One of the most common alloy combinations used in magnesium sheeting contains magnesium, aluminum and zinc. It is a combination that takes the best qualities of each metal and wraps it up into an alloy that is a great candidate for the injection Thixomolding process, as well as for casting and wrought metal projects. But just what are those qualities that make this team so attractive?
The Thixomolding process brings the alloy to a point that is almost-but-not-quite melted. The metal is held at this state and stirred into a slurry before it is injected into a mold. In order to endure such a process without producing a damaged product, the metal must have a high melting point, but can withstand the near melt without fracturing. Magnesium has the high melting point, but the aluminum and zinc are required in order to sustain the semi-melt state. Aluminum makes the magnesium much easier to cast in this way, while zinc adds strength to the semi-melted metal at less than melting temperatures.
Magnesium is great with corrosion resistance, but aluminum and zinc make that resistance a lot stronger. Zinc counteracts the corrosive traits of the iron and nickel impurities that are often found in magnesium, while the aluminum adds a hardness that is much harder to penetrate.
The hardness that aluminum lends to the magnesium is the most favored trait. Aluminum is already lightweight, but when added in small amounts to magnesium, the strength is enhanced without tipping the scales. Aluminum makes the magnesium more rigid, which helps in creating magnesium alloy casings. Zinc lends the strength in the cooling process after the metal has been molded or cast.
Both zinc and aluminum are easily bonded with magnesium with harming the individual metals or the alloy produced. Together they create a solid that permanently holds up as a structural metal.
Team magnesium aluminum zinc is one that works well together and is probably found on several items on the factory floor. In addition to being a great team, these metals are also common earth metals. The three metals are like a natural fit and can produce some amazing products.