1993-03-01

Design Considerations for Magnesium Components 930416

The conversion of a structural or non structural component to a different material such as magnesium, involves proper knowledge of the operating conditions, material properties, as well as the manufacturing processes.
The present paper addresses some design aspects related to components produced using the high pressure die casting process. Simply converting from an aluminum die casting alloy to a magnesium alloy using an existing tool may appear very attractive to designers in the first place due to the apparent cost savings and short transition time involved. Although one can not generalize that this procedure is common practice, it is being employed. However, the final product may not represent an optimized design considering weight reduction and structural performance requirements.
When directly converting a component to a new material, some design specifications and operating conditions may inadvertently be overlooked. When considering magnesium as a replacement material, its specific behaviour and the operating conditions have to be evaluated.
These parameters will include structural loads, vibrations, corrosion, temperature variations and manufacturing processes.
A typical case study was performed using general purpose FEA software in order to demonstrate this situation, and as a result proposes a step by step procedure to assist the designers in determining which design criteria should rule the process of selecting an appropriate magnesium alloy for structural applications.

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