Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Madras, the University of North Texas and the US Army Research Laboratory researchers together have developed an engineered magnesium alloy which is being believed to replace aluminium and steel in automobile manufacturing, making them more fuel efficient.

According to the researchers, the current industrial application of the wrought magnesium alloy in framing components are very limited due to their poor strength, yield strength asymmetry, poor ductility and lack of high strain rate superplasticity, despite of being two third of the density of the aluminium and one third of the density of the steel. 

Associate Professor of the Mechanical Department of IIT Madras, Mr. Sushanta Kumar Panigrahi said that the engineered magnesium alloy is strong, highly ductile and its high strain superplasticity can somehow reduce the overall manufacturing time, cost and efforts.

He also added that due to the lightweight of the material, it will help in lowering the carbon footprint of the vehicle. Along with that it will increase the fuel efficiency of the manufactured vehicles.

He also said, “ Taking into account the convincing requirements for affordable utilization of scarce energy resources and to control the carbon emissions of automobiles and aviation units, manufacturers are searching for an alternative advanced light-weight structural materials, where the wrought magnesium alloy can be a future resource. 

This Research has also been published in the reputed journal named “Material Research Letters”.

Magnesium Alloy containing rare Earth materials like Gadolinium(Gd), Yttrium(Y) and Zirconium(Zr) were used by the researchers to conduct a thermomechanical processing technique to obtain an ultrafine-grained version of this alloy.

Thereafter, the team engineered the nano-precipitates and thermally stable nano metallic compound in the ultra-fined magnesium alloy, which led the team to achieve the highest combination of strength ductility and the highest strain rate superplasticity among all the magnesium alloy present till date on Earth.

The team of researchers said that they are now constantly trying to increase the load bearing capacity of the alloy through microstructural engineering and metal processing. 

After this achievement, the team is now going to apply the same strategy to other magnesium and metallic alloys with an intention to find the highly efficient and strong material with better performance.