnesium powertrain alloys, and (6) promoting the strengthening of the scientific infrastructure for magnesium in North America to enable even more advanced powertrain applications in the future.