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2016 IMA Awards of Excellence

The International Magnesium Association (IMA) recognized advances in magnesium technology, products and processes with the presentation of the 2016 Awards of Excellence during the 73rd Annual World Magnesium Conference held in Rome, Italy in May. The Awards of Excellence competition was open to all companies demonstrating outstanding examples of magnesium's use, as well as magnesium products and manufacturing technologies in three categories: Design, Process, and Application. The IMA Awards of Excellence highlight how the magnesium industry is continually working to improve the manufacturing process and companies that provide innovative and improved products made from lightweight magnesium.

The Design Category includes subcategories for Cast and Wrought Products and the competition seeks unique, novel and creative designs and product developments. The winning entries in this category demonstrate design and engineering that is a significant advance over current practice.


Design - Automotive Cast Product: Georg Fischer Automotive AG for Upper Door Frame

The Award of Excellence in the Design-Cast Product Automotive Category was presented to Georg Fischer GmbH & Co KG in Altenmarkt, Austria for an upper door frame used in the Tesla Model X. The part was made using the magnesium high-pressure die casting process.

"The upper door frame is designed to carry the complete rear door and include many functional feature with a minimum of weight. The casted frame ready for assembly of primary and secondary hinges, actuators and hydraulic cylinder connections is the base for falcon wing doors, the most famous eye-catcher of the new car," noted the company in their entry.


Design - Commercial Cast Product: Chicago White Metal Casting for Keyboard Chassis Casting and Screen Frame Casting

The Award of Excellence in the Design-Cast Product Commercial Category was presented to Chicago White Metal Casting, Inc. in Bensenville, Illinois, United States for screen frame and keyboard chassis parts for a stenotype machine. According to their entry, the keyboard chassis is die cast, die trimmed, CNC machined, and vibratory deburred. The screen frame casting is die cast, die trimmed, CNC machined, Trivalent Chromated (TCP), masked, and wet painted in different colors. These are parts to the Stenograph Luminex, a high-end stenotype writing machine used by stenographers for shorthand court reporting.


Design - Wrought Products: National Engineering Research Center for Magnesium Alloys of Chongqing University, ShanXi YinGuang Magnesium Group Co. Ltd, and Sunlight Metal Consulting (Beijing) Co. Ltd for A novel asymmetric extrusion technology for mass production of magnesium alloy sheet

The National Engineering Research Center for Magnesium Alloys of Chingqing University and ShanXi YinGuang Magnesium Group Co. Ltd also received the Process Category Award of Excellence for their entry, a novel systematic extrusion technology for mass production of magnesium alloy sheets. According to their entry, "the key points of the novel asymmetric extrusion technology include asymmetric design of extrusion mould and asymmetric extrusion temperature. The novel technology makes the extrusion flow field and strain field to be gradient, thus the grains will tilt along extrusion direction and the basal texture is weakened. As a result, the microstructure of sheets becomes more uniform, and both mechanical properties of the AZ31 sheet and their anisotropy improves."


Application: Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, Meridian-Wanfeng Automotive for Magnesium die-cast liftgate inner

The Application Category Award of Excellence was presented to Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States for their magnesium die-cast liftgate inner for which they collaborated with Meridian Lightweight Technologies.

This application represents the first high-volume application (greater than 250,000 annual volume) of its kind in the industry, and accounts for nearly 10% of the overall vehicle weight reduction. The Magnesium casting forms part of a four piece assembly with an Aluminum sheet outer (Upper & Lower) and Aluminum stamping wiper reinforcement to reduce weight of the entire assembly by over 22lbs and nearly 50% from the previous generation. The application entry goes on to state, "The volume of the program requires multiple dies in rotation producing castingsmerging into a single process flow. The single process flow includes surface preparation, dimensional measurements, piercing and machining operations, followed by powder coating."


Process: Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Magnesium Elektron Powders for Selective Laser Melting of Magnesium and Magnesium Alloys

The Process Category Award of Excellence was presented to Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. for Selective Laser Melting of Magnesium and Magnesium Alloys in Hannover, Germany. Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, and this selective laser melting (SLM) process provides freedom of design, a lightweight design and more opportunity for bionic structures. SLM of Magnesium and Magnesium Alloys is the state of the art method for low volume, highly complex magnesium parts.

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