Lightweight Magnesium Alloys
The compelling need for lightweight, energy-efficient, environmentally benign engineering systems is driving the development of a wide range of structural and functional materials for energy generation, energy storage, propulsion, and transportation. These challenges motivate widespread use of magnesium—the eighth most common element in the earth’s crust and also extractable from seawater. In addition, the ease of recycling, compared with polymers, makes magnesium alloys environmentally attractive. Importantly, with a density of 1.74 g/cm3—about 30% less than aluminum, one-quarter that of steel, and nearly the same as many polymers—magnesium is attractive for lightweight structural systems and, notably including, automotive systems. Major challenge for this class of materials remains in the definition of alloys with sufficient combinations of strength and ductility and processing paths that can produce these materials in sufficient quantities. Our research explores new Mg systems and aims to develop new tools for the development of new alloys and new processing approaches.