Development of New AZ91 Magnesium Alloy Sheet by SUMITOMO Electric Industries
Magnesium, among the metal in use is the lightest, with specific gravity lower than quarter of iron and around two third of aluminum. Furthermore, it features an outstanding strength and rigidity per weight in comparison to iron and aluminum contributing in manufacturing strong and light products. Adding to this, the magnesium is considered to be an environmentally friendly metal due to its high energy efficiency and recyclable properties, not to forget its abundance in nature. Based on these properties , Sumitomo Electric has developed AZ91 magnesium alloy sheet and its commercial production through a unique continuous casting process for the first time in the world.
Up to now, AZ91 has been mainly used in the form of the cast material in spite its outstanding corrosion resistance, all due to the difficulty of rolling and forming the metal. The new AZ91 offers an improvement in terms of strength (380 MPa) and corrosion resistance in comparison to conventional AZ31 sheet. Furthermore, it provide a excellent design capability for application of more sophisticated coating and aesthetically appealing finishing such as metallic surface, making it ideal for such application as housing of portable electronic equipment and automotive interior trim components. The manufacturing process of AZ91 alloy sheet has been simplified in comparison to AZ31 sheet with aim of reducing cost as well as in promoting its wider use.